‘Yesterday’s Dreams, Tomorrow’s Promise’: Performing a Pan-ASEAN Archipelagic Identity at Age 50

William Peterson, Reagan Romero Maiquez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Rarely has the performance of politics, the politics of theatre, and the theatre of politics been so intertwined and so spectacularly realized as they were at the 31st ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Summit in Manila from 12-14 November 2017. Hosted by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, the occasion summit brought in ASEAN+3 partners China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, as well as countries with whom it has “Dialogue Relations.” An analysis of the summit’s principal public performances, namely the Gala Dinner and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, reflect how a pan-ASEAN identity and politics were imagined and performed in ways that create a virtual, coherent regionally-constituted archipelago where cultural flows, real and imagined, link states and geographical locations.

Amidst China’s ascent as the world’s second largest economy and Britain’s planned exit from the European Union, Southeast Asian economies as a collective block have become increasingly important in recent years not only within the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), but also as key global trading partners. By 2025, all independent nations of Southeast Asia apart from Timor Leste plan to constitute an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). With a combined 662 million people and a $2.6T economy, AEC will compete against regions like the European Union, East Asia, Australasia, and countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerforming Southeast Asia
Subtitle of host publicationPerformance, Politics and the Contemporary
EditorsMarcus Cheng Chye Tan, Charlene Rajendran
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-34686-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-34685-0
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Political Performance
  • Southeast Asia


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