chapter  5
34 Pages

ASEAN’s institutional balancing: Seeking security among giants

The stated mission of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is promoting “economic growth, social progress and cultural development” through regional cooperation.1 Since its foundation in 1967, ASEAN has gradually become a prominent regional organization in managing regional security through its unique multilateral practices of consultation, consensus building, and quiet diplomacy, also known as “the ASEAN way.” There are ten members in the ASEAN now and strictly speaking, there is no common ASEAN foreign policy per se. Most of ASEAN’s organizational credit and international prestige are built on their diplomatic cooperation and foreign policy coordination on the international stage, such as in mediating the Cambodian crisis in the late 1980s. Therefore, this chapter focuses on the convergent points of cooperation in the major ASEAN states’ foreign policies on multilateral institutions after the Cold War.2