Southeast Asia Takes ‘Mini-Lateral’ Approach to Maritime Security

Southeast Asia Takes ‘Mini-Lateral’ Approach to Maritime Security
Politcal and military leaders from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines before the start of their trilateral meeting on maritime security issues, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, May 5, 2016 (AP photo by Rana Dyandra).

Last month, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines agreed to begin coordinated patrols to improve maritime security after an increase in kidnappings at sea by the Filipino militant group Abu Sayyaf. In an email interview, Collin Koh, a research fellow at the Maritime Security Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, discussed maritime security cooperation in Southeast Asia.

WPR: How extensive is maritime security cooperation among Southeast Asian nations, and what efforts are underway to expand cooperation?

Collin Koh: Maritime security cooperation among Southeast Asian countries remains primarily bilateral, which makes sense since countries in the region have varying threat perceptions and resource capacities. In the past decade, countries have gravitated toward so-called mini-lateral frameworks—coalitions of a few neighbors coalescing around a particular, common maritime security problem that does not require a broader, multilateral level of participation. These coalitions are better focused and take into account the region’s unique geostrategic and geopolitical contexts.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.