Natthanan Kunnamas, B.A. in International Affairs (Thammasat, summa cum laude), M.A. in Policy Analysis (GRIPS), M.A. in European Politics (Leeds), Ph.D. in Politics and International Studies (Leeds) is Jean Monnet Chair Professor, Jean Monnet Module Coordinator and Director of Centre for European Studies, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. Her recent chapters in edited books are “European Studies in Thailand” in International Relations as a Discipline in Thailand: Theory and Sub-field (Routledge, 2019); and “Post-Socialist Transformation of the Former Yugoslavia: The Case of Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia” in Post-Communist Development: Europe’s Experiences, Asia’s Challenges (Collegium Civitas, 2017).

Summary of Project:

The topic of Kunnamas’ research chapter is “Introduction to ASEAN Integration and Centrality,” co-authored with Sophie Boisseau du Rocher. It is an introductory part of CRISEA WP5 “Region” on “ASEAN Principles and Centrality: Integrating or Disintegrating Region” that will frame the statement of the problems, research questions, study objectives, hypothesis, methods and conceptual frameworks, and literature review, of the whole WP5. Importantly, it will also contest ASEAN integration and centrality with diverse concepts and explanations to elaborate the understanding on these two elements. By reviewing post-2000 literatures, the chapter will show that, despite to what extent, ASEAN integration matters and all of its members agree on the utility to keep it as a central actor for their regional affair. Although ASEAN maybe far from being a strong rule-based institution, it is an enduring functional organization and a significant social-constructed entity, acting as both regional norm entrepreneur and normative space. However, due to different fundamental rationale of integration, it is totally different from the EU and comparison between them is impossible. Regarding its centrality, in this century ASEAN is challenged by new competing actors and connectivities. Consequently, it becomes only one among several choices that sometimes not chosen by its members.