Contested Regionalism in Southeast Asia: The Politics of the Trans-Asean Gas Pipeline Project
CAG Working Paper No. 002
21 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2010
Date Written: September 1, 2008
This article analyses the trans-ASEAN gas pipeline project (TAGP) as a way to reconceptualise regional dynamics in Southeast Asia and the forces shaping them – what we call ‘contested regionalism’. For this task, we propose an analytical framework that delves within and beyond the state, and which places emphasis upon the role of material and ideological factors operating at particular moments in time. The framework reveals that the tensions acting within and upon ASEAN and the TAGP shape the regional approach to energy governance in such a way that the gas pipeline project – much like other ‘regional’ projects – is unlikely to ever come close to fulfilling its brief or that of its masters. What is more probable is that the project’s form will continue to be conditioned by entrenched politico-economic realities and the influence of dominant ideologies – especially during times of crisis – that have the capacity to exacerbate existing regional animosities and disparities.
Keywords: ASEAN, trans-ASEAN gas pipeline (TAGP), energy governance
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