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Humanities Colloquium- Jürgen Rüland (Political Science): Paradoxes and Unintended Consequences of Interregional Capacity-Building: Normative and Conceptual Misunderstandings in EU-ASEAN Relations

When Jan 12, 2015
from 12:15 PM to 01:45 PM
Where FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, Seminar Room
Contact Name
Contact Phone +49 (0)761 203-97362
Attendees universitätsoffen / open to university members
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This paper examines a facet of interregional interactions which has so far received only limited attention: the issue of capacity building through interregionalism. It takes a closer look at the EU’s interregional cooperation with ASEAN and argues that there are definite limits to capacity building. The latter are due to misunderstandings of the normative foundations of ASEAN which are much more deep-seated than historically uninformed contemporary political analyses with their overoptimistic belief in the transformative power of norms associated with European regional integration suggest. What observers regard as a seeming appropriation of European ideas and policies associated with European regionalism by ASEAN is hardly more than a localization of these ideas. It is therefore one of the unintended consequences of European capacity building that with their references to the European model of regional integration ASEAN elites modernize and re-legitimize extant ideas of Southeast Asian regionalism. Southeast Asian elites thus apply European capacity building as a deliberate strategy to strengthen rather than replace local ideational orthodoxies. Capacity building, especially if it seeks to facilitate normative transformation, thus exhibits the opposite effect of what external norm entrepreneurs hoped to achieve.