ASEAN, COVID-19 and Myanmar crisis: Dealing with critical juncture

I. Gede Wahyu Wicaksana, Demas Nauvarian, Putu Shangrina Pramudia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Explaining how international institutions develop is the significant contribution of historical institutionalism (HI) to the study of contemporary world politics. HI offers two important concepts, critical juncture and path dependence, demonstrating dynamics within the institution, leading towards continuity and change. The case of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Myanmar democratic crisis tells us about the impact of the crucial moments on the regional organisation and its responses. Yet, ASEAN is resistant to change. What makes it possible is the question that cannot be answered by using the HI approach. Hence, we explain by employing a theoretical framework founded upon the link between diplomatic culture and institutional legitimacy, adopted from the English School (ES) theory of International Relations (IR). This article argues that ASEAN's diplomatic culture ensures member countrie’s compliance with the Association's code of conduct and prevents external power intrusion into Southeast Asian affairs and interests. Therefore, ASEAN's institutional legitimacy can be maintained. The Association deals with the critical juncture without undertaking any fundamental change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-54
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Area Studies Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • COVID-19
  • Myanmar crisis
  • critical juncture
  • diplomatic culture
  • institutional legitimacy


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