Reading: A Conceptual Analysis on ‘ASEAN Way’ as a Normative Approach for Conducting Regional Affairs


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A Conceptual Analysis on ‘ASEAN Way’ as a Normative Approach for Conducting Regional Affairs


S. C. Padmakumara

University of Colombo, LK
About S. C.
Department of International Relations, Faculty of Arts
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The role of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has become more important in conducting regional affairs with its distinctive approach to interstate relations and regional cooperation. This distinctive practice is called as ‘ASEAN Way’ and the scholars assert that it is a pragmatic and informal approach to conduct intraregional affairs. As viewed by the scholars, what sets the ASEAN apart from many other regional institutions is its own process of decision-making, typically referred to as the “ASEAN Way’ (Weber, 2019). The ASEAN Way consists of a code of conduct for inter-state behavior as well as decision- making process based on consultations and consensus among its member states (Acharya, 1997). This ASEAN model or ‘ASEAN Way’ provides example of how a region can manage its problem and develop a positive identity in International Relations. Therefore, both in terms of intraregional and extra regional perceptions, Southeast Asia has become a symbol of a dynamic and largely peaceful region (Acharya, 2012).


The central objective of this paper is to conceptualize the significance of ‘ASEAN Way’ as a distinctive approach to conduct regional affairs and highlight its implications for sustaining regional cooperation. The idea of ‘ASEAN Way’ is examined in this paper with specific reference to two important propositions. The first holds that ‘ASEAN Way’ is a normative approach to conduct intraregional affairs and it possess distinctive features compared to other regional practices. The second proposition holds that ‘ASEAN Way’ is potential as a mean for peaceful settlement of regional disputes. In order to realize these objectives, this study intends to answer these two research questions; what are the distinctive features of ‘ASEAN Way’ as an approach to conduct regional affairs and how it can be attributed as a peaceful mean for settling regional disputes. This study adopts a qualitative approach and primarily depends on the secondary data to answer the aforesaid research questions.
How to Cite: Padmakumara, S. C. (2021). A Conceptual Analysis on ‘ASEAN Way’ as a Normative Approach for Conducting Regional Affairs. Colombo Journal of Multi-disciplinary Research, 6(1), 1–12. DOI:
Published on 09 Sep 2021.
Peer Reviewed


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