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Published on Feb 8, 2017
Speaker: Professor Amitav Acharya.
About the Lecture: As ASEAN marks its 50th year, this lecture will review its achievements, challenges and prospects. During the last fifty years, ASEAN has gained a regional and global prominence that its founders would not have anticipated. But ASEAN is also in the danger of being a victim of its past success. A combination of regional and external circumstances in the 1990s tempted ASEAN to take on tasks and roles that it was not created or suited to undertake. ASEAN’s membership, purpose and role have expanded considerably. But the regional environment today is considerably different, especially with the emergence of a more powerful, assertive China and the geopolitical uncertainties caused by the US Presidential election. While ASEAN has undertaken an ambitious program of community-building, its institutions and resources, both material and normative, remain inadequate to meet its new obligations and burdens. The lecture will conclude by offering some suggestions as to how ASEAN can move forward in an increasingly complex global and regional environment.
About the Speaker: Amitav Acharya is the Boeing Company Chair in International Relations at the Schwarzman Scholars Program, Tsinghua University, Beijing, and Distinguished Professor of International Relations and the UNESCO Chair in Transnational Challenges and Governance at the School of International Service, American University, Washington, DC. Among his major works on Southeast Asia are The Quest for Identity: International Relations of Southeast Asia (Oxford 2000); Constructing a Security Community in Southeast Asia: ASEAN and the Problems of Regional Order, 3rd edition (Routledge 2014), Whose Ideas Matter: Agency and Power in Asian Regionalism (Cornell and ISEAS, 2009); The Making of Southeast Asia (Cornell and ISEAS, 2013); and East of India, South of China: Sino-Indian Encounters in Southeast Asia (Oxford 2017). He was elected to the Christensen Fellowship at Oxford University and held the Nelson Mandela Visiting Professorship in International Relations at Rhodes University, South Africa. He is the first non-Western scholar to be elected as the President of the International Studies Association, the most respected and influential global network of scholars in International Relations. Acharya started his academic career as a Fellow of ISEAS (1987-89).