Indigenizing Order and Agency: A Southeast Asian Perspective on the ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific’ and the Rising China


The idea of the ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’ (FOIP) widely promoted by a number of major powers represents the evolving, yet competing, order of global politics. In light of these developments, this paper surveys the indigenous thinking of Southeast Asian International Relations (IR) in the context of the FOIP strategies. The main task is to make preliminary inquiries into three broad sets of the ‘local’ Southeast Asian scholarships undertaken by scholars academically domiciled within the region. First, what kinds of regional order have been conceivably established, replaced, or re-instituted amidst contesting power transformations shaped by major powers? Second, against this backdrop, how has the social identity of agency of ASEAN been formed, shared, and endured? Third, how has Southeast Asia actualized its agency to be able to cultivate their strategic positions, despite weaker/smaller actors, in this context? This paper argues that these broad understandings of Southeast Asian IR are enriching a ‘Global IR’ research program by incorporating the study of regions, regionalism, and agency into the pluralism of IR.

Author Information
M.L. Pinitbhand Paribatra, Thammasat University, Thailand

Paper Information
Conference: ACAS2022
Stream: South-East Asian Studies (including Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos)

This paper is part of the ACAS2022 Conference Proceedings (View)
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