ASEAN Concord II: Policy prospects for participant regional development

Date of this Version

January 2004

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Interim status: Citation only.

Ferguson, R. James (2004) ASEAN Concord II: Policy prospects for participant regional development, Contemporary Southeast Asia: A journal of international and strategic affairs, Vol. 26,No. 3, pp. 393-416.

Copyright ©Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2004.


With the ASEAN Concord II in late 2003, Southeast Asia charted an ambitious path towards creating a Community founded on economic, security and socio-cultural "pillars ". But the A SEAN agenda remains highly voluntaristic, though there has been some progress in shaping an A SEAN Economic Community agenda, in part driven by strong Singapore an and Thai interests. This apparent "policy gap" can be viewed as a strategic ambiguity that will allow member states to engage in the Community at their own level of capability, either via a two-tier approach of differential integration or via a notion of creative exemption. Current debates on human security and the meaning of development are two related areas which could be utilized to strengthen the ASEAN dynamic. A genuinely inclusive developmental strategy that would create a sustainable A SEAN socio-cultural community, backed by extended models of economic regionalism and a comprehensive security order, have yet to be devised. These are the missing foundations of ASEAN's Concord H. Nevertheless, the lengthy period for implementation of Concord II as a whole (2020) indicates a realistic assessment of the challenges involved.

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