Appraisal of Order in ASEAN and SAARC: A Comparative Inquiry

Mohammad Ali Zafar, Shaheer Ahmad


The paper examines how ASEAN has emerged as a face of Southeast Asia: from anarchy to order, to promote stability, strengthen sovereignty, reduce the role of great powers and build the harmony of interests among the states, while SAARC remained less effective in maintaining Order in South Asia. While combating the challenges of communism and regional instability, ASEAN’s has minimized the involvement of non-state actors while keeping the state’s sovereignty at the forefront. On the other hand, SAARC remained less influential in maintaining Order under common norms, values and interests due to a lack of the conflict management mechanism and inbuilt hostility between India and Pakistan. To understand the reason for the effectiveness of ASEAN Vis-à-vis SAARC, the conceptual framework of Order proposed by Hedley Bull provides a befitting context to examine both regional platforms. Both ASEAN and SAARC had the aim to solve interstate conflicts, but SAARC turned out to be ineffective. Hence, a comparative analysis critically evaluates how and why ASEAN has performed better than SAARC in conflict management. Eventually, the paper discusses the possible changes that SAARC can make to maintain Order in South Asia.


Order, ASEAN, SAARC, South Asia, Southeast Asia.

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Journal of South Asian Studies
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