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ICONAS 2016 - International Conference On Asean Studies


21-22 July 2016 @ Asia-Europe Institute, University of Malaya

ICONAS 2016 - International Conference On Asean Studies


ICONAS is an annual academic conference which is open for practitioners, business and academic communities including researchers, lecturers, or undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students from various scientific backgrounds (economics, politics, law, communications, culture, arts, sociology, anthropology, international relations, etc). Papers, reports (proceedings) and brochures submitted to the ICONAS will be open to the public either in the published form or on the website of KISEAS.

21-22 July 2016
9:00 AM
Asia-Europe Institute,
University of Malaya


SESSION 1 - 21 July 2016 • 9.30am – 12.30pm
CARUM-JPAS Workshop on ‘Malaysian Approaches to ASEAN Regionalism’

In 2015, Kishore Mahbubani expressed the concern that international studies of ASEAN do not pay sufficient attention to what commentators from the ASEAN region are saying. This workshop is designed to focus on the views of scholars and practitioners from within ASEAN. It will consider in particular the question: ‘Is there a distinctive Malaysian approach to regionalism?’

ASEAN is often defined in terms of what it lacks, particularly when contrasted with European regionalism. Thus, ‘unlike the European Union’ it is said to be an organization ‘with no supranational authority’. In contrast to the EU, the participating countries are also not ‘driven by the urge to restrain sovereignty and nationalism’. In ASEAN, ‘institutionalized cooperation’ has proceeded much more slowly than it has in the EU, which is ‘based on French-inspired legal and institutional integration models’. An indicative measure of the comparative institutionalisation of the Southeast Asian and European variants of regionalism, as some scholars see it, is that the budget of the European Commission in 2012 is 280 times larger than that of the ASEAN Secretariat.

The particular style of interaction within ASEAN, the so-called ‘ASEAN Way’, is often remarked on - and includes an emphasis on consultation and consensus, a preference for informality and institutional minimalism, the peaceful solving of disputes, and the insistence on non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. The ‘ASEAN Way’ also does not insist on the centrality of ASEAN in the foreign policy of each member nation.

The ‘ASEAN Way’ style of interaction has drawn both criticism and appreciation from scholars. Those who benchmark ASEAN against the EU are often not inspired by this style of engagement; scholars from the increasingly influential Constructivist School of International Relations take a rather more positive view.

Apart from the ‘ASEAN Way’, ASEAN analysts have identified another positive characteristic of the organization as the role of ‘informal integration’, including the creation of production networks, sub-regional economic zones, and ethnic business networks. The importance of formal ASEAN agreements has also been noted – that is, the way ASEAN is ‘bound together by a web of treaties and documents such as the ASEAN Concord I, ASEAN Concord II, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC), the ASEAN Declaration on the South China Sea and so on’.

A further observation is that certain countries within ASEAN have distinctive approaches to ASEAN and regionalism. The Malaysian approach is said to place exceptional importance on the building of a regional community - more specifically, an ‘organic’ regional community. An aspect of this argument is that Malaysians, who have been preoccupied with the domestic challenge of community-building in their ethnically-divided nation, have a particular experience and interest in community building.

This workshop will take up this issue of defining ASEAN regionalism, especially in terms of Malaysian approaches.

Format: Invited speakers
Discussants (15 mins each):

  1. Expanding on the Malaysian style of organic community building (2 speakers)
  2. Alternative viewpoints/explanations on Malaysian regionalism (2 speakers)
  3. Alternative ASEAN approaches to community building (2 speakers)
  4. Comparative approaches – perspectives from other regions (2 speakers)

SESSION 2 - 21 July 2016 • 2.00pm – 5.00pm
ASEAN Dialogue Partner Relationships

The sessions will involve a stock-taking process regarding each of ASEAN’s dialogue relationships. The ten dialogue partners are Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia, and the United States.

Papers will consider economic and strategic developments, and in some cases, new trends in socio-cultural relations. Speakers will also be asked to consider the changing relativities in dialogue relationships with ASEAN. Questions that can be considered could be (but not limited to): Do China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ and other initiatives seem to be initiating a regional architecture that might compete with the ASEAN-led institutions? Has India’s ‘Act East’ policy brought a significantly stronger Indian relationship with ASEAN.

Format: Open to all through call for papers

Papers will be allocated 20 minutes for oral presentation and another 10 minutes for questions and answers. Please submit a 250-300 word abstract and a 60-word biography in paragraph format to the ICONAS 2016 Secretariat latest by 24 June 2016.

The biography note should mention the presenter’s name and title, affiliation, country, email address, and title of the abstract.

Kindly submit your abstract to: carum@um.edu.my

SESSION 3 - 22 July 2016 • 9.30am – 12.30pm
KISEAS Korea Forum on Malaysia-Korea Relations

This session, organised by the Korean Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, will complement the earlier session by focusing on Korea-Malaysia relations and Korea-ASEAN relations. Expert speakers selected and invited by KISEAS will be presenting their views on these topics.

Format: Invited speakers

SESSION 4 - 22 July 2016 • 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Future of ASEAN Centrality

Since the time of the proposal for a Pacific Community in 1979 by the Japanese Prime Minister, Masayoshi Ohira – a proposal which was not successful because ASEAN was not supportive of it - every significant suggestion for an East Asian grouping was premised on ASEAN participation. ASEAN was not enthusiastic initially about East Asian regionalism for fear that its unity might be diluted and big powers would dominate in such groupings.

