50 years of ASEAN – Still waiting for social and ecological justice

50 years of ASEAN – Still waiting for social and ecological justice

The development of ASEAN - an introduction

In 1967 the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was founded. This dossier sheds light on the institutional framework of ASEAN and analyses with contributions by civil society and academia, where social and ecological justice has, or should have, its place in Southeast Asia.

By Julia Behrens, Manfred Hornung, Fransiskus Tarmedi

ASEAN turns 50. However, who has a reason to celebrate in times of shrinking spaces, foreign policy disputes and the ecological crisis? We look into realities of people in Southeast Asia behind ASEAN´s promises to be sustainable and people-oriented - and find that many are still waiting for social and ecological justice.

Is ASEAN able to react to the social and ecological challenges by taking the interest of its people into account?

ASEAN as political community

ASEAN among Great Powers

Competing trade agreements and planned infrastructure investments are dilemmas that ASEAN can only successfully solve if they approach the challenges as group that lets go if its consensus decision-making and allows for countries´ flexible participation.

By Truong-Minh Vu

Infographics

Graphics: Sabine Hecher.

civil society

Shrinking Civic Spaces in ASEAN

Despite its diversity, ASEAN member states have one common trait: state repression. This is in contrast to ASEAN´s aspiration to be people-centered. How repression looks on the ground can illustrate the example of the Bersih movement for fair elections in Malaysia.

By Khoo Ying Hooi

Series of photographs

Living in border zones

“Mountainland” is an ongoing long-term project by the photographer Sascha Richter that surveys the lives and societies of Zomia. The pictures presented here were taken as first part of the project in October 2016 in the Northwest of Vietnam. More parts of the series can be found here.

Environment and sustainability

Video recording of the event "Climate of Change. The Struggle for Renewable Energy in Southeast Asia" on 8th November 2017. More information.

Within 50 years of existence, ASEAN has made progress on environmental policies – at least on paper. On the ground, paradigms around economic development and growth still shape realities of the people who find it literally harder and harder to breathe.

Forest fires and the haze, daily traffic routines and large-scale industry make the extent of environmental damage in Southeast Asia visible. In this podcast series of Johanna Son, we look behind ASEAN´s promises to be sustainable and people-oriented and find that the institution still falls short of social and ecological justice.

migration

The Future of Forced Migrants in ASEAN

How ASEAN deals with forced migrants shows in how far it is actually people-centered and people-oriented. This vulnerable group used to be integrated in the past. However, today it appears integration efforts are not truly inclusive.

By Andika Ab. Wahab
There are vulnerable segments of the population who are not being included or who are left behind in the integration process.
Photo: Sabine Hecher. Creative Commons License LogoThis image is licensed under Creative Commons License.

For your further reading

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