ASEAN - transcend

January 6, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Business, Economics, International Economics
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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

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

ASEAN’s Origins and Evolution • Established 1967. 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 WarIndochina – Economic Nationalism and underdevelopment

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 (?)

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), softauthoritarian (Malaysia and Singapore), stable democracy (Indonesia), unstable democracy (Thailand and Philippines) – parliamentary democracy, presidential democracy

‘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

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

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

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

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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