It Takes Two to Tango: A Constructivist Analysis of EU-ASEAN Interregional Relations

  • Salvador Santino F. RegilmeJr.Email author
Part of the Global Power Shift book series (GLOBAL)


Drawing primarily from social constructivist perspectives, this essay traces the contemporary interregional relations of East Asia and the European Union (EU). Considering the constructivist themes of shared identity and interests, I argue that there are fundamental difficulties found in these interregional relations, which must be urgently addressed. Despite the relatively strong economic and political engagement of the Union, the EU continues to be under-valued and misunderstood in the eyes of the East Asian public. With the rise of China as a global power, Europe must reinforce its political capital in other strategic world regions amidst the failures of the EU to reconcile its policy inconsistencies juxtaposed with its self-perception as a ‘normative power.’ This can be seen in EU’s recent engagements with ASEAN as the former has been seen as undetermined in promoting human rights and democratic norms in the region. Nonetheless, EU-ASEAN relations may still be considered as a promising case for the EU to export its model of multi-level governance, and enhance its ‘actorness’ and institutional legitimacy. Finally, in order for interregional relations to be reinvigorated, the two regions must identify and pursue their mutually shared interests such as economic development, democratic proliferation, and human rights provisions.


European Union Political Capital Global Politics Public Diplomacy Northeast Asian Country 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Politics, John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Graduate School of North American StudiesFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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