Democracy in Rhetoric and Reality

  • Avery PooleEmail author
Part of the The Theories, Concepts and Practices of Democracy book series (PSTCD)


Why have references to democracy become standard in the rhetoric of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)? This chapter explores the development of references to democracy in ASEAN, and the positions of member states in the context of their domestic political circumstances. It argues that ASEAN statements on democracy are not underpinned by a uniform approach to, or understanding of, democracy. Rather, there are many diverse views. Some member state representatives want to see a regional role for ASEAN in regard to democracy, while others are concerned about the potential challenges to sovereignty and non-interference norms. However, even non-democratic regimes recognise the legitimacy conferred by the term ‘democracy’ as a rhetorical tool.


ASEAN Democracy Rhetoric Legitimacy 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG)CarltonAustralia

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