The European Union (EU) has recently shown a greater interest in strengthening its security ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Yet, over the last few years, the EU has had to face a number of hard realities that have challenged the organization from both within and outside its borders. Why and how, in such a complex scenario, the EU is seeking to strengthen its security relations with ASEAN has thus become a salient question. In order to answer this question, this article recognizes the utility of "principled pragmatism" as a conceptual and operational lens to analyse the recent recalibration of the EU's security policy towards ASEAN. To this end, it first provides a conceptual analysis of principled pragmatism and operationalizes this concept in the context of the EU's security policy towards ASEAN. Second, it examines why principled pragmatism arose and how it is reflected in such a policy. Finally, it seeks to shed some light on the implications and controversial issues resulting from the EU's attempt to find a middle way between a pragmatic stance and a principled foreign and security policy towards Southeast Asia.


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pp. 174-199
Launched on MUSE
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