Asean's Non-Interference Policy
Principles Under Pressure?
By Kao Kim Hourn
ASEAN Academic Press
109 pages, Illustrated, 5 3/4" x 8 3/4"
In recent years, especially since the financial crisis hit the region in July
1997, several Asean leaders have challenged the regional grouping's policies
and have called for a change, if not a departure, from the uncompromising hallowed
principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of member states which
has been a guiding principle of the regional grouping since its founding in
1967. The call for a change in this principle is, as some have argued, legitimate
and timely. They contend that now that Asean has reached a level of political
maturity, the world has become increasingly interdependent, and there is thus
an urgent need to help the newer members of Asean. Should Asean play a more
vigorous role in the post-Cold War world? Is there a need for change from Asean's
principle of non-intervention towards one of "constructive intervention"? This
book assesses whether Asean has abided by its longstanding sacrosanct policy
of non-interference or has shifted to what is now termed "flexible engagement"
or "enhanced interaction". It also examines a number of issues such as the challenges
of the Asian crisis for Asean and Cambodia. Besides contributing to a better
understanding of the changing dynamics of relations between Cambodia and Asean,
it also charts the constant evolution of Asean as a regional entity amidst emerging
developments in the region.
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