The Asean People’s Forum (APF) as Authentic Social Forum

Regional Civil Society Networking for an Alternative Regionalism

Authored by: Helen E. S. Nesadurai

Routledge Handbook of Asian Regionalism

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  March  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415580540
eBook ISBN: 9780203803608
Adobe ISBN: 9781136634734


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Regionalism in Southeast Asia is commonly understood as those processes of interstate interactions, dialogue and co-operation that take place under the purview of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a key site of governance through which its member states arrive at common understandings of shared problems and devise possible ways of addressing them. These processes are guided by the ‘ASEAN Way’ norms of sovereignty and non-interference and the ASEAN diplomatic culture of non-coercive, consultative and consensus-seeking interactions and decision-making. The ASEAN emphasis on consultation and consensus seeking applies largely to interactions between the ASEAN member states, with ASEAN co-operation on regional governance controlled and driven, however, by the region’s political and bureaucratic elite, with little room for civil society inputs or participation in regional governance processes.

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