THE DILEMMA AND RECONSTRUCTION OF ASEAN’S CEBTRALITY: A NEOCLASSICAL REALIST PERSPECTIVE
Keywords:ASEAN, ASEAN’s Centrality, Neoclassical Realism, Strategic Culture, Collective Decision Making
Neoclassical realism (NCR) posits that the influence of international organizations on international politics is not merely an epiphenomenon arising from the political competition and cooperation of great powers, but rather uniquely autonomous conditioned feedback. The interaction of international organizations with domestic variables among these states within regions yields independent outcomes, and self-determining international political results are a distinguishing characteristic of NCR's research approach. Consequently, if a state's foreign policy preferences significantly impact international outcomes, international organizations may wield greater importance within the region than major powers. This article initiates by examining the historical roots of ASEAN's concept of "centrality" and subsequently explores its internal mechanisms for cooperation. Drawing upon the NCR theoretical framework and incorporating Strategic Culture as an intervening variable, this article aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the Dilemma that ASEAN Centrality encounters at three distinct levels of growth in the present stage: Systemic, Domestic, and Unit-level. Moreover, drawing on the aforementioned analysis, the article puts forth efficacious approaches for revitalising ASEAN Centrality, with the objective of maintaining its significance in the face of intense power dynamics and rationalising the feasibility of the Hedging strategy.