Mr Robert Yates

Supervised by

  • Evelyn Goh First/primary/lead supervisor


Personal profile

Robert completed his PhD in 2015 and also holds a BSc in IR and Law from the University of Plymouth and an MSc in IR from Royal Holloway. His main research interests are IR theory, particularly the English School of IR, and the international relations of the Asia-Pacific. His thesis addressed the puzzle of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' (ASEAN) pominence in regional order negotiation and management in Southeast and East Asia. His thesis argued that this prominence is best understood as being based on ASEAN's successful creation of a legitimate social role for itself as the 'regional conductor' of the Asia-Pacific 'orchestra'. Robert anaysed the creation of this role by developing a role negotiation analytical framework which he then applied to ASEAN-great power interactions from the early Cold War period to the present day. He showed how cumulative role negotiation between ASEAN states and the US and China has led to a division of labour in terms of the performance of functions that serve to manage regional order. ASEAN-great power negotiations have therefore established not only ASEAN's legitimate role, but also how this role is situated in relation to other players' role - specifically the regional manifestation of the great power role. ASEAN and the great powers' social roles are given legitimacy through the establishment of reciprocal role bargains. These bargains are based on mutual understandings between ASEAN and the great powers that serve common goals and are underpinned by instrumental and normative logics. This account of regional states' role negotiation provides a stable middle ground between the dominant realist and constructivist explanations of why ASEAN is so prominent in regional order negotiation and management at times of crisis and transition. page:

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