Cover of Enacting the Security Community by Stéphanie Martel
Enacting the Security Community
ASEAN's Never-ending Story
Stéphanie Martel


July 2022
240 pages.

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503631106
Ebook ISBN: 9781503632035

Request Review/Desk/Examination Copy


Excerpts and More

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.

About the author

Stéphanie Martel is Assistant Professor of Political Studies at Queen's University.

"The field of ASEAN studies has long suffered from the dearth of good scholarship written from critical social perspectives. This excellent effort by Stéphanie Martel goes a long way to rectify that situation. A must-read for all students of international affairs!"

—See Seng Tan, President/CEO of International Students Inc. and Research Advisor, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

"Methodologically robust and comprehensive, Enacting the Security Community offers a sharp and insightful examination of enduring questions about regionalism, governance, and global order. Stéphanie Martel has crafted a compelling and rich contribution to scholarship that deserves to be read widely."

—Laura Shepherd, University of Sydney

"This book is essential reading for scholars and practitioners seeking to comprehend the complex geometry of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). ... Martel demonstrates a commanding knowledge and depth of understanding of current and historical debates on ASEAN. Moreover, the author showcases how these debates connect to wider areas of interest in International Relations."

—Catherine Jones, International Affairs