Member states of ASEAN - the Association of South-East Asian Nations - have developed a distinctive approach to political and security co-operation. This approach builds on the principles of sovereign equality, non-intervention and non-interference, quiet diplomacy, mutual respect, and the principle of not involving ASEAN in mediating bilateral disputes among the membership.
This is a new examination of the origins of ASEAN's diplomatic and security culture. It analyses how over time its key principles are practised and contested as member states respond to regional conflicts as well as challenges posed by the major regional powers, ASEAN's enlargement, and the Asian financial crisis. It also assesses whether ASEAN's diplomatic and security culture is likely to remain salient as the political, economic and security context in which regional leaderships operate undergoes further change.
Table of Contents
1. Early Origins of the 'ASEAN way': The struggle for respect and sovereignty
2. Post-War Origins of the 'ASEAN way': From estrangement and conflict to regional reconciliation and accommodation
3. ZOPFAN and the ASEAN Regional Forum: The extramural dimension of ASEAN's struggle for security and recognition
4. The Cambodia Conflict and the 'ASEAN way': The struggle for a pristine interpretation of principles
5. China's Relations with ASEAN: Challenging or reinforcing the 'ASEAN way'?
6. The U.S. Challenge to the 'ASEAN way'
7. The Concept of Flexible Engagement and the Practice of Enhanced Interaction: Intramural challenges to the 'ASEAN way'
8. ASEAN's Diplomatic and Security Culture after the Hanoi Summit: Has 'old' thinking been dominating 'new' practices?
Conclusion: On the prospects of ASEAN's diplomatic and security culture