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The State and the Provision of Public Goods under Conditions of Globalisation

The debate over what constitutes public goods has to-date largely been conducted in arenas from which developing countries are excluded (notably the G7) or within which their influence over the intellectual debates (as in the erstwhile Bretton Woods institutions) has been at best limited. The capacities of the states of Asia and Latin America to provide public goods or participate in global public goods agendas--while never as developed or as normatively driven as those of the policy elites of OECD countries--have been seriously eroded by the negative impact of the recent financial instability. These conditions have militated against the meaningful engagement of Latin American and Asian countries in the debates on international collaboration for the provision of public goods currently underway in a number of international fora.

As a result, the aim of this project is two-fold: (i) to review how the dynamics of multilateral collective action that emerged throughout the 1990s at both global and regional levels have been altered by the impact of financial crises in Asia and Latin America; (ii) to examine whether the shared experiences of financial crises--expected to constitute the sorts of ‘common interests’ deemed to be the basis for collective action--have in fact had an opposite, fragmentary, effect. It is our assumption that cooperation between Asian and Latin American states in their respective regional arenas and of these states with other state (and non-state actors) in the global political economy has, in the short term at least, been corroded. We will be testing this with reference to APEC and Mercosur.

The final element of this project is to examine the degree to which behaviour in East Asia and Latin America is conforming to the what we have described as the 'post Washington Consensus global public goods agenda' emanating from the major international institutions, notably the IMF, World Bank and UN.




Nicola Phillips and Richard Higgott "Global Governance and the Public Domain: Collective Goods in a 'Post-Washington Consensus' Era", CSGR Working Paper 47/99, November 1999, Abstract, Full Document.

Richard Higgott and Nicola Phillips, "The Limits of Global Liberalisation: Lessons from Asia and Latin America", CSGR Working Paper 22/99, January 1999, Abstract, Full Document.

Nicola Phillips, "Globalisation and the 'Paradox of State Power': Perspectives from Latin America" CSGR Working Paper 16/98, November 1998 Abstract, Full Document.