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Part V Global and Regional Security Mechanisms, Ch.52 The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Southeast Asia’s Regional Security

Diane A Desierto

From: The Oxford Handbook of the International Law of Global Security

Edited By: Robin Geiß, Nils Melzer

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 26 May 2024

International co-operation — Use of force, war, peace and neutrality

This chapter addresses the critical role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the incremental evolution of the concept of Southeast Asian regional security. It reflectively tracks the organization’s gradual emergence from a loose, pluralist platform for regional cooperation, into a Charter-based intergovernmental organization with dispersed legislative and executive powers, subscribing to international law, international human rights, and humanitarian law, and a rules-based multilateral economic and geopolitical system. Ultimately, ‘Southeast Asia’ and ASEAN are both strategic post-Cold War constructs that evolved over decades to develop distinct regional strategies fostering peace and security in the region, and contributing to international law and the stability of the region. The chapter then details the initially hesitant and incrementalist path taken by ASEAN Member States in formulating regional security cooperation strategies for siloed regional issues, such as transnational crimes and maritime security, amongst others. It also maps the significant shift from incrementalism to the deliberate institutionalization of regional cooperation under the ASEAN Political-Security Community created under the 2008 ASEAN Charter and its broader implications for security governance, dispute settlement, regional security, and peace initiatives for Southeast Asia. Finally, the chapter considers the centrality of consensus to ASEAN regional security decision-making.

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