Institutionalizing ASEAN: celebrating Europe through network governance

2009 | journal article; research paper

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​Institutionalizing ASEAN: celebrating Europe through network governance​
Jetschke, A. ​ (2009) 
Cambridge Review of International Affairs22(3) pp. 407​-426​.​ DOI: 

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Jetschke, Anja 
This article provides a new piece for two of the puzzles of institutionalized cooperation in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). First, with regard to the organization's four decades of existence, there has always been a marked gap between ASEAN's rhetorical goals of cooperation and its actual achievements. What explains these systematic failures of implementation? Second, from the outset, ASEAN was criticized for its light institutionalization, which failed to deliver the substantial cooperation goals. Despite selected institutional reforms, ASEAN's autonomy has not increased remarkably and it has not made any major institutional innovations. Why does ASEAN design institutions it does not use? Why does this transformation gap occur? The author suggests a sociological institutional explanation and argues that major impulses for cooperation have come from outside Southeast Asia, most importantly from Europe. By mimicking the European integration process, ASEAN member states have effectively created an isomorphic organization. The Association's institutional development reflects a concern for international legitimacy and less an objective functional demand arising from the specific interactions of member states. This copying process has led to network governance within the organization.
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Cambridge Review of International Affairs 
0955-7571; 1474-449X



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