The Culture Mandala, 6 no. 1: Copyright © Siska Lund 2003  

A Mandala for the Southeast Asian International System

By Siska Lund (1)


With membership of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) having doubled since its inception in 1967, talk of the organisation as a 'community' has abounded. This was strengthened by the Bali Declaration in October 2003 to commit to "a single market and production base with free flow of goods, services, investments and labour and freer flow of capital"; though one analyst cautioned that "ASEAN is not a new EU in the making".(2) Indeed, criticisms suggest that cooperation among the ASEAN 10 - Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos - is largely mythical.(3) What then, is the relationship between ASEAN and civil society, security and economy in the early 21st century? What is the configuration of actors, goals, and contextual resistance surrounding the debates over collective identity and regional community in Southeast Asia? What events and experiences have helped facilitate the process of creating synergy in the region?

This article delineates the areas where there might be some consonance between the dynamics underlying the present Southeast Asian international system and those linked to the ancient Mandala kingdoms in India and pre-colonial Southeast Asia. The central argument advanced in this context is that ASEAN is capable of developing a distinctive 'mandalic community' in Southeast Asia and is not about to lose its viability and relevance in the 21st century.

"Mandala" - From Concept to Operation

There are three basic properties of a mandala: a centre; symmetry; and cardinal points. In ancient India and pre-colonial Southeast Asia, the mandala described the circle of kingdoms within which a ruler had to build relationships, in order to ensure the security of his own realm.(4) The classical Indian strategist, Kautilya, emphasised in the Arthasastra (5) that the mandala depended, as Dellios points out: "on a spiritually powerful centre (the ruler) for domestic resilience, and a mastery of the meaning of relationships for external protection. Here the sacred and the secular combined in the efficacy of the conduct of mandala politics internally and externally."(6)

The use of ceremonial structures as analogies of the state controlled by mandala overlords pertains to cosmological beliefs. As noted by Dellios:

Palaces and royal cities in traditional India, China and Southeast Asia depicted the heaven-earth cosmogram of the divinely imbued king at the centre of a square. The square, in turn, was divided into cardinal points and sectoral interests. These were linked by strategic gateways and nested within a circle of divinely and demonically ascribed human tendencies.(7)

In order to gauge the substance of the 'mandala' concept in the ASEAN context, this article identifies four key 'mirror events' that allow a systematic appraisal of both discourse and behaviour in modern-day Southeast Asia. This article is confined to the following 'mirror events': the Asian economic crisis of 1997; the Indonesian smoke haze environmental problem; the admission of ASEAN's four newest members, Camabodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar in the 1990s; and finally, the continuing process of globalisation. These events have been chosen for their diplomatic significance for all ASEAN members.

It is argued here that 'mirror events', such as the above-mentioned, are the impetus for ASEAN to serve as a platform for a greater sense of 'community' - a modern-day mandala. 'Mirror events' cause nation-states to reflect on themselves and those around them. On a more philosophical level, it will be seen that the mirror has symbolic significance that can provide a more complete picture of the driving forces behind ASEAN cooperation and regional community in Southeast Asia.

Modernising the 'Central Deity'

Integral to the concept of a mandala is the notion that power emanates from a central deity. The attraction of the central deity is that it simulates the exalting experience of enlightenment.(8) The centre represents purity in its highest form.

Since not everything can be described in the totality of the mandala, for logistical and spiritual reasons, symbolism is necessary.(9) Most useful for the purposes of constructing a modern mandala for Southeast Asia, is the application of the mirror as a symbol to represent an influential force emanating from the centre. Mirrors are powerful symbols in that they literally reflect one's phenomenal existence.(10) For the purposes of this article, the mirror is useful to orient human awareness and serve as a facilitator for contemplation and reflection.

What is the ideal that ASEAN would like to reflect? In December 1997, Vision 2020 was unveiled by the ASEAN Heads of State and Government. This document envisioned "ASEAN as a concert of Southeast Asian nations, outward looking, living in peace, stability and prosperity, bonded together in partnership in dynamic development and in a community of caring societies."(11) Furthermore, Vision 2020 "envisions the entire Southeast Asia to be, by 2020, an ASEAN community conscious of ties of its history, aware of its cultural heritage and bound by a common regional identity."(12) By 2003, ASEAN's Vision 2020 elaborated on the single market noted above in the Bali Declaration.

