Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science


Richard Stubbs




This thesis examines the competing perspectives of the Asia-Pacific region held by the different participants in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). APEC's regional definition includes North America, South America, East Asia and the Pacific. The result is a region with many diverse languages, religions, political and cultural systems and geographical locations. The notion of embracing the diversity of the Asia-Pacific region, espoused by APEC founders and economists, appeared to function well in the beginning. Now, however, this diversity may ultimately prove to be APEC's main weakness. Indeed, the major sources of divisiveness within APEC are the contrasting regional perspectives which are rooted in different definitions of the Asia-Pacific. Through a study of the four major divisive issues within APEC, membership and regional definition, defining and implementing objectives, the pace and process of institutionalisation, and the future expansion of the APEC agenda, this thesis will demonstrate that the competing conceptions of the Asia-Pacific have been affecting, and will continue to influence, the ability of APEC to fulfil its goal of free and open trade and investment.

McMaster University Library

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."