Regulatory regionalism and anti-money-laundering governance in Asia
144 - 163
Australian Journal of International Affairs
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With the intensification of the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF's) worldwide campaign to promote anti-money-laundering regulation since the late 1990s, all Asian states except North Korea have signed up to its rules and have established a regional institution—the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering—to promote and oversee the implementation of FATF's 40 Recommendations in the region. This article analyses the FATF regime, making two key claims. First, anti-money-laundering governance in Asia reflects a broader shift to regulatory regionalism, particularly in economic matters, in that its implementation and functioning depend upon the rescaling of ostensibly domestic agencies to function within a regional governance regime. Second, although this form of regulatory regionalism is established in order to bypass the perceived constraints of national sovereignty and political will, it nevertheless inevitably becomes entangled within the socio-political conflicts that shape the exercise of state power more broadly. Consequently, understanding the outcomes of regulatory regionalism involves identifying how these conflicts shape how far and in what manner global regulations are adopted and implemented within specific territories. This argument is demonstrated by a case study of Myanmar.