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This book examines the key motivations for and challenges to greater regional integration in Southeast Asia. It demonstrates how security and economic concerns -domestic, regional and international - have either contributed to, or detracted from, an increased level of unity and cooperation in ASEAN. It also explores how the patterns of interaction and socialization generated by these issues, together with the nature of domestic political systems, have affected the emergence of common values, norms and interests. It covers the full range of issues confronting ASEAN at present, and the full range of ASEAN countries, and discusses both developments in ASEAN to date and also likely future developments.
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Christopher B. Roberts is a Senior Lecturer at the National Security College within the Australian National University. He is also a Visiting Fellow with UNSW at the Australian Defence Force Academy and has previously been employed as an academic at the University of Canberra as well as the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. Having lived in Japan and Singapore for over five years, Christopher has extensive field experience in Asia including all the ASEAN nations. Christopher specialises in Southeast Asian security, politics and institutional developments. He has received various awards for his research including the Australian government’s ‘Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Award’ in 2005. Between 2005 and 2007 Christopher also undertook two region-wide surveys examining elite and grassroots perceptions concerning regional threat perceptions, levels of trust, political values and notions of kinship and identity. Aside from an earlier book entitled ‘ASEAN’s Myanmar Crisis’ (ISEAS), Christopher has completed more than thirty other journal articles, book chapters, conference papers, commentaries and reports on issues relevant to the politics and security of the Asia-Pacific.Review:
"Chris Roberts tells the story of ASEAN and of Southeast Asia in an engaging and masterful way. This book is rich in detail not only of events but of the people and places and interactions leading to them. Yet it has a comprehensive sweep – encompassing contemporary inter-state relations as well as theory, history, domestic politics, interests, perceptions, identity and much more. This is a must-read for any student, scholar, or practitioner interested in Southeast Asia and its project of regional community building." - Professor Aileen Baviera, Asian Center, University of the Philippines, Manila.
"Regional integration is no easy business - especially in the Southeast Asian context! However, Dr Roberts' book provides an excellent analysis that enables readers to understand this complex process. While reading this book raises an optimism that regional integration in Southeast Asia is not an impossible undertaking, the book also provides valuable insights and analysis on the challenges ahead. It is a highly balanced book about ASEAN and a must read to anyone who wants to better understand Southeast Asia." - Dr Rizal Sukma, Executive Director, Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Jakarta.
"This carefully nuanced study of the challenges and opportunities arising from greater regionalism and integration in Southeast Asia attracts attention because it covers both qualitative analysis and quantitative data based on over 100 interviews and two surveys. The field of ASEAN studies has been invigorated by the emergence of a new generation of scholars grounded in their own disciplines but conscious of the continuing need for a familiarity with the diverse cultures and societies of Southeast Asia. Roberts epitomizes this trend with his commitment to the analytical rigor of the political scientist and the awareness that only intensive fieldwork in the region will result in a layered understanding of the region. This outstanding volume covers key debates within the regional organisation as it moved to adopt the ASEAN Charter and weathered criticism following the entry of Myanmar/Burma. It will also be useful to students of regionalism and globalization because of its empirical analysis of the imperatives for regional integration through ASEAN and its awareness of the limitations arising from inter-state competition and divergent domestic capabilities within its member states which impact on efforts to create an ASEAN identity." - Ambassador Barry Desker, Dean of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
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