This report explores the important yet under-examined role of ASEAN country coordinators in ASEAN’s external relations. The study aims is to provide additional insights to the interactions between ASEAN and its dialogue partners through the lens of international negotiations. The case study of Thailand’s role as country coordinator managing the South China Sea (SCS) issue reveals how a coordinator can take advantage of its position to shape collaborations between states. In short, the paper shows how Bangkok, as the coordinator for ASEAN-China relations, was able to affect the SCS outcomes that resulted in the first formal consultation of the Code of Conduct (COC) in September 2013. Although the paper focuses on this specific case, it offers generalisable recommendations on how a country coordinator can shape bargaining results. Interested practitioners can apply the lessons learned to their own negotiations in other issue areas.
About the Author
Dr Kaewkamol (Karen) Pitakdumrongkit is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Multilateralism Studies, at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She completed her MA and PhD in Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara, U.S.A. Before joining RSIS, Karen assisted Kenan Institute Asia in analysing trade and industry data concerning the impact of the proposed EU-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement on Thailand’s industries. Her research interests include international economic negotiations, East Asian economic governance, relationships between regional and global economic governance, ASEAN Economic Community, and political socialisation. Beside research, Karen teaches a course on the Political Economy of Southeast Asia at the RSIS International Political Economy programme.
Conflict and Stability / Country and Region Studies / East Asia and Asia Pacific / International Politics and Security / Maritime Security / Policy Reports / Regionalism and Multilateralism / Southeast Asia and ASEAN
Last updated on 22/02/2016