Security Regimes and Order in International Politics: Security Regime in Southeast Asia: a comparison Concert of Europe and ARF
Renny Candradewi 070810532
Southeast Asia is a region with typically Asia countries comprise of great variety of nations (so called multiculturalism), states, and policies in relatively moderate size, geography, topography, and history. Southeast Asia region is made of Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines and Brunei. Each nation relatively shares the same history of decolonization (post war era) and post Cold War era. These two events successfully revolutionized the current Southeast Asia distinct characters. First, post war era marks the decolonization and colonial withdrawal from colonies such as England (Malaysia and Brunei), Netherland (Indonesia), United Stats (Philippines), and China (Cambodia and Vietnam). Second, it is fascinating to outline that the aftermath of Cold War has brought Southeast Asia countries into division political ideologies: democratic (Singapore and Philippines), semi-democratic (Malaysia, Thailand, Laos and Indonesia), and socialism (Cambodia, Burma, and Vietnam), and autocratic (Brunei).
Southeast Asia region is not a region without conflict. These two characters—division political ideology and multiculturalism—primarily make unification and political integration become troublesome. Rather engaging in political integration ensuring security, Southeast Asia nation-states relatively busy to attain political stability. For instances, Indonesia has been disturbed by 1997 economic recession (until now) and several separatist movements (GAM-Aceh, RMS, OPM-Papua), Burma has been struggling to survive from humanitarian violation by Junta military and fighting for democracy, Thailand is shaked by the 2010 riots struggling to advocate Ex-PM Thaksin S return back to homeland, Philippines is struggling to tackle down separatist movement MILF. Borders dispute also take into account in heighten tension among neighboring countries such as Malacca Strait (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand), Spratly Island (Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and China) etc.
These countries have been participating to support a regional organization that performs as a joint action managing various and broad regional cooperation. More importantly, in ninth Summit in October 2003, ASEAN has announced its intention to crate an ASEAN Community based upon three pillars: ASEAN Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. Particularly, ASEAN Security Community emerged due to the end of Cold War, the advance of globalization and functioning as constructive diplomacy to maintain peace and harmony among members in the region to cope with increasing political and security in a globalised world. Furthermore, ARF is carrying out as the implementation of action plan for the ASEAN Security Community (ASC) that also contributes to peace and security in the Asia Pacific region. Thus we could say that ARF is acting to implement the role of security regime in order to maintain regional security and realize the vision of ASC
These only a few examples of what Southeast Asia countries are experiencing. One solution emanating and interesting to examine is the presence of ‘security regime’ necessarily to guarantee peaceful settlement and peaceful cooperation within the region by collaborating joint action militarily in any implemented policy. This paper is to address whether security regime is necessary to ensure more secure political stability in Southeast Asia (instead of establishing forum accommodating dialogue between members and engagement dialogue partner countries), and how it is effective to play significant role to maintain regional security.
- 1. Conditions the formation ‘ARF’
In Asia Pacific, the ARF is the first ever, and as of 2004 the only one region-wide inter-governmental forum for security dialogue, drawing together 24 states bearing on the security of the region. ARF is carrying out action plan for the ASEAN Security Community (ASC) that also contributes to peace and security in the Asia Pacific region. Hence ARF is acting to implement the role of security regime in order to maintain regional security and realize the vision of ASC. It is true that ARF remains to function at large as a broad forum for negotiation and consultation. But to say this does not necessarily means that they are not qualified as regimes. Following Robert Jervis’s work, the regimes here are defined as those principles, rules, and norms that permit nations to be restrained in their behavior in the belief that others will reciprocate.
ARF is bearing regime structure in which it is embedded by relevant concepts of regime, namely ‘cooperative security,’ ‘multilateralism’ and ‘regionalization’, as the core principles within its structural organization. The conditions which is propitious for the formation of ARF as security regime takes into account one state fears that there is outsider (sphere influence) attempting reach his objectives by sacrificing and leaving others insecure in the borders. It is best exemplified by the future of China and India economic development and the advance of globalization. Many have considered the motive was to build a bulwark against communism, although officially the purpose of the organization was claimed “to accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region and to promote regional peace and security.”
