Celebrating the 50 years of ASEAN, Institute of International Study (IIS) UGM launched a book entitled 50 Years of Emity and Enmity: The Politics of ASEAN Cooperation.
“Through this book, we are trying to see how ASEAN can build cooperation in such a way, despite the disharmony among its members. However, ASEAN is able to exist for 50 years,” said a Lecturer at International Relations UGM, Poppy S. Winanti, during the soft launching and discussion of the book on Thursday (7/12) at DigiLib Cafe, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences UGM.
Poppy said, within these 50 years of its existence, ASEAN experienced various dynamics and challenges. This book tries to see how cooperation can be done by the ASEAN countries in various specific sectors.
Poppy further said in various discourses regarding ASEAN, this regional organization was often compared to the regionalism model such as the European Union. However, Poppy said the two organizations cannot be compared because ASEAN’s regionalism has its own typical characteristics which make it unique compared to other models of regionalism.
“The characteristics of regionalism in ASEAN are often considered as one of the inhibitors. However, we would like to see ASEAN in a different way regardless of the criticisms. In fact, ASEAN countries can cooperate in their own way,” said Poppy who is the editor of the book.
In line with Poppy’s statement, the significance of the discussion regarding ASEAN in the moment of 50 years celebration was also delivered by another lecturer from International Relations UGM, Muhammad Rum. He mentioned three reasons why this book which involves 10 contributors becomes an essential book. Those reasons are the big role of ASEAN as the principal factor of Indonesian foreign politics, the fact that within the 50 years of ASEAN, it continues to show its strength in the world.
In addition, Muhammad Rum also said ASEAN Way has produced various perspectives towards this organization, whether an optimistic, pessimistic, and apologetic perspectives.
Sukmawani Bela Pertiwi, a lecturer at Department of International Relations of Universitas Bina Nusantara who became the reviewer of this book, delivered compliment and advice on the book. Sukmawani said this book is able to present various interesting stories regarding ASEAN, something that is difficult to be found in other books.
“The superiority of this book lies in the richness of the story in each case of study as well as the information and data provided which may be difficult to be found elsewhere,” said Sukmawani.