ASIAN Regionalism Lecture CEU Summer School

Asian Regionalism
[email protected]
Prospects and Reforms
Asia (East, Southeast and South Asia)
• Pan-Asianism and Macro-Asianism (1947-1955).
Asian Relations Conference, 1947; Conference on
Indonesia, 1949; Colombo Powers, 1954-55;
Bandung Conference, 1955
• ASEAN: 1967• Asia-Pacific Regionalism (Pacific Community idea,
PECC, APEC): mid 1960s• East Asian Regionalism (EAEC, EAS, EAC): 1997• Sub-regionalism: SAARC, SCO, BIMSTEC
Asian Subregional Institutions
• ASEAN (1967). Three Communities by 2015
– ASEAN Economic Community (AEC): A common market of 600 m.
people with 1.8 trillion combined GDP
– ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC): conflict resolution,
counter-terrorism, anti-piracy measures, intelligence-sharing, disaster
– ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC): create “people’s ASEAN”,
build ASEAN identity, preserve environmental and natural resources.
• South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) (1985):
South Asian Free Trade Area, excludes bilateral disputes, focus on
non-traditional security cooperation terrorism
• Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) (1995, 2001): confidencebuilding measures and fight “three evils” of terrorism, extremism,
and separatism.
Macroregional Institutions
• Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (1989) and
APEC Leaders’ Meeting (1993): trade
liberalization, but also security discussions, e.g.
East Timor violence in 1999 and the 9/11 attacks
in 2001
• ASEAN Regional Forum (1994): confidencebuilding, preventive diplomacy, disaster
management and terrorist financing
• East Asia Summit (2005): energy, environment,
pandemics, poverty eradication, natural disaster
mitigation, and finance. South China Sea conflict.
Normative and Institutional
• Absence of Hegemonic Regionalism ( Due to
“Capability-Legitimacy Gap”); ASEAN “centrality”
as the basis for wider Asian regionalism,
(Acharya, “Foundations of Collective Action in Asia”,
• Avoidance of collective defence and preference
for cooperative security
• Open regionalism, rather than EU Styleintegration
• Soft institutionalism
• Weakly institutionalized, institutions and mechanisms
underutilized, low compliance with agreements and
• Deliberative, and consultative, rather than problemsolving. Poor usage of available instruments of conflict
prevention and resolution.
• Uneven response to transnational issues, like air
pollution, terrorism
• Limited progress in regional economic integration
• Limited role in promoting human rights and democracy
• State-Centric, ignoring the people
South China Sea Claims
• The problem of regional definition; No clear
definition of the “region”
• Addiction to sovereignty, non-intervention and
the “ASEAN Way”.
• Expansion of membership and functions
• Presence of great powers in the region
• Uncertain and indecisive leadership of ASEAN and
Asian regional bodies
• Impact of globalization
Contributions of Asian Regionalism
Constructing a Security Community in Southeast Asia (no major conflict among
ASEAN members)
Enhancing collective voice and bargaining capacity of Asian actors, small, medium
or large
Developing an active epistemic community in regional economic and security
Development-stability nexus: Allowing governments to focus on development
because of reduction of intra-regional conflict
Key role in resolving the Cambodia conflict and focusing international concern
about the South China Sea dispute
“Socialization” of China and other “newcomers”, including Vietnam, India and the
US (see Acharya, Asian Regional Institutions and the Possibilities for. Socializing the Behavior of States,” ADB
Working Paper, 2011).
Avoiding the US containment of China (Why is there still no NATO in Asia)
Promoting inclusiveness and “Cooperative Security”. Engaging all the major powers
of the world – China, US, Japan, India, Russia, EU)
Thinking counterfactually: what if no regional institution in Asia?
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
Reforming Asian Regionalism
• Mandate: From Dialogue to Action, from
consultations to conflict resolution
• Broadening and Strengthening Leadership
• Legalization and Institutionalization
• Avoiding Duplication of Tasks and Roles

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