ASEAN’s Cooperative Security Enterprise: Norms and Interests by H. Katsumata

By H. Katsumata

Katsumata demonstrates that anything attention-grabbing is happening contained in the ASEAN local discussion board (ARF). He indicates that an organization of juvenile powers in Southeast Asia is selling its cooperative safeguard norm, and influencing the regulations of its exterior companions. therefore, the ARF is among the very important pathways to neighborhood safeguard.

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7. It is worth noting the difference between the insight of the present study and what is illustrated in another strand of the sequencing literature, namely, the ‘two-step’ model proposed by Jeffrey Legro and Andrew Moravcsik. These two authors describe the two-step development of international relations: the first step involves preference formation at the domestic level and the second step concerns strategic interactions at the interstate level. In their model, ideational factors may play a part in the first step, by specifying the content of preferences (Legro 1996, 119–20; Moravcsik 1997, 544–5; Legro and Moravcsik 1999, 50–1; also see Petrova 2003, 146–7; Price and Tannenwald 1996, 152; Kowert and Legro 1996, 496; Adler and Haas 1992, 369).

For a fuller understanding of their initiative, it is worth taking into account their self-interest calculations. It is fair to say that at least three elements of their self-interest were relevant to cooperative security – namely, the achievement of their ‘national interests’ or ‘national security’ through the enhancement of ASEAN’s relations with China, its autonomy vis-à-vis the United States, and its centrality to Asia-Pacific regionalism in the security field. A standard approach to bring into view these self-interest elements would be to argue that, in the early 1990s, a set of cooperative ideas spotlighted these elements, thereby serving as a ‘road map’, which clarifies the expected effect of actions when states are uncertain about the consequences of their actions (Goldstein and Keohane 1993a, 13–17).

It is strategic in that they reject binding and precise obligations in a setting which might require bargaining with governments with greater powers (2000, 562, 568–9). Surely the Southeast Asian countries’ concern over state sovereignty is an important aspect of ASEAN diplomacy, as is discussed in the next chapter. However, this line of argument does not address convincingly their preference for cooperation itself. It might explain ASEAN’s rejection of a rigidly institutionalized framework, but not its promotion of an informal style of cooperation.

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