Possibilities for Regional Integration in South and Southeast Asia: A Comparative Analysis of SAARC and ASEAN
Keywords:comparative politics, political integration, regionalism, integrative potential, SAARC, ASEAN
During the second half of the twentieth century, an accelerated wave of economic and political integration at the regional level hit all corners of the world. Regions of South and Southeast Asia did not fall far behind in this regard. This paper aims to examine the scope of regional political integration in these two regions of Asia, then identify the main (non)institutional barriers that prevent emerging supranational bodies from reaching out to their full potential and analyse the results in the field of regional political associating achieved so far. Using the content analysis of the relevant literature as a primary scientific method showed some important results: (a) it is pointed out that a higher degree of integration has been achieved between the member states of the ASEAN compared to the SAARC, (b) basic historical (colonization period, type of political culture, structure of the political system) and contemporary (political violence, secessionism, ethnoreligious disputes) threats to a deeper integration have been pointed out and (c) great potential of these regions for deeper integration in the field of politics, but also the economy, culture, etc., is clearly emphasized. In conclusion, it could be argued that the Southeast Asian region, through its arguably most important supranational entity – the ASEAN organization – has achieved an extremely high degree of regional integration compared to its neighbouring counterpart – SAARC and that the latter organization has a long way to go in approaching good practices and results achieved by ASEAN within the field of regional political integration.
Bong, A. & Premaratne, G. (2018). Regional integration and economic growth in Southeast Asia. Global Business Review, 19(6), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1177/0972150918794568
Brennan, L. & Murray, P. (2015). Drivers of integration and regionalism in Europe and Asia: Comparative perspectives. Routledge.
Chakma, B. (2018). SAARC and region-building: Is South Asia a region? Journal of the Indi-an Ocean Region, 14, 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1080/19480881.2018.1478272
Chaturvedi, P., Zaki, H. & Biswajit, N. (2017). SAARC Geopolitics and trade: missing intra-regional connectivity a hindrance to further economic integration. South Asian Survey, 22(1), 78–106. https://doi.org/10.1177/0971523117708963
Cockerham, G.B. (2010). Regional integration in ASEAN: Institutional design and the ASEAN way. East Asia, 27, 165–185. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12140-009-9092-1
Dedeić, D. (2015). Preobražaj udruženja zemalja jugoistočne Azije u ekonomsku zajednicu po ugledu na iskustvo Evropske unije [Transformation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations into an economic community based on the experience of the European Un-ion]. Poslovna ekonomija, 9(2), 259–282. https://doi.org/10.5937/PosEko1502259D
Dosch, J. (2017). The ASEAN economic community: Deep integration or just political win-dow dressing? TRaNS: Trans–Regional and National Studies of Southeast Asia, 5(1), 25–47. https://doi.org/10.1017/trn.2016.28 Jain, R. (2005). India and SAARC: An analysis. Indian Journal of Asian Affairs, 18(2), 55–74.
Karim, M.R. (2019). Same principles but different outcomes of SAARC and ASEAN: Search-ing gap. Journal of Public Administration and Governance, 9(1), 60–72.
Kilibarda, Z. (2010). Integrativni procesi u regionu jugoistočne Azije [Integrative processes in the region of Southeast Asia]. Vojno delo, 62(3), 147–165.
Krstić, Z. (2007). Savremeni politički sistemi zemalja jugoistočne Azije [Modern political sys-tems of Southeast Asian countries]. Službeni glasnik.
Lama, M. (2018). Renegotiating alternative integration model in the SAARC. International Studies, 54(1–4), 82–105. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020881718790685
Mahbubani, K. & Sng, J. (2017). The ASEAN miracle: A catalyst for peace. Ridge Books.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). (2006). South-East Asia regional economic integration and cooperation: Deepening and broadening the benefits for human development. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Veljko Djogatović
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.