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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Dependence, diversification and regionalism : the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Crone, Donald K.


One of the most pressing problems of developing countries is their economic and political dependence on the major global powers, which is thought to impose severe constraints on the ability of LDCs to pursue autonomous development. This thesis explicates and examines one strategy to reduce dependence, as it is developed and pursued by the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore). The elements of this strategy are diversification of economic relations and restructuring of memberships in international organizations. Policies leading to diversification in the areas of international trade and foreign direct investment are described, and evaluated through statistical analysis of trade and investment flows for the period 1967 to 1978. The evolution of ASEAN is examined, particularly as it bears on economic issues. Patterns of memberships in global and regional international organizations and transnational associations are examined for evidence of a greater capacity for collective behavior on the part of the ASEAN members. The study concludes that there has been modest progress toward reducing the structural basis of dependence, although there are numerous limitations to diversification. The ASEAN members remain dependent, but less so. Their strategy may offer an alternative to other collective self-reliance strategies pursued by Third World nations.

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