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Harvard University

Publication Date

Fall 2017

Program Name

Switzerland: International Studies and Multilateral Diplomacy


In recent years, tensions have escalated between actors in the South China Sea, one of which is the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the region’s primary intergovernmental organization. The purpose of this report is to determine the effectiveness of ASEAN in resolving the South China Sea disputes and to clarify how geopolitical factors have impacted the organization’s actions. Through an analysis of evolving maritime claims and the current state of affairs, this paper suggests that ASEAN must be involved in any attempt to resolve the conflict peacefully. Acknowledging the importance of the diplomatic channels that ASEAN has created to ease tensions, this paper argues that a US-Japan security alliance can help ASEAN foster a long-term, peaceful solution for the historical disputes.


Asian Studies | International Economics | International Law | International Relations | Oceanography | Peace and Conflict Studies


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