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Norm Implementation and Contestation: the Case of the Responsibility to Protect in Southeast Asia

Maulana, Zain (2019) Norm Implementation and Contestation: the Case of the Responsibility to Protect in Southeast Asia. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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This thesis seeks to explain how the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) interpret the Responsibilityto Protect (R2P) in the context of the region. In doing so, it investigates the response of ASEAN and its member states to atrocity crimes in the region; the crises in Myanmar and the Philippines. A qualitative case study approach with 26 in-depth elite interviews was conducted, involving 15 interviews with state-based actors of ASEAN countries and 11 interviews with non-state actors. Interview data were analysed by developing themes and identifying the patterns and interrelations among them. Interpretation of the data was conducted, using the conceptual lens of norms especially the concepts of norm contestation, norm subsidiarity, norm implementation and norm robustness. Overall findings were discussed and compared to existing literature regarding the diffusion and implementation of R2P in the ASEAN region. Interpretation of the data was also conducted to learn broader lessons regarding the dynamics of norm diffusion and contestation. Most ASEAN countries emphasise three interrelated points when refusing the use of R2P principle in the context of the region. First, they question the extent to which atrocity crimes are said to be occurring and therefore whether the application of R2P can be justified. Second, most ASEAN countries argue that atrocity crimes do not even exist in the region. The two cases have been interpreted as complex problems, including the issues of poverty, counter insurgencies and transnational crimes, but ultimately, they have been considered domestic issues and national affairs of the relevant countries. Third, the ASEAN countries emphasise that the region already has its own principles and frameworks for responding to regional problems, including human protection issues. They claim that their frameworks contain the core elements and basic ideas of R2P. This thesis concludes that R2P diffusion in the ASEAN region has been resisted and problematised rather than accepted or localised. The ASEAN and its member states demonstrate subsidiary behaviour in the sense that they have used their locally constructed norms to offer normative resistance to the diffusion and application of R2P in the context of the region. Regional arrangements have also been used by the ASEAN countries in order to preserve the autonomy of the region as well as to justify their right to use their own mechanisms and approaches to respond to the cases.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
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Keywords: Responsibility to Protect, ASEAN, Norm Contestation, Norm Implementation, Norm Subsidiarity, Rohingya, War on Drugs.
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Politics & International Studies (POLIS) (Leeds)
Depositing User: Mr Zain Maulana
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2020 15:08
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2020 15:08
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/25915

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