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Premises, Policies and Multilateral Whitewashing of Broad Security Doctrines: A Southeast Asia-Based Critique of “Non-traditional” Security

Delphine Allès





This article highlights the formulation of comprehensive conceptions of security in Indonesia, Malaysia and within the framework of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), well before their academic conceptualisation. These security doctrines have been the basis of the consolidation of state and military apparatuses in the region. They tend to be overlooked by analyses praising the recent conversion of Southeast Asian political elites to the “non-traditional security”? agenda. This latter development is perceived as a source of multilateral cooperation and a substitute for the hardly operationalisable concept of human security. However, in the region, non-traditional security proves to be a semantic evolution rather than a policy transformation. At the core of ASEAN’s security narrative, it has provided a multilateral anointing of “broad” but not deepened conceptions of security, thus legitimising wide-ranging socio-political roles for the armed forces.

Keywords: Southeast Asia, Non-traditional security, ASEAN, security studies


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