SOMKIAT ONWIMON, University of Pennsylvania


ASEAN, formed in 1967, was intended to be an important regional organization for economic and social cooperation. For India, regional cooperation has always been a very important aspect of its foreign policy. The ASEAN idea was, therefore, a very important aspect of its foreign policy. The ASEAN idea was, therfore, a very appealing one. India, however, was not invited to join the new regional organization. Though India remains outside the framework of ASEAN, its role in the region and its relations with the countries within the region are still important.^ One of the objectives of this study is to ascertain the state of India's relations with the ASEAN countries. This study starts with an assumption that institutional linkage, e.g., being in the same regional grouping, is an important factor contributing to intensity of bilateral relations. Not being an ASEAN member, India is expected to have a low level of intensity of relations with the ASEAN countries. But among the ASEAN countries there are some with whom India has institutional linkages, such as a common membership in the Non-aligned Movement or in the Commonwealth of Nations. In examining India's relations with the five ASEAN countries it is expected that relations with Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia will be more intense than those with Thailand and the Philippines.^ To measure the level of intensity of relations India's bilateral transactional relations with each ASEAN country--especially political, economic and socio-cultural transactions--are examined. Statistical computation of countable transactional data supports the hypothesis that transactional activities quantitatively correlate to intensity of relations.^ The study found that India's relations with Malaysia and Singapore were more intense than with the rest of the ASEAN countries. The three belong to the Non-aligned Movement as well as the Commonwealth of Nations. India also fared better with Indonesia than with Thailand and the Philippines. Again it must be pointed out that both India and Indonesia are non-aligned countries while Thailand and the Philippines are not. As the dissertation studies political, economic and socio-cultural aspects of transactional relations separately, separate conclusions on each of these categories also revealed the same pattern of relations.^ Compared with other countries India's relations with the ASEAN countries are still very low in intensity. Low as they are, India's relations with some ASEAN members are distinguishably special due to their other common institutional linkages. This study, therefore, concludes that institutional linkages contribute to the intensity of relations, and maybe, but not necessarily, to better relations. To measure such intensity of relations this study showed that quantitative evaluation of transactional data is an acceptable method. ^

Subject Area

Political Science, International Law and Relations

Recommended Citation

ONWIMON, SOMKIAT, "INDIA'S RELATIONS WITH THE ASEAN COUNTRIES, 1966-1975: A TRANSACTION ANALYSIS" (1981). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI8208022.