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ASEAN: Evolution, Challenges and Prospects

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Presentation on theme: "ASEAN: Evolution, Challenges and Prospects"— Presentation transcript:

1 ASEAN: Evolution, Challenges and Prospects
Amitav Acharya UNESCO Chair in Transnational Challenges and Governance; and Chair of the ASEAN Studies Center School of International Service American University

2 Three Parts ASEAN’s Origin and Evolution
ASEAN’s Achievements and Limitations ASEAN’s Future Prospects

3 ASEAN’s Origins and Evolution
Established Reasons for creation: No regional group in Southeast Asia before Conflict-resolution: Indonesia-Malaysia conflict called Konfrontasi. Communist rebellions (backed by China and USSR) against pro-Western governments in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Philippines Superpower intervention during the Cold War- Indochina Economic Nationalism and underdevelopment

4 ASEAN Members 1967: Five. Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, and Singapore 1984: Brunei 1995: Vietnam 1997: Myanmar and Laos 1999: Cambodia (ASEAN Ten) 2011: East Timor (?)

5 Characterstics of Membership
Diverse cultures: Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Confucian Divergent colonial history: British (Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar) Dutch (Indonesia) French (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos) Spanish/American (Philippines) Portugese (East Timor) Different political systems: Military Myanmar), communist (Vietnam, Laos), soft-authoritarian (Malaysia and Singapore), stable democracy (Indonesia), unstable democracy (Thailand and Philippines) parliamentary democracy, presidential democracy

6 ‘ASEAN Way’ Refers to the belief that to the extent possible, regional interactions among ASEAN members and between ASEAN and outside countries should be informal, non-legalistic, consensus-based and inclusive. Relative informality of interactions Non-legalistic cooperation Consensus-based decision-making Inclusivity This approach is changing now, in the face of criticism and limitations, especially after the 1997 economic crisis

7 Achievements No major conflict among members since founding
Inclusive membership: Vietnam joining in 1995 key development Key role in the resolution of Cambodia conflict Engaging all the major powers of the world – China, US, Japan, India, Russia, EU) through dialogue and cooperation

8 Mixed Record Economic Cooperation: intra-ASEAN trade still around 25% of total trade, mechanisms for financial crisis untested Persisting Intra-ASEAN Conflicts: Thailand-Cambodia, Singapore-Malaysia, Maritime disputes South China Sea Dispute: China, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan Transnational Threats: Environmental degradation, Deforestation and haze problem, Piracy, Terrorism, Drug trafficking, People Smuggling, Natural disasters

9 Recent Developments Community-Building (Bali Concord II-2003)
ASEAN Economic Community (Free Trade and customs Union, investment area) ASEAN Political-Security Community (Conflict resolution, Cooperation against common challenges such as terrorism, piracy, disaster management, etc) ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (people’s ASEAN, caring and sharing ASEAN) ASEAN Charter (2008)-legal personality, consolidation of treaties and agreements, compliance enforcement East Asian Summit (2005). New reigonal architecture; Now includes US and Russia

10 Challenges for the Future
Rise of China and India, a multipolar world Increasing burden: scope of issues, and membership, and partnerships Sovereignty and non-Interference in an age of globalization and transnational challenges Compliance with new rules and the Charter: National interest version regional interest ASEAN’s unity and cohesion - Can ASEAN’s centrality in Asian regional architecture be assured for next 20 years? -ASEAN 2030: “Wise counsel of Asia or marginalized relic of the past”

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