ASEAN agreed to go along with the wider East Asian regional groupings only if ASEAN remained central to the groupings. This was best done in the ASEAN view in the form of ASEAN Plus One meetings (ASEAN with one dialogue partner or another) and then developing into ASEAN Plus Three, ASEAN Plus Six and so on. For some time, the major powers - the US, China and Japan - went along with this ASEAN centrality as it suited their interests. The triangular relations of these three were in flux. In such a situation where no power wanted to be seen to be hostile to the other, the scope was open for a smaller group of nations, ASEAN, to take the driver’s seat.

Today, there is a growing geostrategic rivalry in the Asia Pacific region, involving the world’s strongest powers. Also, both the United States-led Trans-Pacific Partnership and the China-led ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiatives have been seen to overshadow established ASEAN-led structures. Will ASEAN have a chance to maintain centrality in the light of such developments? Or will it be seen as a group of little nations forlornly trying to cling to centrality in ambitious groupings like ASEAN Plus One, ASEAN Plus Three, ASEAN Plus Six and so on? Exactly how ASEAN is dealing with regional institutions like the ASEAN Plus Three and the East Asian Summit, and its different dialogue partners, requires renewed attention. Equally, it is important to assess how these partners currently engage with ASEAN and how they think about future regional development.

Format: Invited speakers

Theme 1: The Strategic Challenge for ASEAN in the Asia Pacific

(3 speakers, 20 mins each)
The first half of the Forum the Future of ASEAN centrality will be a session attempting to define the overall strategic developments underway in the Asia Pacific. How has ASEAN’s role developed since 1967, in particular how has it been influenced by such developments as the ASEAN Regional Forum, Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM), ASEAN Plus Three, and the East Asia Summit? How is the growing uncertainty regarding the United States’ international role and the dramatic rise of China affecting the dynamics in East Asia? What impact have these developments had on the regional role of ASEAN?

Theme 2: Defending ASEAN Centrality – Aligning With Other Middle Powers Such As Korea

(3 speakers, 20 mins each)
For the second-half of the session, the question will be asked, “how dialogue partners – in particular middle power partners such as Korea (and perhaps Australia) - might support ASEAN in the task of retaining leadership of this region’s architecture?” This session will focus explicitly on the future of ASEAN regionalism, seeking to speculate regarding possible new opportunities and strategies, as well as dangers. No immediate deliverables are expected for this session.

Conference Fee

Type of participant Participants from within Malaysia (including foreign scholars in Malaysia) Participants from overseas
Normal RM 600.00 (inclusive of RM 36 for G ST) USD 250.00
Student RM 250.00 (inclusive of RM 15 fo r GST) USD 100.00
Walk-in participants RM 500.00 (inclusive of RM 30 fo r GST) USD 250.00

The registration fee covers a conference kit and includes all lunch, coffee and tea breaks served during the conference days. For students, proof of student status is required.

Registration is only complete upon receipt of payment and your details. Please send us the proof of payment (and proof of status if applicable) to carum@um.edu.my so that your registration can be confirmed as early as possible.

Payment Instructions

Please choose your payment method from the following options:

By Cheque or Bank Draft. All cheques or bank drafts must be made payable to BENDAHARI UNIVERSITI MALAYA and mailed or delivered to the address below:

ICONAS 2016 Secretariat,
Centre for ASEAN Regionalism UM (CARUM),
Level 1, Wisma R&D,
University of Malaya, Jalan Pantai Baharu,
59990 Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA.

You can also fax it to +603 7954 0799 or e-mail the scanned copy to carum@um.edu.my

By Telegraphic Transfer (TT)

Bank Account Name: Bendahari Universiti Malaya
Account Number: 800 127 9998
Bank: CIMB Bank
Branch: University of Malaya Branch, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Swift Code: CIBBMYKL

Bank charges are to be deducted from the participating organisation's own account and the full fee must be received by the organiser.

Important Notes: Please notify us by email or fax within 15 days of the transfer in order for the proper credits to be applied. We will need you to send us a copy of the payment instruction and details for confirmation and record.

By Cash

Applicable ONLY for UM staff or students. Payments can be made via the ATM or CIMB Bank counter.

Please send us the proof of payment (and proof of status if applicable) to carum@um.edu.my so your registration can be confirmed as early as possible.

Important Dates

Call for papers 1 June 2016
Deadline for abstract submission 24 June 2016
Notification of acceptance 30 June 2016
Normal registration 1 June 2016
ASEAN Young Scholars Workshop 11-20 July 2016
Deadline for presenter registration and payment 10 July 2016
Deadline for participant registration and payment 15 July 2016
Conference 21-22 July 2016

Contact Information

Ms. Aliyyah Nuha Azman & Mdm. Siti Munirah Kasim
Email: carum@um.edu.my +603 2246 3440

Ms. Noor Yusrina Hashim
Email: ryena_84@um.edu.my Phone: +603 7967 7823

Conference Website: http://umconference.um.edu.my/ICONAS16

Last Updated: 09/10/2019