Facilitating International Cooperation on Air Pollution in East Asia: Fragmentation of the Epistemic Communities

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To tackle transboundary air pollution in East Asia, international schemes for environmental cooperation have been introduced, including the Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia (EANET), Long‐Range Transboundary Pollution of China, Japan and Korea (LTP), and the North‐East Asian Subregional Programme for Environmental Cooperation (NEASPEC). These programs, however, have not been successful in establishing robust regimes for effectively reducing transboundary air pollution in the region. This paper aims to examine the process of forming epistemic communities through these programs in East Asia. A bibliometric data on the scientific articles and reports produced were analyzed to examine the network structure of the scientific activities through EANET. The fragmentation of expert groups within EANET and among the major international schemes on air pollution in East Asia contributed to discouraging solid formation of an epistemic community covering air pollution comprehensively in the region. That makes it difficult to reach a consensus based on the current state of scientific knowledge on air pollution for providing effective advice and recommendations for the development of policies and regulations.