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Since its founding in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations has been an increasingly large part of the life of Southeast Asia, although most people in the region know very little about it. ASEAN has helped bring peace and stability to the region. It has successfully engaged the world’s major powers, in East Asia and beyond. ASEAN has taken steps to integrate the regional economy as an important means of cooperatively improving the region’s competitiveness, attracting investments, generating jobs, raising incomes, and lowering costs and prices. ASEAN has also formed networks for dealing with regional problems like communicable diseases, environmental degradation, and transnational crime. An essential part of the Southeast Asia Background Series, this book seeks to shed some light on what ASEAN is all about.
Challenges and Initiatives
As the regional financial and economic crisis has bottomed out and the ASEAN countries are on the recovery path, this volume seeks to carry out a post-mortem on the crisis to evaluate the sustainability of the recovery and the long-term direction of the ASEAN economies. It also examines the challenges and competitiveness of these economies which have become significant issues in the post-recovery process. Since it is not sufficient to address the economic and financial aspects, the volume also looks at the human and social dimensions, such as food security, poverty, and cross-border pollution. Furthermore, in the wake of the regional crisis, ASEAN has been criticized as being ineffective. This has prompted a re-examination of the relevance of the regional grouping in its present form, evaluating ASEAN's performance, challenges and opportunities and assessing whether there is a need for change.
Impacts & Implications
During the past decade, ASEAN has shifted its focus from political and military security to economic co-operation and development. Although this change may ease the integration of the four mainland Southeast Asian nations -- Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia – into ASEAN, there remain significant challenges to forge a workable and united ten-member ASEAN. This book examines many of the economic, political, and institutional issues confronting the enlarged regional grouping. The volume is organized into three sections based on the perspectives of the region, subregion, and the newer members. It not only addresses ASEAN's enlargement but also contributes to the debate on ASEAN's shifting role in the twenty-first century.
The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) is the only Asia-Pacific-wide forum for consultations and dialogue on political and security issues. Although many articles and books have been published on the ARF, this is one of the few books that treat the forum comprehensively and from the standpoint of the region itself. It traces the ARF's origins, the efforts to move it from confidence building to "preventive diplomacy", and the forces that hold them back, analysing the strategic environment that both constrains the ARF and makes it essential. The book discusses the question of participation, describes the numerous cooperative activities that the participants undertake, and deals with the issue of institutionalization. Finally, it assesses the ARF as a forum and a process on its own terms. The book is written by the former ASEAN Secretary-General and former senior official who was involved in the ARF's early years.
This book, a project of the ASEAN-China Study Programme of ISEAS, is designed to deal with the rapidly expanding economic relations between ASEAN and China in recent years. The fifteen chapters discuss in considerable detail these relations in terms of many important topics such as trade, the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA), investments, services trade, energy cooperation, cooperation in developing the Mekong Sub-region, China’s aid to Southeast Asian countries, developing stronger business networks, and the political dimensions of China’s economic relations with ASEAN. The economic challenges, competition, and opportunities in the various sectors of the two economies are examined in the context of the dynamic development of China, and the inevitable globalization taking place nowadays. The book, with contributions from experts in the various topics covered, will be invaluable to businessmen, analysts, academics, students, and policy-makers.
Towards Closer Engagement in a New Asia
India's emergence of a great power has sensitized its regional neighbours to its growing role as a key security actor in an increasingly interdependent world. Both Australia and ASEAN now view India as a major player in the formulation and application of their own broad security agendas. This emerging trilateral compendium is particularly evident in such policy areas as maritime security, climate change, energy security, law enforcement, "good governance" and the politics of security institutions or "architectures". This book represents one of the first systematic efforts to consolidate these diverse but important concerns into an overarching framework for ascertaining and cross-comparing how these three entities are approaching these policy challenges, individually and collectively. It argues that the dynamics underlying their intensifying security relations are sufficiently important to conceptualize them as a distinct analytical framework that needs to be understood in the larger context of Asia-Pacific security politics.
Challenges to the Pursuit of a Security Community
In line with recent reviews of policy by Aung San Suu Kyi and the U.S. Government, ASEAN's Myanmar Crisis: Challenges to the Pursuit of a Security Community provides a clear and innovative analysis of why it is necessary to reassess regional and international approaches to Myanmar. For the first time, this book also reveals the full extent to which Myanmar has challenged the solidarity and development of ASEAN itself. This is a must read for anyone interested in either Myanmar or the future of Southeast Asia. - -Maung Zarni, Research Fellow on Burma at the LSE Centre for Global Governance, London School of Economics and Political Science; Founder, Free Burma Coalition
What Are the Talking Points?
