This book analyses the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a powerful actor in International Relations by examining how the ASEAN community has evolved, looking specifically at its relationship with the EU with regards to human rights.
The book adds to important contemporary debates within constructivist theory, shedding light on the need for 'critical' constructivism that emphasises language and contestation and what that may entail. On an empirical level, it challenges the idea of an 'EU-centrism,' demonstrating how ASEAN is the major driving force behind its human rights and community aspirations, as well as within the ASEAN-EU relationship. Furthermore, this book engages with the introspection surrounding constructivism by addressing the trouble with 'norms,' and instead unpacking the relationship between ASEAN and the EU to show language power in play. In particular, the book looks at how language, or rather coercive language, helps us 'see' contestation in action, something that researchers sympathetic towards the idea of ASEAN's 'resistance' have been unable to show through a focus on norms.
Tracing the evolution of the ASEAN community and human rights aspirations in a new light, showing how exactly the EU remains an inspiration, but not a model, and more interestingly how ASEAN demonstrates power in the relationship, the book will be of interest to academics working on Asian Studies, European Studies, International Relations Theory and human rights.
Jamie D. Stacey is an independent researcher closely linked to Swansea University, UK.
PART I: INTRODUCTION 1. Who is ASEAN? PART II: THEORISING (LANGUAGE) POWER, ASEAN, AND THE EU 2. Constructing ASEAN, the EU, and the ASEAN-EU relationship 3. Constructing constructivism 4. Representational Force: Constructivism's critical edge PART III: CONTESTATION IN THE ASEAN-EU RELATIONSHIP 5. Contestation emerging: 'Universalism' and 'Relativism' 6. Contestation within: 'Myanmar' and 'ASEAN's Pride' 7. Contestation infinitum: 'Protection' and 'Promotion' PART IV: CONCLUSION 8. Reflections on ASEAN, human rights, and the power to contest