IJSP is an International, Peer Reviewed/ Refereed, Indexed, Open Access, Online Journal of Arts and Social Sciences.

Comparision Between SAARC and ASEAN

Saumya Singh


  1. PG in Politics with Specialisation in International Relations, JNU New Delhi, INDIA 


The primary objectives behind the establishment of SAARC and ASEAN were promotion of closer cooperation between the member states on economic, political and diplomatic levels while, fostering regional peace and solidarity. Eventually the member states wanted to create zones that would be effective in enhancing regional security and order. Both regional organizations are guided by similar principles. However, when the workings are analyzed, it is realized that ASEAN has by far been more successful than SAARC in achieving its goals. Be it in terms of fostering intra-regional trade or preventing/scaling down of intra-regional conflicts. It is observed that while both regional organizations are circumscribed by sovereignty of their member states, and that regional asymmetries remain, ASEAN has been able to navigate its way through much more tactfully owing to “ASEAN way” and its use of informal mechanisms. Comparatively, SAARC has no set mechanism for resolving disputes and is constantly marred by mutual mistrust among its member states. In this research paper, the focus will be on comparing the performance and workings of SAARC as contrasted from that of ASEAN and finding the factors responsible for the same.

SAARC, ASEAN, sovereignty, dispute resolution, South Asia