The ASEAN regional forum: From confidence building to preventive diplomacy?

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies Major in European Studies


College of Liberal Arts


International Studies

Thesis Adviser

Charmaine Misalucha

Defense Panel Chair

Alfredo Robles, Jr.

Defense Panel Member

Herman Joseph Kraft
Renato de Castro


This study addresses the issue of the ASEAN Regional Forums (ARF) transition to preventive diplomacy against the backdrop of ASEAN norms. Paradoxically, the norms that comprise the ideational structure of the ARF are the same norms that hamper the adoption of preventive diplomacy. This creates an impression that it will be difficult, if not impossible for the ARF to evolve. Hence, the intriguing question is: can the ARF possibly move from confidence building to preventive diplomacy given the inherent normative contradiction? This study argues that although Amitav Achayas norm localization theory offers an explanation on how foreign idea could be reconstructed by local actors to develop significant congruence with the existing normative structure, it still fails to explain why the ARF has not been able to transition from confidence building to preventive diplomacy stage. This study, therefore, serves as a critique to norm localization theory. It argues that localizing foreign idea should not be seen as a linear development starting with prelocalization, continuing to local initiative, eventually leading to adaptation, and finally resulting in amplification. Instead, adopting preventive diplomacy in the ARF should be seen as a conflictual movement, which, while may lead to an institutional norm is one that is regularly challenged by the prevailing regional security environment.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

leaves ; 4 3/4 in.

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