ASEAN and the rise of a new interstate order in the Pacific Rim

  • Marian Ehret Stamford International University
  • Ricardo Lucio Ortiz Stamford International University
Keywords: AEC, AFTA, APEC, ASEAN, free trade agreements, FTAAP, RCEP, TPP, Westphalian Order


This paper analyzes incentives that aim at deepening the existing economic relations between the different ASEAN nations. The environment supporting these incentives has progressed so far that national leaders in the region are relinquishing long-held views regarding national sovereignty. The development, understandably, does not always occur by voluntary choice. Case studies will provide the necessary source material for both this research and for a methodological analysis. ASEAN’s economic integration turns increasingly into a new reality. This process does not happen without setbacks. The American withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, initiated by the Trump Administration, can be perceived as the most recent major obstacle that the further ASEAN integration encountered. Despite this change of direction in Washington’s foreign policy, plenty of other initiatives for further regional integration still exist. The disappearance of boundaries and a closer political-economic integration seem to be foreseeable results on the still distant horizon. The existing Westphalian order in this part of the world is waning and a new system of intergovernmental relations is on the rise.