By 1997, most of Southeast Asia nations are hit by financial crisis. By 1997, it is discovered that Southeast Asia nations are prone to outside intervention either economically and politically. The 1997 financial crisis has brought end the vision of ASIAN values, what has been promoted by former Malaysia PM Mahathir Mohammad in 1990.
The urgency of implementing ARF into the framework of security community must not simply be viewed as Indonesia’s merely intention to share popularity gained by Singapore—due to her notion to secure economic interest by establishing a community, Singapore is the advocate promoting community that is substantially accommodating the trade disputes among ASEAN members. It must be seen that ARF is failing to act as security regime due to state-civil society engagement in the area of human rights, clearly an important aspect in the quest for a security community, remains largely on a national or domestic level (if at all in some states) rather than on an regional plane. This is due largely to ASEAN consensual decision-making targeted at the lowest common denominator and its principle of on-interference in internal affairs of member-states. Hence Southeast Asia countries require a security regime adopting a firm security policy thoroughly. This notion must be integrated and fully supported by enabling internal intervention in outbreak conflict relatively. So this security community does not continuously remain as a wither community actuating merely in the dialogue forum.
- 2. The Concert of Europe
Concert of Europe, its genesis is rooted from 1815-1823. It is created post devastating Napoleonic War (1789-1802). Concert of Europe is acting as defensive realism. The domestic leaders did not seek to maximize their individual power positions, they did not always take advantage of others’ temporary weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and they made more concessions than they needed to. They also reluctantly to use force when others tried to broke the balance of power. In order word, Robert Jervis describes, their domestic leaders behaved differently from normal power politics that seek to implement ‘offensive realisms’—as Mearsheimer pointed out, state pursuit expansionist policy onto her neighbors mainly because the international system makes them do so. This implies that in the outset formation of Concert of Europe ensuing 1815 until 1823 are consisted moderate leaders. After an early period of success, the Concert began to weaken as the common goals of the Great Powers were gradually replaced by growing political and economic rivalries.
Comparisons that we can draw from ARF and Concert of Europe is: first, Concert of Europe and ARF are acting as security regime at their time in which they share common values of regionalization, multilateralism, and cooperative security; second, they both promote to create peaceful and harmony collaboration by balancing powers between their members to prevent future war (Concert of Europe) and to support integrated community (ARF); third, the formation from the outset is based on moderate leaders that pursue defensive realism in order to set up collaboration and coordination. The different is: first, albeit its former institution has demised in 1823, the principle continues to develop and transform into a new body of today we call ‘European Union’. Meanwhile, ARF is still fragile and it is still structurally weak. Concert of Europe is supported by the shared stake that all major powers had to avoid future war. ARF is formed due to consideration the presence of mutual enemy—external influence within its borders. Hence ARF is merely functioning as consultation and negotiation forum. The next question needed to address will be how Southeast Asia then effectively transform this ‘newly born’ ARF into a firmer regional security regime.
Security regime is thus both especially valuable and hard to achieve. However, it is evident that there is demand for security regime in Southeast Asia—as it is known as a very instable region due to military conflict, border dispute and authoritarianism. Security regime ensures more stability by restraining completion among nations.
Conclusion ‘Theoretical Explanation’
Security is defined by the absence of fear—even though the concept of security has been broadening and widening but yet it remains contentious. Meanwhile, regime is defined by the presence of order to regulate and restrain behavior of all international actors. Borrowing defining term of security regime by Bull, the explanation begins with the assumption: that ARF is set of common interests and common values that they conceive themselves to be bound onto set of rules.
Bull’s definition of order consists of goals and set of arrangements. Six goals he posited are preservation of the state system, maintenance of external sovereignty, limitation on violence, keeping of promises. The ARF contents of rules that govern interaction of Southeast Asian countries (members): rules of normative principles, minimum condition, and regulating cooperation. Therefore, in order to survive, ARF must comprise of order that is sustained by contingent common interest and considerations that power play a major role in maintaining order, common interests and rules by shared institution that creates the rules, and consensus.
