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Rethinking the Record of Security Community Building in ASEAN

Abstract

The article discusses the structural elements of the security community concept using the example of ASEAN. The relevance of studying this phenomenon rises dramatically due to the official launch of the ASEAN Community in 2015, which consists of three key elements – the Economic Community, the Political and Security Community and the Socio-Cultural Community. The scientific novelty of the work lies, firstly, in the use of an updated approach to the analysis of this security community concept, and secondly, in rethinking the experience of ASEAN and, in particular, failures in the formation of the security community. The work argues the major variables that contribute to the initial formation of the security community are the “we-feeling” sense among the population, adherence to key norms and principles of functioning of the association, the presence of strong channels of communication between states, and the ability of states to collectively respond to internal and external challenges. It is concluded that at present, ASEAN is a nascent, pluralistic security community. However, while maintaining the existing problems identified in the study, the transition to a more mature stage is not possible. The key constraints of ASEAN include a periodic departure from the basic principles of the Association, and the failure to reach consensus on a number of sensitive issues. As concrete examples we can identify the various positions of ASEAN member states on the South China Sea issue, as well as the lack of a unified approach to the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Region”, an emerging geostrategic space.

Keywords:

security community; ASEAN; institutions; collective identity; values; norms; principles.


Authors: Alexander Korolev

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