Enter the Vanguard State: Reinterpreting ASEAN’s Response to the South China Sea Issue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

View graph of relations Save citation



Research units


This article analyzes the Association of Southeast Asian Nation’s (ASEAN) interactions with China over the South China Sea issue since the end of the Cold War. A neorealist understanding of ASEAN’s international relations is advanced. This approach highlights the degree of security maximizing interest convergence between key ASEAN actors and an extra-regional actor, the United States, to explain the varying outcomes in the empirical record. Our approach is contrasted to alternatives in the existing literature that either overemphasize or underemphasize ASEAN’s autonomy in regional politics.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-244
JournalJournal of Asian Security and International Affairs
Issue number2
Early online date7 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016

Bibliographic note

© Sage 2016. The final publication is available via Sage at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2347797016645454


  • ASEAN, South China Sea, regional autonomy, Vanguard State Theory, external interference


Download statistics

No data available

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research

Copy the text from this field...