Economic Integration, Common Identity and Regional Framework for Migration: The Curious Case of ASEAN

This paper argues that the ASEAN’s emerging framework for migration is both a result of, and has bolstered the region’s vision of a common identity based on the idea of a particular kind of State — the investee State — that the ASEAN Economic Community is meant to create. The economic integration project has challenged ASEAN States to engage with questions they may not have desired to address on a regional level, including the sensitive issue of migration. The paper analyses ASEAN’s regulation of both regular and irregular migration flows contrasting its approach with frameworks developed by other regional integration agreements. Despite underwhelming progress, and the region’s explicit rejection of, or a half-hearted support for the existing global schemes, the paper reveals the emerging contours of a unique normative framework for regulating regional migration flows. It fleshes out its nature, principles and role in building the ASEAN Economic Community and regional identity