Challenges to the Future of ASEAN
Time & LocationSession 9
Fri 09:00–10:30 Fritz-Reuter-Saal
- Fernan Talamayan National Chiao Tung University
- Andreas Stoffers Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung
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- Accelerating Climate Action in the ASEAN: Challenges and Mitigation Opportunities for a High-Risk Region John Lee Candelaria Hiroshima University
The Global Climate Risk Index lists Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam among the world’s ten countries most affected by climate change, while the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports the risk of coastal flooding to be worst in Southeast Asia, with Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines suffering the brunt of this impending disaster. The ASEAN seem to be responding in earnest attention: ASEAN countries have asserted a certain level of commitment to this global concern, with nine out of ten members of the ASEAN being parties to the Paris Agreement, while all members have pledged their own Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to address climate change. Singapore, as the 2018 ASEAN Chair, has led the Climate Action Package Initiative to ramp up actions to address climate change. But more needs to be done in the regional level to accelerate climate action in this high-risk region. Using the lens of climate justice, this paper aims to examine the NDCs of ASEAN member states and the issues that hound the achievement of these commitments, in hope that a regional agenda be established to chart the actions and strategies of the region. After all, climate change does not distinguish geographic and political boundaries, and thus, merits a transnational approach.
- The ASEAN Way: Ontological (In)Security in the Troubled Waters Denson Acomular National University, Manila
TThe ASEAN Way has been developed in the 1990s as a double principle of non-interference and consensus and has been the unifying norm among the member states of the ASEAN. Today the principle seems to be in question as to how the concerned parties are able to channel ASEAN influence over assertive China on the South China Sea. As such, this paper aims to analyze the ASEAN Way as a source of ontological (in)security of the region. Ontological Security is the ability of the “self” to maintain its cohesiveness over the disruptive external environment. Failure to attain such would incur insecurity and would leave the “self” reduced of its agency. To solve this, the “self” derives ontological security from self-assuring and other-assuring actions which are the narratives and routines respectively. Therefore, the research will look into the current territorial and maritime policies of the organization and the corresponding dominant narratives of each member states. The test of ASEAN relevance and influence in the region hangs on its capacity to attain its self-security. The question now begs whether the ASEAN Way works for or against this cause.
- The South China Sea Dispute: Examining Duterte’s Foreign Policy Shift in the Context of the China-ASEAN Geopolitics Fernan Talamayan National Chiao Tung University
Recent developments between China and the Philippines paint a rosy picture of cooperation that is closer than ever, with Philippine President Duterte’s move towards the emerging regional power that postures a foreign policy shift for many is too close for comfort. In this paper, the author argues that the emergence of China as a political and economic hegemon through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the ambiguous position of the ASEAN and the U.S. in the territorial dispute in the South China Sea have influenced the Duterte administration to shift its stance towards a neighbor that seems closer to home. This relationship will be explained through a historical approach that could provide insights as to the possibilities of this connection between the two countries. Also, recognizing that the only way to understand an actor is by examining its relation to the actions of other actors (Blanchard and Colin, 2017), this paper follows up on the existing studies on the geopolitics of China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI) as it describes the relational actions of each country involved in the South China Sea dispute.
- Towards Greater Political Participation from Below: Rethinking the Role of Filipino Smallholder Farmers in the Age of ASEAN Economic Integration John Raymond B. Jison University of the Philippines Los Baños
During the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit held in Cebu City, Philippines, the ASEAN Member-States envisioned an integrated ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)by 2015 that aims to create a globally competitive single market and production, which shall materialize through the integration of their economies. However, the ASEAN economic integration is foreseen by some to be detrimental to smallholder farmers rather than beneficial. For one, the agricultural system in the Philippines remains to be underdeveloped, rendering local smallholder farmers ill-equipped to compete in the free market. For another, the influx of cheaper agricultural imports in the local economy let alone the agricultural sector’s loss of competitiveness leaves the fate of local farmers hanging in the balance.
This paper aims to shed light on two themes. Firstly, an analysis of the current state of Philippine agriculture and plight of the smallholder farmers in the Philippines is imperative in understanding the roots and nature of problems faced by the sector, as well as prospects for development or underdevelopment. Finally, the concept of participatory governance is discussed vis-a-vis the political economy of knowledge and access to information to reimagine the role of the smallholder farmers in the implementation of food and agriculture targets that are identified in the AEC Blueprint. This paper employs valuable concepts taken from David Easton’s systems theory and Antonio Gramsci’s theory of cultural hegemony.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2015 established the ASEAN Community, Asia’s first regional community, and celebrated 50 years of overcoming the challenges of an extremely diverse region. While the ASEAN’s achievements are worth the praise it has garnered in the past, the future of the region seems to be anything but smooth sailing. This panel looks at some of the most pressing challenges that the ASEAN may face in the future, as echoed by many scholars of the region. The papers in this panel will examine the ASEAN principles of regional order vis-à-vis its relevance to the present context, the challenges of climate change and the commitments of the region to address this, and the Chinese factor in the development of the member states’ foreign policies.