The international system is anarchic, meaning there is no world government that has the legal authority to make and enforce rules to govern state behavior. To the extent that states (sovereign countries) create international organizations and international law, these institutions function only with the consent and cooperation of states. In the absence of a sovereign world government, states are left to their own devices to enforce international agreements and ensure their security, territorial integrity, and economic and social well-being. Although war between Pacific Basin states is a relatively rare occurrence (see Chapter 14), when it does happen it can have devastating consequences, making understanding of the conditions and actions that lead to armed conflict a central concern. Security, however, is by no means the only item on the international agenda. With the rise of globalization, issues such as economics and trade, the environment, and human rights have joined the international agenda. This chapter examines how boundary disputes in the Pacific Basin are embedded in a larger web of political, security, and economic relationships.