This book entitled ASEAN-U.S. Relations: What Are the Talking Points? is a result of a workshop organized by the ASEAN Studies Centre of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. The workshop was timely then, as the two sides, all of ASEAN, and the United States held their first-ever summit in Singapore in November 2009, heralding a new era of renewed engagement. The United States is very important for ASEAN, as a guarantor of regional stability and a vast market for ASEAN products. At the s... This book entitled ASEAN-U.S. Relations: What Are the Talking Points? is a result of a workshop organized by the ASEAN Studies Centre of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. The workshop was timely then, as the two sides, all of ASEAN, and the United States held their first-ever summit in Singapore in November 2009, heralding a new era of renewed engagement. The United States is very important for ASEAN, as a guarantor of regional stability and a vast market for ASEAN products. At the same time, ASEAN has gained more public attention from the United States, particularly since the advent of the Obama administration. This publication will serve as a reminder that ASEAN and the United States have shared many benefits as well as concerns for many years. Their continued engagement will undoubtedly ensure regional peace and order. I highly recommend this book to those who are interested in ASEAN’s external relations." -- Professor Charnvit Kasetsiri, Former Rector of Thammasat University and Visiting Professorial Fellow, ISEAS"Much has been made in the last few years of Washington's 're-engagement' with ASEAN, warmer ties with several Southeast Asian states, and the review of U.S. policy towards Myanmar. What explains this change and where are U.S.-ASEAN ties headed in the future? This timely collection of short essays and speeches by eleven leading academics and senior officials provides valuable background to what it calls a 'new era' in U.S. policy and thoughtfully explores where future challenges and opportunities might lie. The chapters are practically focused and forward looking, offering critical perspectives as well as policy recommendations. Covering security issues, aid, Myanmar, the South China Sea, and the evolving U.S. role in regional institutions, ASEAN-U.S. Relations: What Are the Talking Points? will be essential reading for anyone wanting to understand the changing dynamics of American policy in Southeast Asia." -- Dr David Capie, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Exploring the Penumbra of Transnational Power
For several centuries, international relations has been primarily the purview of nation-states. Key powers have included at various times Great Britain, France, Japan, China, Russia (then the U.S.S.R., and then Russia again), and the nation most influential in international relations for the past several decades has been the United States. But in a world growing smaller, with a globalizing system increasing in complexity by the day, the nation-state paradigm is not as dominant as it once was.
In Asia in Washington, longtime Asia analyst Kent Calder examines the concept of "global city" in the context of international affairs. The term typically has been used in an economic context, referring to centers of international finance and commerce such as New York, Tokyo, and London. But Calder extends the concept to political centers as well particularly in this case, Washington, D.C.
Improved communications, enhanced transportation, greater economic integration and activity have created a new economic village, and global political cities are arising within the new structure distinguished not by their CEOs or stock markets but by their influence over policy decisions, and their amassing of strategic intelligence on topics from national policy trends to geopolitical risk.
Calder describes the rise of Washington, D.C., as perhaps the preeminent global political city seat of the world's most powerful government, center of NGO and multilateral policy activity, the locale of institutions such as the World Bank and IMF, and home to numerous think tanks and universities.
Within Washington, the role of Asia is especially relevant for several reasons. It represents the core of the non-Western industrialized world and the most challenge to Western dominance. It also raises the delicate issue of how race matters in international global governance a factor crucially important during a time of globalization. And since Asia developed later than the West, its changing role in Washington raises major issues regarding how rising powers assimilate themselves into global governance structure. How do Asian nations establish, increase, and leverage their Washington presence, and what is the impact on Washington itself and the decisions made there? Kent Calder explains it all in Asia in Washington.
Strategic Transactions China, India and Southeast Asia
Maritime power has been a key defining parameter of economic vitality and geostrategic power of nations. The first decade of the twenty-first century has witnessed the rise of China and India as confident economic powers pivoting on high growth rates, exponential expansion of science, technology and industrial growth. Sequel to their steadily growing economic clout has been the emphatic resurgence of their maritime power evident in maritime shipping, port development and the concomitant expa... Maritime power has been a key defining parameter of economic vitality and geostrategic power of nations. The first decade of the twenty-first century has witnessed the rise of China and India as confident economic powers pivoting on high growth rates, exponential expansion of science, technology and industrial growth. Sequel to their steadily growing economic clout has been the emphatic resurgence of their maritime power evident in maritime shipping, port development and the concomitant expansion of naval power.Dr Vijay Sakhuja, a former Indian Navy officer, in this pioneering study has splendidly elucidated and examined the resurgence of Asian naval power and its political-diplomatic, economic-commercial, science-technological-industrial, grand-strategic and the operational-doctrinal dimensions. Using a neorealist framework, the author provides robust and insightful analysis of how China and India as great powers, using their maritime military capabilities, would evolve and act in global affairs." - Professor Sanjay Chaturvedi, Centre for the Study of Geopolitics, Punjab University, Chandigarh