If Bull articulated that order should be maintained, then a regime is another way to sustain order. Regime is dynamics of international organization with organizing principle for instance distribution of power that created by ideational and material factors. Regime applies set of rules enabling international politic to become systemic. Regime maintains order by hegemony, balancing powers, and collective security. As minimalist order, regime is able to impose rules and sanction. We can conclude that as long as those components of regimes and orders still present, there will always be a demand for security regimes by Southeast Asian countries. Hence Southeast Asian members must implement and maintain those components within the structural body and principles of ARF.
However, the presence of uncertain influencing and intervening state behavior to violate agreement makes it hard to achieve. Thus undermines the demand of security regime. The ‘prisoner dilemma’ will also take into account situation in which state tends to pursue rational self interests that leads to ‘zero-sum game’ and chase ‘absolute gain’ rather than ‘relative gain’. Goals may be hard to achieve because of fear that other members may be violating the agreement and attempting to gain short-run security.
Second obstacles is globalization in which: ‘committing ‘security regime’(state-centric) vs globalized world (non-state centric)’.International relations realm continuously echoes two main perspectives: whether state remains as unitary actors and whether it will be undermined by the presence of subsidiary actors as the result of multipolarity. The analysis always points on liberalism vis a vis realism excluding critical theories. The landmark of today world politics in the post Cold War era is recognized by the presence of globalization progression changing and adding the fresh components onto international politics. In other word, thing that is previously insignificant, increasingly gains more attention. High politics issues gradually shift into lower politics ground.
The non-state characters are increasingly modernized and globalized. Their main agenda and activity are specialized and narrowed. They moreover pioneer that non-state centric issues determine state performance in front of international politics. Once the world politics become multipolarised, the non-state actor movement is broadened and maximized. They increasingly become more successful to intervene and influence international politics agenda. There are need and urgency for them to move dynamically with contemporary issues such as poverty, education, culture, malnutrition and else.
Studying above case regarding the outset of ARF as ‘security regime’ in Southeast Asia, we can conclude that the demand of security regime will depend on situated condition sets up by member states.
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Robert Jervis, 1982, Security Regime, pp. 357-378
Robert W Compton, Jr., 2004, East Asian Democratization: Impact of Globalization, Culture, and Economy, Praeger, London., pp.1-17
Words count 2484
 Robert W Compton, Jr., 2004, East Asian Democratization: Impact of Globalization, Culture, and Economy, Praeger, London., pp.1-17
 Ong Keng Yong, 2004, Comprehensive Integration towards The Asean Community, Santiago 18 November 2004, Assosiacion of Southeast Asian Nations, [ONLINE] accessed December 18, 2010., http://www.aseansec.org/16570.htm
 Eunsook Chung, 2005, Cooperative Security Regimes: A Comparison of OSCE and ARF, the 5th Pan-European International Relations Conference held in the Netherlands Congress Centre, The Hague, September 9-11, 2004., p. 182
 Ibid., p. 184
 Ibid., p. 187
 Robert Jervis, 1982, Security Regime, pp. 357-378
 ASEAN principle and belief in the existence of Asean countries as a unique set of institutions and governments that reflect region’s cultural, history, and philosophy (Amartya Sen, 1997, Human rights and Asian values: what Kee Kuan Yew and Le Peng don’t understand about Asia, copyrights at The New Republic, July 14, 1997 v217 n2-3 p33(8), [ONLINE] accessed December 18, 2010., http://www.hmb.utoronto.ca/HMB303H/weekly_supp/week-02/Sen_Asian_Values.pdf)
 Johan Saravanamuttu, 2005, wither the asean security community? Some reflections, IJAPS Vol. 1 2005 (Inaugural Issue), USM Press, Malaysia, [ONLINE] accessed 18 December 2010, http://web.usm.my/ijaps/articles/johan2.pdf
 Robert Jervis, 1982, op.cit., p.362
 Mearsheimer, in Matthew Rendall, 2006, Defensive realism and the Concert of Europe, Review of International Studies (2006), 32, 523–540 Copyright British International Studies Association
doi:10.1017/S0260210506007145, [ONLINE] accessed 18 December 2010, http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/540/1/Rendall_RIS_article_2006.pdf., p. 524
 Robert Jervis, 1982, Security regime, p. 358
 Ibid., p.35.
 Ibid., p.37.
 Ibid., p. 358