Alongside Russia's decline as a global superpower, a different reality is taking shape inside the country itself: a reality of regionalization. Although the trend is far from settled, regions are already important political actors on the national and international level in their own right. The window of opportunity for invigorating Russia's Far Eastern provinces is likely to be short-lived. Lacking state support and foreign investment, the Russian Far East, instead of being a bridge to the Pacific area, could become a zone of permanent crisis, spreading arms, drugs and crime. The outcome will be determined largely by outside efforts to involve the Russian Far East in subregional economic networks. If these efforts are consistent and effective, already by the middle of the next decade the Northeast Asia could become one of the emerging Pacific subregions, where security issues could be set aside in favour of common economic interests. Its political shape will be many-headed, with a post-Westphalian, or perhaps a postmodern, mixture of actors and levels of administration.
Medvedev, Sergei (1998) Subregionalism in Northeast Asia: A Post-Westphalian View, Security Dialogue 29 (1): 89–100.