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07 Dec 2011
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£64.00
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9780230319264
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The member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are famed for clinging to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and resisting the shift to 'post-Westphalian' sovereignty, much to the derision of many critics. Yet the historical record shows that Southeast Asian states have also been involved in subversion, invasion, annexation, proxy warfare, peacekeeping, state-building and humanitarian interventions. How do we make sense of this apparent contradiction, and what is the real state of sovereignty in Southeast Asia today?

Critiquing mainstream constructivist and realist accounts, this book offers a fresh, revisionist history of ASEAN. Drawing on political economy, political geography and state theory, it offers a new approach to theorizing sovereignty and intervention as technologies of power. Focusing on ASEAN states' interventions in Burma, Cambodia and East Timor, it argues that the selective application of sovereignty norms reflects power struggles within Southeast Asian societies.


Description

The member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are famed for clinging to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and resisting the shift to 'post-Westphalian' sovereignty, much to the derision of many critics. Yet the historical record shows that Southeast Asian states have also been involved in subversion, invasion, annexation, proxy warfare, peacekeeping, state-building and humanitarian interventions. How do we make sense of this apparent contradiction, and what is the real state of sovereignty in Southeast Asia today?

Critiquing mainstream constructivist and realist accounts, this book offers a fresh, revisionist history of ASEAN. Drawing on political economy, political geography and state theory, it offers a new approach to theorizing sovereignty and intervention as technologies of power. Focusing on ASEAN states' interventions in Burma, Cambodia and East Timor, it argues that the selective application of sovereignty norms reflects power struggles within Southeast Asian societies.


Reviews

'An interesting contribution... the book addresses a highly relevant area of research from both scholarly and policy perspectives... Through its approach and originality, it complements existing literature by offering new insights. The book can be recommended to the scholarly community and policy makers. It is of considerable relevance to those interested in the Southeast Asian region... regionalism and regional collaboration more broadly, given that issues such as sovereignty and intervention... are of global relevance.'
- Professor Ramses Amer, Institute for Security and Development Policy, Sweden (in Austrian Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 6:1 (2013), 232-234)
 
'This innovative study introduces new ways of understanding the relations between ASEAN states. The author, Lee Jones, challenges assumptions that these are defined simply by principles of non-intervention and argues that interference and intervention have also been critical drivers of regional relationships. Most important, he challenges both realist and constructivist assumptions that state interests and norms can be understood in abstractions of 'national interest', arguing that specific forms of state interest and ideology are the products of deeper conflicts within nations themselves and across the region. By embedding critical cases in this political economy framework, the author provides a powerful new analysis of how relations have been forged between the regimes of this increasingly complex and potentially volatile region.'
- Richard Robison, Acting Director and Emeritus Professor, Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia

'This engaging, timely and intellectually compelling book manages both to ground political science theorising in the richness of an area studies investigation, and to speak truth to power. It reminds us, at a time when ASEAN is increasingly gaining international credibility beyond Southeast Asia, of the Association's sordid, reactionary, undemocratic and interventionist origins. It exposes the ASEAN principle of 'non-intervention' as patently false, ruling elites having repeatedly intervened to suppress or contain populist, democratic and socialist protest. The myth has been shattered; the 'honourable' ASEAN diplomat looks more like a local thug.'
Patricio Abinales, Professor, University of Hawaii, USA

'Anyone who thinks that ASEAN's 'non-interference' principle has not been problematic in practice should read this original, thoughtful, and debatable book.'
Donald K. Emmerson, Director, Southeast Asia Forum, Stanford University, USA

'...an impressive first book by Lee Jones of particular value for scholars and students of ASEAN, contemporary Southeast Asia, regional organizaions and applied International Relations theory. It opens up a new, rich field of enquiry and debate for the study of ASEAN. As a good book does, it questions the answers of conventional wisdom while its own answers generate new questions as well.' - Malcolm Cook, Flinders University, Contemporary Southeast Asia

'There can be no doubt whatsoever that Lee Jones has written one of the most original, innovative and thought-provoking books on ASEAN of recent years. The term "page-turner" is not usually used to characterise academic works, but this analysis is so clearly and intriguingly written that it is hard to lay the book down. Even the most seasoned ASEAN experts will discover new facets to Southeast Asian regionalism in Jones' thoroughly stimulating monograph... The book not only makes an important theoretical contribution to the study of Southeast Asian regionalism as it transcends the great divide between social constructivism and neo-realism but, equally important, provides a valuable insight into the way that member states interact with one another... Lee Jones' book would not be a great one, if it was not controversial in parts.'
- Professor Joern Dosch, Professor of Asia-Pacific Studies, University of Leeds (in the ASEASUK Newsletter no. 52, Autumn 2012), 21-3

  

 


Contents

Introduction
Theorising Sovereignty and Intervention
PART I: THE COLD WAR
The Social Foundations of ASEAN and 'Non-Interference'
East Timor: ASEAN and Third-World Colonialism
Cambodia: Representation, Refugees and Rebels
PART II: THE POST-COLD WAR PERIOD
ASEAN after the Cold War: Capital, Crisis, Conflict
Cambodia: From Cold War to Conditionality
East Timor: Interdependence and Intervention
Burma: ASEAN's Image and the 'Regional Interest'
Conclusions


Authors

LEE JONES Lecturer in International Politics in the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary, University of London, UK, and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. His research focuses on state-society relations, sovereignty and international intervention and has been published in journals such as The Pacific Review, Asian Security, and The Cambridge Review of International Affairs.