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Southeast Asia: a community of diversity
journal contributionposted on 2007-01-01, 00:00 authored by Damien KingsburyDamien Kingsbury
The region known as the Southeast provides the basis for a broad political community characterized by cultural and ethnic diversity, disparities in economic performance, and differences in regime and constitutional foundations. In recent years, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) group of nations has made strides toward building a community based on respect for these differences. Despite a growing acceptance for democratic processes and human rights, the influence of these values over existing institutions and state behavior remains incomplete. The future development of the ASEAN region, and the nations that comprise it, is likely to be based on the strength and character of the relationships these states forge with one another and with more powerful external actors.