chapter  13
11 Pages

The ASEAN People’s Forum (APF) as authentic social forum: regional civil society networking for an alternative regionalism

ByHelen E. S. Nesadurai

Regionalism in Southeast Asia is commonly understood as those processes of interstate interactions, dialogue and cooperation that take place under the purview of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a key site of governance through which its member states arrive at common understandings of shared problems and devise possible ways of addressing them. These processes are guided by the ‘ASEAN Way’ norms of sovereignty and non-interference and the ASEAN diplomatic culture of non-coercive, consultative and consensus-seeking interactions and decisionmaking. The ASEAN emphasis on consultation and consensus seeking applies largely to interactions between the ASEANmember states, with ASEAN cooperation on regional governance controlled and driven, however, by the region’s political and bureaucratic elite, with little room for civil society inputs or participation in regional governance processes.