The ASEAN Miracle: A Catalyst for Peace

The ASEAN Miracle: A Catalyst for Peace

by Kishore Mahbubani, Jeffery Sng


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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a miracle. In an era of growing cultural pessimism, there is a pervasive belief that different civilizations cannot function together. Yet the ten countries of ASEAN are a thriving counter-example of coexistence. Here, more than 625 million people live together in peace.

In 1967, leaders from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand struck a landmark agreement, forming ASEAN. They had realized that political and economic cooperation would bring greater stability and prosperity to the region. Fifty years and five additional countries later, the alliance has remained one of the world’s most successful collaborations. Kishore Mahbubani and Jeffery Sng explain how this partnership has benefited the ten member countries and why it should serve as a model for other regions of the world, challenging our assumptions about international cooperation. As the world turns to Asia and the United States and China jostle for dominance, the ASEAN region will have an undeniably powerful role in shaping our global systems. Mahbubani and Sng offer an important primer for understanding this immensely successful—and woefully underappreciated—regional organization.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789814722490
Publisher: Nus Press Pte Ltd
Publication date: 07/15/2017
Pages: 286
Sales rank: 962,023
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Kishore Mahbubani is dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at National University of Singapore and author of The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East. Jeffery Sng is a writer and former diplomat based in Bangkok. He is the coauthor of A History of the Thai-Chinese.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements xiii

Preface xv

Introduction 1

1 The Four Waves 15

The Indian Wave 18

The Chinese Wave 25

The Muslim Wave 29

The Western Wave 35

2 The ASEAN Ecosystem of Peace 48

First Factor: The Fear of Communism 51

Second Factor: The Role of Strong Leaders 59

Third Factor: Geopolitical Luck 65

Fourth Factor: Market-Oriented Economic Policies 68

Fifth Factor: ASEAN-Based Regional Networks 74

3 ASEAN and the Great Powers 76

ASEAN and America 82

ASEAN and China 97

ASEAN and the EU 112

ASEAN and India 121

ASEAN and Japan 127

4 Pen Sketches 137

Brunei 139

Cambodia 141

Indonesia 144

Laos 148

Malaysia 150

Myanmar 155

The Philippines 159

Singapore 165

Thailand 168

Vietnam 172

5 ASEAN: Strengths and Weaknesses 177

Strengths 179

Weaknesses 184

Threats 190

Opportunities 197

Conclusion 206

6 ASEAN's Peace Prize 207

Three Bold Recommendations 221

Bibliography 233

Index 251

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