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ASEAN Economic and Security Cooperation at the Beginning of the 21st Century

ASEAN Economic and Security Cooperation at the Beginning of the 21st Century

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Published by Christopher Haynes
This essay begins with a brief history of ASEAN political and economic cooperation before and after the end of the Cold War. Since there have always been external economic purposes behind ASEAN as well as political ones, this essay proceeds to draw on its economic relations with the US, and to some extent North East Asia (China, Japan and South Korea) leading up to and following the East Asian financial crisis to understand ASEAN’s economic direction. I will also look at patterns of security cooperation since the World Trade Centre bombings of September 11 2001, specifically in the ASEAN member states most affected by terrorism, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Analysis of these issues will help me to draw conclusions about ASEAN’s position in three aspects of the globalisation debate: models of development, international economic integration and regional security cooperation. I argue that ASEAN’s actions have been very pragmatic, with little long term vision. Sovereignty and independence have always been paramount and the East Asian financial crisis and the War on Terror both underline these premises.
This essay begins with a brief history of ASEAN political and economic cooperation before and after the end of the Cold War. Since there have always been external economic purposes behind ASEAN as well as political ones, this essay proceeds to draw on its economic relations with the US, and to some extent North East Asia (China, Japan and South Korea) leading up to and following the East Asian financial crisis to understand ASEAN’s economic direction. I will also look at patterns of security cooperation since the World Trade Centre bombings of September 11 2001, specifically in the ASEAN member states most affected by terrorism, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Analysis of these issues will help me to draw conclusions about ASEAN’s position in three aspects of the globalisation debate: models of development, international economic integration and regional security cooperation. I argue that ASEAN’s actions have been very pragmatic, with little long term vision. Sovereignty and independence have always been paramount and the East Asian financial crisis and the War on Terror both underline these premises.

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Published by: Christopher Haynes on Jun 21, 2009
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02/04/2013

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ASEAN Economic and Security Cooperationat the Beginning of the 21
st
Century
15/4/05Chris Haynes0029115POLI 444
 
As the 9
th
ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Meeting draws to a close in Vientiane, political,economic and security cooperation in South East Asia and integration in one of theworld’s most successful regional organisations increases. The Finance Ministersdiscussed regional and global economic developments and the Roadmap for Financialand Monetary Integration of ASEAN. They sought to work together to minimise thedamage of the tsunami of late 2004. And they made decisions about other regionalinitiatives from the liberalisation of financial services to counter terrorism. How didASEAN reach a point at which some are speculating it will be the next European Union?In Bangkok in 1967, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and the newlyindependent Singapore signed an agreement to kick off the Association of South EastAsian Nations, or ASEAN. Brunei joined upon its independence in 1984; Vietnam joinedin 1995; Laos and Myanmar were admitted simultaneously in 1997; and Cambodia camesoon after. From this point, ASEAN has been in the best position to pursue its statedmission of economic growth, social progress, cultural development, peace and stability inSouth East Asia. ASEAN’s 500m people enjoy a combined GDP of $737b and trade of $720b. (Secretariat)This essay begins with a brief history of ASEAN political and economic cooperation before and after the end of the Cold War. Since there have always been external economic purposes behind ASEAN as well as political ones, this essay proceeds to draw on itseconomic relations with the US, and to some extent North East Asia (China, Japan andSouth Korea) leading up to and following the East Asian financial crisis to understand
 
ASEAN’s economic direction. I will also look at patterns of security cooperation sincethe World Trade Centre bombings of September 11 2001, specifically in the ASEANmember states most affected by terrorism, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.Analysis of these issues will help me to draw conclusions about ASEAN’s position inthree aspects of the globalisation debate: models of development, international economicintegration and regional security cooperation. I argue that ASEAN’s actions have beenvery pragmatic, with little long term vision. Sovereignty and independence have always been paramount and the East Asian financial crisis and the War on Terror both underlinethese premises. To open this essay, I highlight several significant points of ASEAN’shistory.
History
ECONOMIC COOPERATIONWhen ASEAN was formed in 1967, its primary purpose was to foster growth througheconomic cooperation among the five member states. This purpose was spurred by theVietnam War and a fear that communism in Asia was spreading. The Domino Effect wason everyone’s lips. Strong government for containment and state led, export orienteddevelopment was the norm in capitalist East Asia. ASEAN since its inception has madevarious achievements in affecting trade policy through bargaining as a bloc. Theseachievements made clear two important principles: 1. the value of uniting against a third party and 2. the utility of rallying behind the most threatened member, be it a poor or richcountry. (Kurus, 823)

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