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ASEAN’s expansion: the ARF, EAS and A+3

Hammond, Blaec (2011) ASEAN’s expansion: the ARF, EAS and A+3. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Over the last 16 years the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has gone from just a Southeast Asian organisation to leading three regional organisations in East Asia and the Asia Pacific. This thesis explains why this occurred, providing three main reasons. The first is ASEAN’s experience; it is the oldest functioning regional organisation in Asia and thus a good candidate to lead other regional organisations. The second reason is the trans-Pacific Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum: the events around APEC’s founding drove the creation of East Asian led regional organisations. This resulted in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), which as its name suggests is ASEAN led. As well, APEC’s unpopular actions during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis (AFC) drove the creation of another East Asian organisation led by ASEAN, ASEAN Plus Three (A+3). The third reason relates to ASEAN’s long time focus on preserving state sovereignty, which has led to ASEAN building up a notable level of expertise dealing with threats to sovereignty. As well as this, East Asian regionalism has largely been driven by threats to sovereignty. These two facts made ASEAN an organisation well-suited to lead regional organisations in East Asia.

Publication Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Supervisor: Hutchinson, Jane
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