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Attitudes and Awareness toward ASEAN: Findings of a Ten Nation Survey. Conducted by Dr. Eric C. Thompson National University of Singapore Dr. Chulanee Thianthai Chulalongkorn University. Overview. The history and future of ASEAN Our base-line survey attempts to measure:

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Attitudes and Awarenesstoward ASEAN:Findings of a Ten Nation Survey

Conducted by

Dr. Eric C. Thompson

National University of Singapore

Dr. Chulanee Thianthai

Chulalongkorn University


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Overview

  • The history and future of ASEAN

  • Our base-line survey attempts to measure:

  • Attitudes toward ASEAN

  • Knowledge about the region and the Association

  • Orientation toward the region and countries

  • Sources of information about the region

  • Aspirations for integration and action

  • Key findings on a nation-by-nation basis

  • Summary of region wide trends


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Subjects

  • 2,170 undergraduate university students (1064 male and 1106 female) from leading universities in each of the ten member nations of ASEAN

  • A sample of ~ 200-220 students per university

  • Average Age: 20 years old


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Methods

  • September to November 2007

  • Survey questionnaires were handed to students from leading universities


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Findings: Attitudes toward ASEAN

  • Toward ASEAN as a Whole

Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam

Most common across the region

Singapore and some other countries

Myanmar*

*Responses from Myanmar were Bi-modal: Positive and Skeptical


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Findings: Attitudes toward ASEAN

  • ASEAN citizenship. Over 75% agreed:

  • Nearly 90% felt that membership in ASEAN is beneficial to their nation and nearly 70 % felt it was beneficial to them personally

“ I feel I am a citizen of ASEAN”

Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam Strongest Agreement

Singapore Myanmar Least Agreement


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Findings: Attitudes toward ASEAN

  • Similarities among ASEAN countries

  • Greatest sense of similarity: Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia

  • Least sense of similarity: Singapore, Brunei, Myanmar, Malaysia

Economically and Politically Culturally

Dissimilar Similar


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Findings: Knowledge about the region and the Association

  • Overall, students have a strong knowledge about the region and association

  • “How familiar are you with ASEAN ?”

    • Greatest sense of familiarity: Vietnam, Laos

    • Least sense of familiarity: Brunei, Singapore, Myanmar


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Findings: Knowledge about the region and the Association

  • Students could list nine out of ten ASEAN countries and identify seven on a map of Southeast Asia.

  • Nearly 75% could identify ASEAN flag

    • Over 80% in all nations, other than Cambodia (63%), Thailand (38%) and Philippines (36%)

  • Nearly 50% could identify year of founding

    • Most in Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia

    • Least in Thailand and Myanmar

1967


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Findings: Orientation toward the region and countries

  • Most Salient Countries: Thailand, Malaysia

  • Most Familiar: Thailand, Singapore

  • Sub-regions: Mainland, Maritime

    • Generally, students are most aware and familiar with countries in their own sub-region

    • Within Mainland Southeast Asia, other countries are more salient than familiar

    • In other words, students in Mainland nations feel more familiar with some Maritime countries (Singapore, Malaysia) than with neighbors


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Findings: Orientation toward the region and countries

  • Orientations toward Travel and Work

  • Interest in knowing about other ASEAN countries. In general, over 90%

    • Strongest in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines

    • Weakest in Myanmar


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Findings: Sources of informationabout the region

  • Primary Sources:

    Television, School, Newspapers, Books

  • Secondary Sources:

    Internet, Radio

  • Others Sources:

    Sports, Advertising, Friends

  • Least Important Sources:

    Family, Travel, Movies, Music, Work


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Findings: Sources of informationabout the region

Notable Trends

  • Everywhere, Internet rated less important than television and newspapers

  • Importance of Internet reveals a linguistic bias (rather than wealth bias)

  • Media environments differ, for example Radio is especially important in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos; but not so elsewhere


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Findings: Aspirations for integration and action

  • Economic Cooperation

  • Tourism

  • Development Assistance

  • Educational Exchange

  • Security and Military Cooperation

  • Sports

  • Cultural Exchange

  • Political Cooperation

Most Important to Least Important Aspects of Integration and Cooperation

As ranked by “Strong Agreement” of students across the region


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Findings: Aspirations for integration and action

Issues Crucial to Cooperation and Awareness

  • Most important:

    • Poverty Reduction

    • Education Exchange and Improvements

    • Science and Technology Development

  • Moderately important:

    • Natural Resource and Environmental Management

  • Low importance:

    • Cultural Preservation and Promotion


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Findings: Aspirations for integration and action

Issues Crucial to Cooperation and Awareness

  • Notable variations across the region

  • Health and Disease Control

    • High importance in nations seeing it as a threat (Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore) but low were problems are endemic (Vietnam, Cambodia)

  • Science and Technology Development

    • Very low importance in Singapore, but high elsewhere

  • Disaster Prevention and Relief; Regional Identity and Solidarity also highly variable


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National Summaries

  • Brunei: Students’ knowledge of the region is very good. Attitudes are mostly positive, sometimes range toward ambivalence. Brunei remains one of the least well known countries.

  • Cambodia: Students are among the strongest ASEAN-enthusiasts. Objective knowledge of the region somewhat less than elsewhere.


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National Summaries

  • Indonesia: Generally positive attitudes toward the region. Responses in the middle range of those region-wide. Some affinity for Malay-Muslim neighbors; but not to exclusion of the rest of the region.

  • Laos: Among the strongest ASEAN-enthusiasts and strongest objective knowledge of ASEAN.


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National Summaries

  • Malaysia: Generally positive attitudes toward ASEAN, with some ambivalence. Overall in the middle-range of region-wide responses.

  • Myanmar: Evidence of two distinct attitudes; Skepticism among a substantial minority, generally positive attitudes among the majority. Weaker knowledge of ASEAN relative to the regional average.


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National Summaries

  • Philippines: Relatively weak knowledge of the region and Association; but generally positive attitude and interest about the region.

  • Singapore: Trend of ambivalence toward the region. Least likely to see ASEAN members as similar; least likely to see themselves as citizens of ASEAN; below average knowledge about the region. But, rate the benefit of their nation’s membership highly. Singapore also the most desirable destination for travel and work.


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National Summaries

  • Thailand: Generally positive attitudes toward the region and Association. Somewhat strong but uneven knowledge about the region and Association.

  • Vietnam: Among the strongest ASEAN-enthusiast and most knowledgeable about the region and Association. Some evidence of Vietnam’s emergence as a site for work and travel (but still less than Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Brunei)


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General Summary

  • ASEAN is in potential if not in fact, more than a diplomatic “talking shop”

  • Students display

    • High knowledge about ASEAN

    • Positive attitudes toward ASEAN

    • Consider themselves “Citizens” of ASEAN

  • Strongest ASEAN-enthusiasm among the newest, least-affluent members (with the exception of Myanmar)


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General Summary

  • Trend to “associate up” and “dissociate down”

  • Trend to see region as a threat in Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore; but not elsewhere.

  • Need for greater familiarity among Mainland nations

  • However, overall there is a strong trend in commonality of responses and overall positive attitude toward ASEAN throughout the region.


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Attitudes and Awarenesstoward ASEAN:Findings of a Ten Nation Survey

Conducted by

Dr. Eric C. Thompson

National University of Singapore

Dr. Chulanee Thianthai

Chulalongkorn University


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