HomeAsia-Pacific Social Science Reviewvol. 5 no. 2 (2005)

Ethnopolitical Conflicts and the ASEAN: Looking Beyond State Sovereignty and Prospect of Regional Stability

Rizal G. Buendia

Discipline: Political Science



The countries of Southeast Asia are home to multi-ethnic peoples. This rich diversity paints a colorful culture, however brings with it too, problems in governance due to political struggle of different ethnic groups. Though ethnopolitical conflicts are domestic issues of individual countries, it may affect a neighboring country (i.e., migration) or the whole region (i.e., haze problem) thus making it a concern of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In so doing however, the asean may fracture the noninterference doctrine in internal affairs, which it strongly adheres to, moreover prides as one of the tools in successfully maintaining peace in the region. Nonetheless, this article supports such an action and suggests that asean should play a more active role in dealing with ethnopolitical conflicts.