A Community of Practice: Explaining Change and Continuity in ASEAN's Diplomatic Environment

Pacific Review

Author/s (editor/s):

Mathew Davies

Publication year:


Publication type:

Journal article

Find this publication at:
Taylor & Francis

Mathew Davies, ‘A Community of Practice: Explaining Change and Continuity in ASEAN’s Diplomatic Environment’, Pacific Review, 29(2) 2016: 211-33.

Despite change in the aims, institutions and informal diplomacy of ASEAN since 1997, the formal diplomatic code of conduct remains locked in a traditionalist mode first outlined in the 1970s. Existing approaches from mainstream International Relations theorising are unable to adequately explain this continuity and change. The recent ‘practice turn’ in theorising offers distinct explanatory advantage, which this article illustrates by arguing that the formation of an ‘ASEAN rationality’ between 1967 and 1997 fundamentally curtailed the ability of regional diplomats to revise ASEAN post 1997, resulting in the coexistence of new and old norms in ASEAN’s organisation design.

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