The countries of Southeast Asia are reassessing their position with regard to the major powers and the world at large. They all face crises due to rapid population growth, global inflation, technologically boosted social mobilization and changing cultural values. Changes in policies of the major powers have made their relations with the outside world uncertain and complicated. Also, cooperative activities between neighbors are obstructed by suspicion. There is political and ideological hostility between Communist governments of the Indochinese peninsula and non-Communist governments of ASEAN. The international positions of all these countries are complex vectors of power politics, ideology, economic interests, national pride, defense concerns and idiosyncrasies of their leaders. Developing new options will not be easy. Their strategic location precludes isolation, and they remain vulnerable to great power competition. They will also be affected by growing tensions generated by their nationalism, economic backwardness and social inequity. 19 pp.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.