Banyan: Trouble at home

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Political instability returns to South-East Asia

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SINCE the turmoil of the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s, South-East Asia has, with some glaring exceptions, enjoyed remarkable political stability. Its leaders have used that calm to promote greater integration of their club, the Association of South-East Asian Nations, or ASEAN. This was supposed to reach something of a climax at the end of 2015, with the birth of the ASEAN Community, which would set up an “economic community”, turning a region of 630m people into a “single market and a single production base”. But this looks likely to be a hollow achievement. There will be myriad formal legislative targets but little genuine integration. One reason is that the political backdrop has changed. Throughout the region, governments are increasingly preoccupied by crises at home.
The usual sources of instability, such as …<div class="og_rss_groups"></div>