U.S. - ASEAN Organized Crime Cooperation as Part of Washington's Rebalancing Policy Toward the Asia-Pacific

Date of Award

Summer 8-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International studies

Committee Director

Regina Karp

Committee Member

Steve Yetiv

Committee Member

Peter Schulman

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.I45 L93 2014


This research addresses the reasons why the United States of America (U.S.) has been involving in the effort of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to combat transnational organized crime. The author argues that Washington has been doing so because: first, it wants to prevent and suppress negative influences of Southeast Asian organized crime and protect national interests; second, it wants to increase regional capabilities, sometimes at the Association's request, and narrow differences so as to effectively deal with transnational organized crime; and third, it wants to justify its presence in the region and pave the way for the partial concretization of the rebalancing toward the Asia-Pacific.

The research finds that Washington's level of support to ASEAN's effort to combat transnational organized crime has steadily increased despite the ebbs and flows of the U.S.-ASEAN relationship. Given the fact that organized crime in the region gets worse, ASEAN lacks of capabilities to deal with problems incur, and the region is an important part of its rebalancing policy toward the Asia-Pacific, Washington's level of support to the region is expected to be on the rise. In other words, U.S. - ASEAN organized crime cooperation will be more dynamic in the future.


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