The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) is the only Asia-Pacific-wide forum for consultations and dialogue on political and security issues. Although many articles and books have been published on the ARF, this is one of the few books that treat the ARF comprehensively and from the standpoint of the region itself. It traces the ARF’s origins, the efforts to move it from confidence-building to ‘preventive diplomacy’, and the forces that hold them back, analysing the strategic environment that both constrains the ARF and makes it essential. The book discusses the question of participation in the ARF, discusses the numerous cooperative activities that the ARF participants undertake, and deals with the issue of institutionalisation. Finally, it assesses the ARF as a forum and a process in its own terms. The book is written by a former ASEAN Secretary-General, who himself was a former ASEAN senior official involved in the ARF’s early years.
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