My Thesis

How Can ASEAN Centrality in East Asian Community be Maintained?



Gala Dinner for East Asia Summit Leaders on 19 November 2012, at Diamond Island, Phnom Penh, Cambodia


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Although ASEAN is the hub of regionalism in East Asia, ASEAN centrality is under pressure of this regionalization process. it could be weakened under the transformation process of institutional building of the evolving regional architecture, East Asian Community (EAC).

Taking into account of the roles power and conflict in regionalism, ASEAN way and balance of power are the two main elements of ASEAN centrality which contribute to ASEAN’s success, as a salient regional organization, in strengthening its cohesiveness, and also in maintaining its role as a driving force of East Asian regionalism, which is likely preventing hegemony within the group. So far, the achievements made by ASEAN have been obtained through slow and gradual process of regionalization and through the concept of promoting habit of cooperation rather than interfering on members’ sovereignty, which is harming the grouping. Both elements (ASEAN way and balance of power) are put at the heart of ASEAN’s political consideration. In so far as nationalism in Asia remains strong, it seems that ASEAN would maintain the same strategy for East Asian regionalism in the future.

ASEAN way is the only game in town for contemporary East Asian regionalism, whether it is a matter of survival or not for the grouping. If ASEAN wishes to continue and also enhance its centrality in regional grouping, ASEAN need to promote its political leadership in regional community building and in overcoming regional barriers and also to enhance human resource development to sustain this leadership.


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4. The Building of East Asian Community: the Role of ASEAN
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6. Three Critical Questions on Maintaining ASEAN Centrality.
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7. Challenges for ASEAN
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8. Outlook for ASEAN and East Asian Community Building (EAC)
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9. How Can ASEAN Centrality in East Asian Community be Maintained?
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10. ASEAN Centrality Under Pressure
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11. What is ASEAN Centrality?
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12. Asian Regionalism and East Asian Community Building
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