The Chimera of the Asean regional security community
Goh, Leong H.
Callahan, Mary P.
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In recent years, it has become fashionable for scholars to characterize the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as the first pluralistic security community to emerge outside the Western Hemisphere. In the light of this characterization, this thesis seeks to establish whether the institutionalization of ASEAN has facilitated and encouraged sufficient qualitative and quantitative transactions among its member states to qualify it as having attained the status of a tightly coupled regional security community. While much evidence may be offered of the successes of the organization, a more critical investigation into intra-ASEAN trends and transactions in the political, military, and economic dimensions raises doubts as to the extent and nature of perceived inter-relationships. Although, over the thirty years of the organization's history, the regional institutional context and inter-state transactions have become denser and hence more consequential on individual state behaviors, this thesis concludes that ASEAN is, at best, a fragile loosely coupled regional security community. Much remains to be accomplished before ASEAN can claim the distinction of being a tightly coupled, pluralistic security community worthy of serving as a model for other aspiring communities.
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