Internal Cardinal Points

Cardinal points are considered essential to the form of the mandala. Four internal cardinal points have been identified that reflect the core values of Vision 2020. As will become obvious, these core values manifest in the deliberative processes of both intra- and extra-regional actors as they contemplate their role in Southeast Asia in the 21st century. Vision 2020 results in the following core values:

  1. peace: ASEAN aims to create a community of Southeast Asian nations at peace with one another and at peace with the world;
  2. prosperity: ASEAN aims to achieve prosperity for its people and steadily improve their lives;
  3. progress: ASEAN's rich diversity provides strength and inspiration; and
  4. partnership: ASEAN aims to encourage cooperation and integration at all levels of life.

Mirror Events

Indeed from the early 1990s onwards, with the first economic undertaking towards creating an ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA),(13) ASEAN has required greater co-ordination and cooperation.(14) This shift in the early 1990s has seen ASEAN begin to transcend (but still include) national resilience by embracing the possibility of a community that might well be described as 'mandalic'. The years of phenomenal economic performance - the so-called 'Asia miracle' years - were key to ASEAN's growing confidence in the 1990s.(15) Many within and outside the region envisaged a prominent and exemplary role for ASEAN, especially in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)(16) and via Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).(17) But ASEAN's credibility and international standing have suffered as a result of series of unfortuitous 'mirror events' since 1997.

The questions that arise are, do the lessons from these events support the notion of creating a regional 'mandalic' community? Can these 'mirror events' serve as driving forces for further integration within ASEAN?

Mirror Event 1: Asian Economic Crisis

Conspicuous amongst 'mirror events' is ASEAN's failure to respond in time to the region's economic crisis in 1997. Expectations were high that ASEAN would respond effectively to the crisis. But it took more than five months before the first coordinated response was reached.(18)

The economic crisis exposed considerable political and economic problems, otherwise hidden to external scrutiny from both the international and intranational community. Massive unemployment, negative growth, stock market crashes and severe currency devaluation forced millions of people below the poverty line. The severity of the situation made it a significant 'mirror event' - an event whereby for the first time the whole issue of economic globalisation as well as financial and trade liberalisation were called into serious consideration.

At the regional level, the discordant atmosphere of the Asian economic crisis served as an impetus to further economic cooperation among ASEAN countries. Indeed, in the years following the crisis, there has been support for greater transparency and the development of an early warning system enabling the exchange of financial information between governments.(19) Actions to carry out reforms remain in the realm of each economy, but the phenomenon of regional contagion has been mirrored by the necessity to implement structural reforms into the regional agenda of dialogue and cooperation.(20) From this counter-perspective, ASEAN has moved forward to initiate the process of regional consultation and cooperation on monetary and financial issues. As trade links in ASEAN strengthen, and as the prospects of contagion heighten, further evolution of ASEAN mechanisms for addressing regional challenges is likely to occur.

Mirror Event 2: Indonesia's 'Haze' Environment Problem

Another significant visible symbol of ASEAN's failure in 1997-1998 was the smoke haze that blanketed much of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. It affected some 70 million people in the region, burned 8 million hectares, and cost an estimated US$4.5 billion in damage.(21) According to Schweithelm and Glover:

The 1997/98 fires resulted from poor forest management and weak fire control coupled with severe, but not unprecedented drought. The lowlands of Sumatra and Kalimantan will continue to be converted to plantations and other non-forest uses in coming years, but means must be found to control fire use to prevent destruction of forests that are designated for timber production, nature conservation, and watershed protection, and to avoid air pollution and damage to the atmosphere.(22)

The smoke haze from Indonesia's jungle burn off which enveloped neighbouring states, eventually outweighed one of ASEAN's foundation principles, that of non-interference in member states' affairs.(23)

