State weakness and political values Ramifications for the ASEAN Community

Christopher Roberts

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    A large volume of literature has attempted to examine the prospect of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) reaching its goal of establishing an “ASEAN Community” by 2015. However, in much of the IR literature on regionalism, there has been a tendency to “black-box” internal state characteristics. This chapter seeks to redress this flaw by examining how weak states and political values can potentially affect regionalist enterprises. At one level, it explains how state weakness adversely affects regional security and cohesion. Further, the chapter demonstrates that state weakness detracts from both the will and capacity for cooperation and institutionalization in ASEAN. Instead, such conditions generate a preference to respond to the “internal security dilemmas” associated with state weakness through a sovereignty reinforcing model of regional organization – as depicted by ASEAN in its current form. At another level, the chapter examines the nexus between political values and the emergence of foreign policies that promote stronger regionalism in the political and security spheres. The analysis of this second variable is also necessary because it provides some insight about why ASEAN’s rhetorical aspirations (for example, the emergence of an ASEAN Community) continue to be contradicted by ASEAN’s norms together with the patterns of inter-state behavior in Southeast Asia. The chapter concludes that ASEAN will not achieve its goal of an “ASEAN Community” – including political cooperation and integration – as long as it remains constrained by state weakness and divergent political values.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationASEAN and the Institutionalization of East Asia
    Editors Ralf Emmers
    Place of PublicationAbingdon and New York
    PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
    ISBN (Print)9780415614344
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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