Enacting the Security Community illuminates the central role of discourse in the making of security communities through a case study of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Despite decades of discussion, scholars of political science and international relations have long struggled to identify what kind of security community ASEAN is striving to become.
Talk about security, Stéphanie Martel argues in this innovative study, is more than empty rhetoric. It is precisely through discourse that ASEAN is brought into being as a security community. Martel analyzes the epic narratives that state and non-state actors tell about ASEAN's journey to becoming a security community, featuring a colorful cast of heroes and monsters. Chapters address a wide spectrum of current regional security concerns, from the South China Sea disputes to the Rohingya crisis, and nontraditional challenges like natural disasters and pandemics. Through fieldwork and in-depth interviews with practitioners, Martel provides clear evidence that discourse is key to sustaining regional organizations like ASEAN.
Enacting the Security Community is an incisive contribution to debates among scholars and practitioners about security communities as well as the role of discourse in the study of world politics, and essential reading for students of Southeast Asian international relations, politics, and security.