At a regional level, there have been obvious changes to the ASEAN way of doing things in response to the environmental crises caused by the Indonesian fires and haze. Tay and Estanislao(24) outline three developments that stand out in this regard. The first notable development is the convening of regular meetings to review Indonesia's progress to minimise the impact of haze on neighbouring states.(25) Second, these meetings have gone beyond the exchange of formalities. It is notable in this regard that ASEAN officials on the environment have officially referred to Indonesia's forestry and land use policies, issues that would normally be considered within the purview of sovereign rights. The third development is that ASEAN has increasingly opened its proceedings to international institutions (26) and even to non-governmental organisations.(27)

Collectively, these developments may not have solved the environmental problem but they have pointed ASEAN forward, in a direction of greater openness towards member states and to related constituencies outside government. More importantly, this brief example of an environmental catastrophe reflects a relationship between environment and regional security in Southeast Asia.

It stands to reason that if the sovereignty of a state is compromised when its environment is degraded by pollutants emanating from neighbouring countries, then a potential for conflict and tension in the region emerges. Such a threat alerts those involved to the need for further cooperation. Thus the smoke haze environmental problem, as a 'mirror event', teaches that adopting an approach to solve environmental problems in a comprehensive and cooperative manner will cater for the security interests of the various states in a better way than if the states do not cooperate.

Mirror Event 3: Admission of New Members

With the admission of Myanmar and Laos in 1997 and Cambodia in 1999, ASEAN is now a 10-member organisation. At the 1995 Bangkok Summit, ASEAN leaders reiterated their intentions of bringing all 10 states together according to the goals of ASEAN's founders in 1967.(28) However, some have observed that this enlargement has contributed to ASEAN's cultural, political and economic diversity, making any consensus-based decision even more difficult and leaving unresolved more intra-ASEAN disputes and tensions.(29)

On the eve of ASEAN's 30th anniversary, a military coup broke out in Cambodia between Premier Hun Sen and Co-Premier Prince Norodom Ranaridh. Under diplomatic pressure to come up with a response, ASEAN postponed Cambodia's admission, citing its internal political situation. This decision was not enthusiastically welcomed by ASEAN's more conservative members because it went against ASEAN's principle of non-intervention.(30) Remarkably, while Cambodia's membership was postponed, ASEAN proceeded to admit Myanmar, another country with a dismal record of human rights and democracy.

Misgivings about Myanmar's human rights record on the side of some ASEAN members became secondary to a collective assertion that outsiders should not interfere in ASEAN affairs and a common purpose to fulfil the ASEAN-10 aspiration. Still, at an ASEAN ministerial meeting in Cambodia in June 2003, ASEAN ministers took Myanmar's military regime to task for its brutal attack on the National League for Democracy. The ASEAN ministers also called for the release of NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and urged the government to negotiate with the democracy forces for a political transition.(31) ASEAN's response in June 2003 was a collective recognition by Myanmar's closest neighbours and traditional support base that the conduct of its military regime, the State Peace and Development Council, is no longer simply an internal matter for Myanmar.(32)

The seemingly precipitate expansion of ASEAN was driven, in part, by a regional ambition to build a community in Southeast Asia with its own identity and defining ideals. These, in turn, allow for the solidarity needed to bargain with extra-regional powers (see below) and resist undue pressure as may arise from time to time in trade, geopolitics, and human rights issues.(33) ASEAN has taken as a matter of course, the political difficulty that the accession of Myanmar has caused. ASEAN has regarded it as worth the short-term price it has to pay for the early impetus it can give towards the long-term build-up of an ASEAN community. From this perspective, an ASEAN community is seen as a strategic, long-term imperative well worth the short-term price of the apparent haste to admit as members those nations several countries consider as unprepared and undeserving.

Mirror Event 4: Globalisation

Despite the myriad of 'mirror events' that continue to unfold in the Southeast Asia region, nothing has been more phenomenal than the impact of globalisation. The economic dimension of globalisation begs serious consideration. The Asian economic crisis made abundantly clear the level of interdependence that now existed between nation-states. Such interconnectivity between states contributed to bringing about not only social misery and economic disaster but political instability as well.

