The EU’s role in developing security cooperation with Myanmar at the ASEAN Regional Forum: 2004–2008

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Series Details Vol.25, No.2, June 2016, p197-215
Publication Date June 2016
ISSN 0966-2839
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This article tracks the European Union’s efforts at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF), from 2004 to 2008, to encourage Myanmar directly or indirectly to engage in security cooperation. It, then, explores Myanmar and ASEAN's reactions to the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis to Myanmar’s Irrawaddy delta in 2008. It focuses on ARF as a forum whereby interactions take place. It examines whether the complementary of the analytical variables provided by the logic of consequences and appropriateness [March, J.G. and Olsen, J.P., 1998. The institutional dynamics of international political orders. Oslo, Arena Working Paper No. 5; 2004. The logic of appropriateness. Oslo, Arena Working Paper No. 9], social mechanisms [Checkel, J., 1999. Social construction and integration. Journal of European public policy, 6 (4), 545–560.] and observations derived from interviews (Southeast Asia and Brussels) can explain ASEAN and Myanmar’s reactions and, also, the EU’s behaviour in relation to the Myanmar-Nargis event. The EU’s role is explored through the co-chair’s summary reports of the meetings that the EU co-chaired with ASEAN. The article uncovers the EU’s efforts to encourage ASEAN to take up responsibilities and Myanmar to accept multilateral security options. It argues that, as the EU tried to inspire Myanmar to connect with cooperation, “Myanmar hit by Cyclone Nargis” motivated the EU Council to include the "responsibility to protect" as a new goal of the European foreign and security policy of December 2008.

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