Many recent analyses of the ASEAN Charter have tended to view the document very critically, judging the chances for implementation as low. In order to assess the potential of the Charter, this article argues, an analysis of the Charter needs to take its text seriously and look for the promises and the political consequences they entail. Taking textual representations of the Charter as its empirical basis, the article is based on a deconstructive reading of the legal text and focuses on some of the more controversial promises like democracy promotion, human rights and the role of the regional populations. The article takes into account the political struggles mirrored in the Charter and stresses conflict rather than consensus as a dominant mode of politics within ASEAN.
To cite this article:
Katja Freistein (2013) ‘A living document’: promises of the ASEAN Charter, The Pacific Review, 26:4, 407-429, DOI: 10.1080/09512748.2012.759266