As a 'mirror event', globalisation has forced ASEAN countries to confront the challenge to extract the best from the process of globalisation and, in return, to contribute towards developing the region and making it more harmonious. In this context, "the term 'development' may be expected to take on a more culturally nuanced meaning. This meaning is likely to reflect holistic and inclusive ways of thinking, be they in business, politics or socio-cultural relations... The [mandalic community] allows the integration of local and universal values in a regional context."(34)

Globalisation is forcing ASEAN to realise that the idea of the state in Southeast Asia is not immutable. Localisms are currently challenging existing states from within, while external global influences are challenging them from without.(35) The subsequent adoption of Vision 2020 by ASEAN governments indicates that ASEAN countries realise that to be able to respond to the new challenges of globalisation, ASEAN must help facilitate what amounts to a Southeast Asian 'mandalic community'.

'Extra-Regional Players' - External Cardinal Points

Just as there are internal cardinal points in a mandala to signify the interconnectedness between a central deity and its immediate surroundings, so too can there be external cardinal points to signify the connections between external forces and a concentric mandala model.(36) In the mandala construct discussed here, the following represent external cardinal points:

  1. China;
  2. United States of America;
  3. Intergovernmental Organisations (IGOs); and
  4. Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs)


  1. Strategy and China (37)
  2. In recent years, the People's Republic of China (PRC) has actively been developing a presence in Southeast Asia, especially in ASEAN's newer member states with trade agreements, increased diplomatic contact and weapon sales.(38) According to some analysts,(39) China's growing influence in Myanmar for example, is motivated by the country's strategic coastline bordering the Andaman Sea which would give China an alternative route to the Indian Ocean and thus secure China's sea lines of communication. It would also give the PRC a foothold near the territorial waters of India, its traditional rival.

  3. China-ASEAN cooperation
  4. In November 2002, leaders of China and ASEAN reached consensus on strengthening cooperation in the new century. The leaders negotiated on the establishment of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA).(40) CAFTA is a wise policy choice under the circumstances of economic globalisation and regional economic growth. The proposed establishment of an ASEAN-China Free Trade Area within 10 years will allow ASEAN countries to make early inroads into the Chinese market through preferential duties and it will also lead to greater specialisation in production based on comparative advantage, thus attracting more investment flows in the region.(41) Furthermore, since China hopes for a peaceful international environment to pursue its economic development and regional stability, enhancing cooperation with ASEAN is in its common interest.(42)

  5. Security and China

Despite China's economic interests in the region, it cannot be forgotten that at the height of the economic crisis in 1998, Beijing reinforced its claim to the so-called 'fishermen shelters' on Mischief Reef, an atoll in the eastern Spratly Islands, with satellite communications facilities, radar and gun emplacements.(43) Commentators have suggested that this move was a blatant opportunistic act to capitalise on ASEAN's weaknesses.(44)

The dispute over the Spratly Islands has involved several ASEAN members and spanned several decades. Just as the situation was thought to be in deadlock, China re-ignited hope for a future resolution to the dispute by ratifying the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation on 28 June 2003. This Treaty is a central treaty which was originally established by ASEAN in 1976. Ratification commits China to use peaceful means to resolve territorial conflicts. In adopting the treaty, Beijing has agreed not to "participate in any activity which shall constitute a threat to the political and economic stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity" of other signatory states.(45) Signing the treaty furthers the cooperative relations between China and the ASEAN countries.

United States of America

  1. Strategy and the USA
  2. It is important for Washington to support continued ASEAN development because the USA's regional interests are best secured only if ASEAN is cooperative, politically cohesive, and each of its members economically vibrant and politically stable.

    ASEAN nations sit astride significant international waterways that are crucial to the USA's economic and security interests. The sea line of communication that passes through the South China Sea via the Strait of Malacca to the Indian Ocean and the Middle East is one of the busiest ocean highways in the world. Any disruption on these seas would adversely affect shipping worldwide. Furthermore, shipping tonnage through Southeast Asia consists mainly of strategic commodities such as crude oil, liquid natural gas, coal and iron ore that are headed for Asian ports.(46)

    Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and lately China - all important trade partners for the USA - are dependent on these energy imports. That is why freedom of navigation, ensuring the supply of energy and its unimpeded transportation, are major security concerns in the Asia-Pacific region. The USA's prosperity depends on the economic vitality of its Asian trading partners who, in turn, need free access to these shipping routes.

