As world leaders gather this week for the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Phnom Penh, an LSE report concludes that the group is ill equipped to defend its own interests against those of China and the US.
The New Geopolitics of Southeast Asia, from LSE IDEAS, a centre for the study of international affairs, features articles by academics from LSE and leading universities in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Although ASEAN represents a market of over half a billion people, with a combined GDP growth currently double the global average, the report argues that its consensual approach to fostering regional economic integration leaves it unable to lead in the task of forging a regional strategy, meaning that Southeast Asian states risk becoming pawns in a geopolitical clash between the two superpowers. It therefore requires reform and renewal to enable it to serve as a third pole in the new geopolitics of Southeast Asia, with the capacity and authority to stand up to China and the US.
Regional member states need to empower ASEAN to represent their collective strategic interests, it explains. Failure to do so will mean surrendering the future of the region to the geopolitical interests of China and the US.
NOTES TO EDITORS
To read the full report please go to: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/IDEAS/publications/reports/SR015.aspx
For more information, please contact Dr Nick Kitchen at LSE IDEAS: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted 12 November 2012