Do smaller ASEAN states "punch above their weight" in regional affairs or is their multilateralism "cheap talk" and deluded ambition? An evaluation of the extent to which ASEAN-led multilateralism contributes to regional order finds less effectiveness in mediating conflicts of interest than expected. It has been effective in inclusiveness, legitimizing great power roles, and institutionalizing small state voices. Yet, its mode of multilateralism has grown less effective as regional strategic challenges have evolved. It has suffered from restricted scope and oversight domain, nondemanding and minimalist norms, and great powers in collusion with smaller states opting for "soft" balancing more than regional "rules of the game." Overlapping institutions are helpful in muting security dilemmas, but they fail to regulate great power relations through institutionalized understandings about rules of conduct and conflict management.
|Title of host publication
|International Relations and Asia's Southern Tier: ASEAN, Australia and India
|Gilbert Rozman and Joseph Chinyong Liow
|Place of Publication
|Published - 2018