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Connectivity, competition and contention: is ASEAN up to the challenge?

International relations International agencies International cooperation ASEAN Australia Asia-Pacific

Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, is preparing to host the upcoming Australia–ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Special Summit on 17–18 March in Sydney.

Ahead of the Summit, Prime Minister Turnbull has praised ASEAN’s role over the last half-century as a ‘bulwark of stability and constancy’. While ASEAN’s record will continue to be debated, it will be ASEAN’s ability to adapt to new challenges that will determine its future relevance. Many of these challenges are interrelated and are associated with expanding intra-ASEAN connectivity, escalating great power competition in the region, and intensified contestation in the domestic politics of key ASEAN states.

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