Possibilities for Regional Integration in South and Southeast Asia: A Comparative Analysis of SAARC and ASEAN





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.


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How to Cite

Djogatovic, V. (2022). Possibilities for Regional Integration in South and Southeast Asia: A Comparative Analysis of SAARC and ASEAN. KULTURA POLISA, 19(3), 76–92. https://doi.org/10.51738/Kpolisa2022.19.3r.76dj