Area or regional studies are in a particular predicament. Scholars focusing on a region are under pressure to justify the inclusion of particular countries in a region at the expense of others. Where are the borders to the adjacent regions drawn, and do these borders delineate boundaries for regional communities? If the answer is affirmative, does this imply the existence of a regional community manifesting regional identity? It has been argued that regions, as cultural entities, only exist in the imagination of the outsider. In contrast, individuals living in the same region may be wary of imagining a common cultural past, present, or future. Often individuals in different parts of a particular region emphasize differences over similarities among the residents of different sub-regions. In asking whether a region can constitute the boundaries of an 'imagined community' (Anderson, 1991) or whether the concept of a region as a cultural entity needs to be dismissed as a powerful and effective phantom generated by the imagination of the Other (see Said, 1978, 1993; Ansell-Pearson, Parry and Squires, 1997), we need to analyse the implications of conducting a regional comparative study of values education such as this study of values education in the Pacific Rim region.