A Comparative Study of Geopolitics Impacts on ECO and ASEAN

Document Type : Original Article



Recently, geopolitical competitions have very important role in convergence and divergence of economic blocks because states have learned that they lack all requisites for economic prosperity and having a flourishing economy needs to form economic-political institutions. History proved that economy is not an independent issue rather it is closely interlinked to politics and culture.
Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are two major politico economic blocks, which in spite of common history have produced different results. Both organizations are alike and were established with the aim to have distance from communism, under western encouragement. ECO member-states have been lacking the necessary political and economic coordination thus has not proved a dynamic organization, whereas ASEAN has taken lead on many fronts.
Through applying geopolitical and international political theories especially the model of Cantori, Louis J. and Steven L. Spiegel, this article tries to study and comparatively analyze the weaknesses and potentials of both organizations. The findings show that ASEAN benefits more than ECO in economic, political, cultural, organizational and communicational coordination. Furthermore, the role of major powers and geopolitical factors in ASEAN has been more constructive than ECO. Geopolitics in ECO has made this region as vulnerable for great powers interference, and therefore the integrity of the region cannot be shaped properly. In sum, ASEAN economic integration has been more developed than ECO.