  3. Trade and the USA
  4. The ASEAN sub-region is the third largest overseas market for US exports after the European Union and Japan.(47) From 1990-1999 ASEAN was the fastest growing major US export market after China.(48) It is clear, then, that the United States has an interest in ASEAN's economic well-being. Above all, Washington needs an ASEAN that remains outward-looking and firmly committed to free trade and regional economic liberalisation, as this reinforces American interests in preserving an open multilateral trading system.

  5. Security and the USA

To varying degrees, ASEAN countries acknowledge that the American strategic presence is crucial as a stabilising force in the Southeast Asia region. Several ASEAN states, including Singapore and Thailand, have thus offered base facilities and logistic support to US forces, concluded bilateral military agreements and openly voiced their concern that the US should remain fully engaged in Asia.(49)

Intergovernmental Organisations (IGOs)

IGOs play a fundamental role in the Southeast Asian international system. (Indeed, ASEAN itself is an IGO.) Not only do they provide a means for expressing the individual and collective wills of states, they also assert independent influence on interstate relations by promoting socio-economic interdependence and contributing to the management and resolution of international conflict.(50)

  1. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
  2. UNESCO was established in 1945 with the purpose of advancing, through educational, scientific and cultural relations, the objective of international peace.(51) Aware that ASEAN was established to promote regional peace, economic development, social progress and cultural development, UNESCO realised that its goals along with ASEAN's could be effectively advanced through cooperation and joint action.(52) Thus since 1998 UNESCO and ASEAN have forged a relationship with the aim of building a culture of peace in Southeast Asia.(53)

  3. United Nations Peacekeeping Forces
  4. Within ASEAN, the East Timor crisis is a 'mirror event'. Given that Indonesia came under intense international scrutiny, it has led to critical reflection on the practice of non-interference in the domestic affairs of member states as well as on the question of the organisation's response to a situation where regional and global norms do not appear to coincide.

    On 5 May 1999, Indonesia became party to an agreement with Portugal that under UN auspices, mechanisms would be established to determine whether the people of East Timor would accept a new autonomous status within Indonesia or whether they would prefer independence. On the basis of this agreement, the UN Assistance Mission to East Timor (UNAMET) was established and charged with the mission of gauging the views of the East Timorese on their political future.(54)

    On 27 September 1999, Indonesia formally transferred authority for security in the territory to the UN-sponsored International Force for East Timor (INTERFET) command.(55) The UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) authority that succeeded INTERFET showed that the UN had a direct and sustained role in the region. East Timor emerged as the world's newest nation in 2002.

  5. Asian Development Bank (ADB)

The ADB is a multilateral development finance institution. It was established in 1966 with the aim of reducing poverty and promoting progress in Asia and the Pacific.(56) In response to the destabilizing events that began in 1997, the ADB used its technical assistance programmes to support an initiative to set up an ASEAN Surveillance Process in October 1998. The aim was to establish a regional early warning system to try to prevent future crises.(57) As a regional institution, in partnership with governments, the ADB has a clear comparative advantage in promoting regional cooperation.(58)

In other areas of economic development and cooperation, the first ADB-assisted investment fund was approved in April 2003. The fund provides US$15 million in equity participation to provide capital for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in ASEAN, and China.(59) The creation of the fund increases future regional cooperation by generating opportunities for SMEs and implicitly promotes regional security through fostering economic well-being.

Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)

As the Southeast Asian region has become more interdependent, the need for NGOs that facilitate and co-ordinate functional interactions transnationally has increased. In recent years, NGOs have been influential in placing human rights and environmental issues on the agenda of ASEAN.(60)

  1. Environmental Issues
  2. Vision 2020 recognises the importance of the environment in its proclamation that "we envisage a clean and green ASEAN with fully established mechanisms for sustainability of its natural resources, and the high quality of life for its people".(61) Both ASEAN and NGOs play a role in making this aspiration part of the ASEAN agenda through not only direct campaigns to influence ASEAN and its member governments, but also through their success in developing a global consensus on sustainable development.

