ASEAN Regionalism: Cooperation, Values and Institutionalization

By Phar Kim Beng
Strategic Pan Indo-Pacific Arena
Twitter: @indo_pan

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Regionalism, as opposed to regionalization, is an ideology attempting a process to convert the one region policy and project, into a “reality.” What many scholars cannot agree, and in light of Brexit in European Union (EU), will never agree, is the brittle nature of the reality.

Many scholars of various theoretical persuasions believe that the idea of building a single region is tenable, in fact, it is driven by vicissitudes of globalization. The latter increases the insecurity of state and societies alike, and impel all elements in the country to seek for the next best thing — — a region is driven by a common interest, agenda, and identity. Ditto ASEAN regionalism after the end of the Cold War. What makes Christopher B Roberts‘s work a unique contribution to this debate is his use of empirical interviews to canvass the views of elites, academics, and other elements of the civil society, on whether ASEAN regionalism is going forward. As explained earlier, globalization drives regionalism and regionalization. Since ASEAN is a small subset of the global capitalist system, it has no choice but to adapt to the pressures of the world. Not surprisingly, all the interviewees averred that the process is proceeding, albeit in spurts at times, since the diversity of the region does not allow all member states of ASEAN to have an easy consensus on every issue.



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