ASEAN as a 'thin' community: The case against adopting the EU Acid Rain Framework for Transboundary Haze management in Southeast Asia

H., Varkkey, (2011) ASEAN as a 'thin' community: The case against adopting the EU Acid Rain Framework for Transboundary Haze management in Southeast Asia. Jebat: Malaysian Journal of History, Politics and Strategic Studies, 38 (2). pp. 1-26.

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Abstract

Transboundary haze is a recurring problem in Southeast Asia. Academic discussion has focused largely on the failure of ASEAN to promote effective regional cooperation on the issue. On the other hand, EU action in the 1980s had been successful in mitigating acid rain at the regional level. The two cases are similar - both are anthropogenic pollution problems that originated in particular states in the region, but which effects were felt more severely in neighbouring states. Furthermore, both regions have institutionalised organisations in which all concerned states are members. Therefore, scholars have often looked towards the European experience with acid rain as a potential framework for effective ASEAN action over the haze. However, this paper argues that this strategy is misguided. This is because, unlike the `thick¿ EU community with pooled sovereignty and sufficient clout to influence regional outcomes, ASEAN is a `thin¿ community which was designed to advance the individual national interests of its member states. Therefore, ASEAN-level haze mitigation programmes cannot be expected to be effective in the same way that acid rain programmes have been in Europe. Thus, this article suggests that haze abatement in Southeast Asia should not depend solely, or even mainly, on regional action.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ASEAN, European Union, community, transboundary pollution, acid rain, haze, environmental cooperation, regional cooperation
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Depositing User: MR. ADNAN YAHYA
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2012
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2013
URI: http://repository.um.edu.my/id/eprint/18257

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