    As early as 1994, fires burning in Indonesia caused a regional haze crisis that prompted NGOs to call for regional action. The pressure from NGOs influenced a meeting amongst ASEAN Environmental Ministers and the formulation of an ASEAN Cooperation Plan on Transboundary Pollution.(62)

    As the haze problem worsened in 1997, NGOs in Malaysia as well as other affected countries called upon their governments to take action. Petitioners in Malaysia wanted 'stricter monitoring of companies operating in the ASEAN countries.'(63) With no action coming from the Indonesian government, informal networks formed between NGOs in the region. NGOs in Indonesia shared evidence with NGOs in the affected countries.(64) NGOs have since continued to put pressure on ASEAN officials to work harder on the regional haze problem.

  3. Human rights Issues
  4. The movement in support of self-determination for East Timor is one notable example that involved NGOs.(65) In 1998 an NGO coalition issued joint resolutions that called on ASEAN governments to support the peace process in East Timor. NGOs played a relevant role in influencing governments, international organisations, and multinational corporations to pressure the Indonesian government to permit autonomy and a vote on self-determination in East Timor.

  5. Terrorism - Security Issues

Southeast Asia currently faces a new menace, that of transnational terrorism. It should be remembered that NGOs comprise not only 'positive' organisations. They also include ethno-religious 'new terrorists' like the Islamic separatist group, Abu Sayyaf, in the Philippines, groups that instigate inter-communal violence and regional separatism.(66) For ASEAN, terrorism contains within it the potential to serve as a common focus of danger which may provide a new sense of regional purpose.


This article has applied the mandala as a conception of international relations in Southeast Asia. In doing so, key 'mirror events' were analysed with the objective of assessing the viability and relevance of ASEAN in the 21st century. From the analysis, it is evident that there is a place, a desire and a necessity for the continued existence of ASEAN. 'Mirror events', mobilising both internal and external perceptions, have been and will continue to be the driving forces underlying further integration within ASEAN. In a broader context, the Southeast Asian region is a scene of burgeoning integration processes, a scene which involves such major states as China, the USA and more recently India, and welcomes greater participation from IGOs and NGOs. Vision 2020 is the nucleus of these processes and a field of attraction for both intra- and extra- regional actors as they collaborate for their mutual benefit under the Vision 2020 principles of peace, prosperity, progress, and partnership. The Vision orients their awareness and serves as the facilitator for contemplation and reflection. 'Mirror events' supply the impetus when vision requires a practical expression.



1. Siska Lund has studied the mandala system at Bond University's Department of International Relations, School of Humanities & Social Sciences.

2. Paul Kelly, 'Winning Back the Neighbours' Trust', The Australian, 15 October 2003, p. 15. See ASEAN website: for full text of the Bali decalaration.

3. For example: "After rapid expansion and the inclusion of countries with varying political systems and at difference stages of development, Asean is rife with contradictions and rudderless. Members cannot agree on what is wrong, much less on how to fix Asean." (Barry Wain, 'How to Fix Asean?', Asian Wall Street Journal, 10-11 December 1999, p.10.)

4. The Mandala as a political model for SE Asia is also considered in a number of works, including: Wolters, O. W. (1982, 1999 revised edn), History, Culture and Religion in Southeast Asian Perspectives (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies; and for rev. edn Ithaca, NY: SEAP in Cooperation with ISEAS, Cornell University); Kingsbury, D. (2001) South-East Asia: A Political Profile (NY: Oxford University Press), pp. 14-17; Mackerras, C. (ed) (2000, 3rd edn.) Eastern Asia: An Introductory History (Melbourne: Longman Cheshire), Ch. 8; Ferguson, R. J. (1994) 'Complexity in the Centre: The New Southeast Asian Mandala', The Culture Mandala, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 16-40; Dellios, R. (1997) 'Mandalas of Security', in McMillen, D. H. (ed.), Globalisation and Regional Communities: Geoeconomic, Sociocultural and Security Implications for Australia (Toowoomba: USQ Press), pp. 407-418. Dellios is currently working on a research project, 'The Mandala Concept in International Relations: Case Study - Southeast Asia', through the Visiting Researcher Program at Walailak University, Southern Thailand.

