This article critiques the idea that ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is an economic association geared for regional integration. Rather, it argues that ASEAN is a political association that has assumed the features of an entente cordiale. ASEAN has been characterized by the absence of any airtight and legal commitments for its members; the use of loose and ambiguous understanding as the means of maintaining organization interactions and cohesion; the use of consultations as the means of enhancing predictability among its members; and the application of the facade of economic cooperation to hide its political objectives. The article discusses four cases that have shown that ASEAN has acted as an entente cordiale. It concludes that while this regional arrangement proved effective in the past, recent developments seem to indicate that it is no longer viable in managing the changes in East Asia.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 59-85
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.