Studies, Reviews and Research

“Saving people or saving face? Four narratives of regional humanitarian order in Southeast Asia”

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Taylor & Francis Group

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states have invested substantially in cooperation on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR). Despite broad support for the idea of ‘localizing’ HADR governance, the rise of regional agency has in practice led to uncertainty and frictions between humanitarian stakeholders. This article makes sense of these tensions by investigating the narratives through which intra- and extra-regional agents construct the role of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre). Based on the assumption that narratives are central legitimating practices when new agents enter a governance arena, it analyzes textual material produced by different humanitarian organizations that operate in Southeast Asia, as well as interviews with representatives from these organizations.

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