5. Kautilya, Arthasastra, trans. R. Shamasastry (1967), (Mysore: Mysore Printing and Publishing House).

6. Dellios, R. (1996) 'Mandala-Building in International Relations as a Paradigm for Peace', Social Alternatives, Vol. 15, No. 3, p. 62.

7. Dellios, R. (2000) 'Globalisation and the Mandala: "Software" for the Millennium', The Culture Mandala, Vol. 4, No. 1, p .2:

8. Thurman, R. et al. (1997) Mandala: The Architecture of Enlightenment (London: Thames & Hudson), p. 128.

9. Dellios, R. (1996) 'Mandala-Building in International Relations as a Paradigm for Peace', Social Alternatives, Vol. 15, No. 3.

10. See Hall, M. (1988) Meditation Symbols in Eastern & Western Mysticism: Mysteries of the Mandala (USA: The Philosophical Research Inc.), pp. 93, 121.

11. ASEAN webpage:

12. Ibid.

13. AFTA was first planned in 1992. It had two motivations: first, the need to compete with the dynamic Chinese market; and second, the desire to create a more unified internal market.

14. Wanandi, J. 'ASEAN's Challenging For its Future', PacNet Newsletter, No. 3, 22 January 1999: available on

15.See 'ASEAN is floundering', Asia Forum, 6 November 2000:

16. The ARF was formed in 1994. Its main goal is assistance to the strengthening of peace and security, stability and prosperity in the Asia Pacific Region. The ARF unites 22 countries in the region, including such states as Russia, the USA, China, Japan, India, Australia, Canada and the Republic of Korea as well as the European Union. See ARF

17. Hew, D. 'Towards an ASEAN Economic Community by 2020: Vision or Reality?', Institute of South East Asian Studies, 16 June 2003: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies website,

18. See 'ASEAN is floundering', Asia Forum, 6 November 2000:

19. Tay, S. et al. (eds.) (2000) Reinventing ASEAN (Singapore: Seng Lee Press Pte Ltd), p. 97

20. Wanandi, J. 'ASEAN's Challenging For its Future', PacNet Newsletter No.3, 22 January 1999:

21. Glober D. and Jessup, T. (eds) Indonesia's Fires and Haze: The Cost of Catastrophe (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies), pp. xii, 1, 2.

22. Schweithelm, J. andGlover, D. (1999) 'The Causes and Impacts of the Fires', in ibid., p. 7.

23. See 'ASEAN is floundering', Asia Forum, 6 November 2000:

24. Ibid., pp 11-12.

25. For example, ASEAN environmental ministers agreed to a Regional Haze Action Plan in 1997:

26. See Dokken, K. (2001) 'Environment, Security and Regionalism in the Asia-Pacific: Is Environmental Security a Useful Concept?' The Pacific Review, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 509-530. The UN Environment Programme has been regularly included in ASEAN discussions on the haze. Their offers of assistance and advice to the ASEAN Secretariat on the issue have been largely accepted by Indonesia and the other member states.

27. Tay, S. et al. (ed.) (2000) Reinventing ASEAN (Singapore: Seng Lee Press Pte Ltd), Note 4, p. 24. In June 1998, the Singapore Environment Council made a presentation on the fires to ASEAN senior officials for the environment, after an international dialogue issued a statement on means to address this environmental calamity.

28. Myers, B. 'ASEAN's Great Divide - Can the Region Achieve Economic Equilibrium?' The Cambodia Daily, 20 July 2003:

29. Ibid.; Lizee, P. (2000) 'Civil Society and Regional Security: Tensions and Potentials in Post-Crisis Southeast Asia' Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International & Strategic Affairs, Vol. 22, Issue 3.

30. See, 'ASEAN is floundering' Asia Forum, 6 November 2000:

31. 'Myanmar Rejects Brutal Charges' CNN News Online 19 June 2003:

32. Ibid.

33. See Tarling, N. (2001) Southeast Asia: A Modern History (South Melbourne: Oxford University Press), pp. 162-3.

34. Dellios, R. (2000) 'Globalisation and the Mandala: "Software" for the Millenium' The Culture Mandala, Vol. 4, No. 1, p. 3, citing the Abstract of a 1997 conference paper, now published as Dellios R. (2001) 'Reconceptualising Development as a Culture Mandala', in Sen, R. K. and Basu, R. L. (eds) Economic Development in the 21st Century (New Delhi: Deep & Deep Publications), pp. 377-410.

