Authored by: Anja Jetschke

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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Established on 8 August 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is arguably the most successful regional organization among developing countries. It currently comprises ten member states and a population of 600 million people, 8.8 per cent of the world population. In comparative perspective, and especially during the early 1990s when most ASEAN members collectively experienced an ‘economic miracle’ and became part of the East Asian development model (see Stubbs, Chapter 7 of this volume), ASEAN was commonly perceived to be an alternative to the European model of regionalism (Camroux 1996; Gilson 2005; Söderbaum and Van Langenhove 2005). Whereas the EU appeared to represent ‘regionalism’, a government-driven process of successive pooling of sovereignty into common institutions (integration), Asia represented ‘regionalization’, a business and production-network driven process of regional co-operation (Aggarwal 2005; Katzenstein 2005: 44). It might therefore come as a surprise that scholarly debates on ASEAN still revolve around the key question as to whether or not ASEAN ‘exists’ (Martin Jones and Smith 2007; Chesterman 2008).

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