International Relations in Southeast Asia: Between Bilateralism and Multilateralism

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N Ganesan, Ramses Amer
Institute of Southeast Asian, 2010 - Political Science - 350 pages
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"For observers outside of Southeast Asia, this book opens up a world of conflicts, rivalries, and reconciliations that is terra incognita. It is easy to assume that all is well under the consensual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) umbrella. These expert authors detail the sometimes stormy and often tense bilateral relationships in the region. In doing so they delineate the profound contribution that ASEAN has made to regional security and cooperation, but at the same time they show the limits of multilateralism as a mode of conflict resolution. Etel Solingen's introductory essay provides an extensive analytical vocabulary for regional politics, and the other authors have fascinating stories to tell about the interrelationships of Southeast Asias states since 1975."

Brantly Womack
           Hugh S. & Winifred B. Cumming Memorial Professor of International Affairs
           University of Virginia

           "The international relations of Southeast Asia has been so dominated by academic studies focusing on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that 'everyday interstate politics' has been eclipsed. This volume by N. Ganesan and Ramses Amer redresses this neglect. International Relations in Southeast Asia: Between Bilateralism and Multilateralism includes nine empirically rich case studies focused on the management of persistent bilateral tensions involving eight of the regions states. This collection will appeal to a wide audience of students, academics, and regional security specialists due to the diversity and expertise of its contributors and its up-to-date analysis."

Carlyle A. Thayer, Professor
           The University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy

           "The volume edited by Ganesan and Amer is a welcome departure from the academic theoretical focus on the regionalist enterprise of ASEAN. As the aspirational goal of an ASEAN community becomes increasingly elusive - if not illusory - this book explains in real policy terms the challenge to the political efficacy of ASEANs multilateral fora, constrained as they are by consensus, non-interference, and fiercely defended state sovereignty. In detailed and sharply etched studies of the key bilateral interests and issues at the state level, the authors demonstrate that rather than recourse to the multilateral diplomatic platform represented by ASEAN, the preferred national mechanisms for the critical areas of cooperation and conflict will continue to be bilateral and the practies of traditional statecraft."

Donald E. Weatherbee
           Russell Distinguished Professor Emeritus
           University of South Carolina


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Conceptual Overview from International Relations Theory by Etel Solingen
Is There Institutional Traction? by Sheldon W Simon
Case Studies Mainland Southeast Asia
3 VietnamThailand Relations after the Cold War by Nguyen Vu Tung
A Troubled Relationship by Ramses Amer
Old Animostiy in a New Bilateral Setting by Pavin Chachavalpongpun
6 ThailandMalaysia Bilateral Relations by N Ganesan
Case Studies Maritime Southeast Asia
Sibling Rivals in a Fraught Family by Meredith L Weiss
8 IndonesiaSingapore Relations by Natasha HamiltonHart
9 Bilateralism and Multilateralism in MalaysiaPhilippines Relations by Isagani de Castro Jr
A Bilateral Relationship Defying ASEANStyle Multilateralist Approaches to Conflict Resolution by KS Nathan
Stable and Fully Cooperative by Ikrar Nusa Bhakti
12 Conclusion

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About the author (2010)

 • N. Ganesan is Professor of Southeast Asian Politics at the Hiroshima Peace Institute in Japan

• Ramses Amer is Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Oriental Languages, Stockholm University, Stockholm and Research Associate, Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Stockholm

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