35. Souchou, Y. (2001) House of Glass - Culture, Modernity, and the State in Southeast Asia (Singapore: Seng Lee Press), pp. 60, 63.

36. See generally Dellios, R. (1996) 'Mandala-Building in International Relations as a Paradigm for Peace' Social Alternatives Vol 15. Issue 3, pp. 2, 3.

37. See Hew, D. (2003) 'Towards an ASEAN Economic Community by 2020: Vision or Reality?' Institute of South East Asian Studies, 16 June:

38. See 'ASEAN is Floundering - Part II: ASEAN's Strategic Relevance' Asia Forum 1 December 2000, p. 6:

39. Including ibid.

40. 'China Confident in FTA Plan, ASEAN Partnership' (2002) People's Daily Online 29 August:

41. 'China/ASEAN Agree on Free Trade Zone' (2001) China Daily 7 November:

42. 'Sino-ASEAN Relations Enter New Stage: Vice-Foreign Minister' (2002) People's Daily Online 1 November:

43. See 'ASEAN is Floundering - Part II: ASEAN's Strategic Relevance' (2000) Asia Forum 1 December, p. 6:

44. Ibid.

45. Boyd, A. (2003) 'South China Sea: Pact Won't Calm Waters' Asia Times 2 July: http/

46. See ASEAN is Floundering - Part II: ASEAN's Strategic Relevance (2000) Asia Forum 1 December, p. 2:

47. Christie, C. (1998) Southeast Asia in the Twentieth Century (UK: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd.), p. 57.

48. Ibid., p. 63.

49. Rodan, G. et al. (ed) (1997) The Political Economy of South-East Asia: An Introduction (South Melbourne: Oxford University Press), p. 213

50. Amstutz, M. (1999) International Conflict and Cooperation (USA: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.) , p. 40.

51. See UNESCO website:

52. See address by Federico Mayor, Director-General of UNESCO at the Regional Symposium on Co-operative Peace in Southeast Asia organized by UNESCO and ASEAN on 11 September1998:

53. See ASEAN website: One of the most recent projects between UNESCO and ASEAN was launched on 8 July 2003. It aims to get the information-rich and well equipped ASEAN countries to share their resources with the information-poor and ill-equipped countries through an ASEAN SchoolNet

54. See Cotton, J. (2000) 'The Emergence of an Independent East Timor: National and Regional Challenges' Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International & Strategic Affairs, Vol. 22, Issue 1.

55. See 'Politics Behind ASEAN's Inaction on East Timor', Straits Times, 18 October 1999:; and 'Conflict Over East Timor May Test ASEAN's Loyalties' Wall Street Journal, 1 October 1999:

56. See Asian Development Bank website:

57. 'Finance Cooperation - Asian Surveillance Process':

58. See speech by Tadao Chino, President of the ADB at the Third ASEM Finance Ministers' Meeting - 'Post Crisis Economic Recovery in Asia', 13 January 2001:

59. See 'ADB Contributes to Investment Fund for SMEs in ASEAN', 16 April 2003:

60. See Shigetomi, S. (ed.) (2002) The State and NGOs: Perspective from Asia (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies).

61. ASEAN website:

62. ASEAN (1995) , Cooperation Plan on Transboundary Pollution (Jakarta: ASEAN Secretariat), p. 2 cited in Aviel, J. (2000) 'Placing Human Rights and Environmental Issues on ASEAN's Agenda: The Role of Non-Governmental Organisations' Asian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 8, No. 2.

63. Ibid., p. 1.

64. Ibid., p. 5.

65. See Dupont, A. (2000) 'ASEAN'S Response to the East Timor Crisis', Australian Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 54, Issue 2, p. 163.

66. See generally Jones, D. and Smith, M. (2002) 'From Konfrantasi to Disintegrasi: ASEAN and the Rise of Islamism in Southeast Asia', Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, May 28, pp. 343-356.


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