Date & time
Tuesday 16 March 2010
Crawford School Bldg 132, Seminar Room 4
The enthusiasm among Asian and European leaders and elites at the launch of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Bangkok in 1996 soon shifted toward pessimism, criticism and ignorance. Why has ASEM survived to this day? To answer this question, this talk will examine evidence from 82 in-depth interviews in five Asian countries as well as data from documents and on-line news. The overall finding is that ASEM has been maintained by East Asian countries due to the intangible ways in which ASEM forums facilitate regional identity-building and allow for the pursuit of foreign policy advantages. The findings also suggest that ASEM’s informal institutional arrangement has helped circumvent complexities in inter-regional relations. For these reasons, maintaining ASEM seems to be more useful than ignoring it.