ASEAN’s Half Century: A Political History of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations

by Nur Diyana


This book stands as an invaluable reference for both scholars of ASEAN and those who are interested in the organisation as it encapsulates all pivotal historical milestones from its inception. Donald E. Weatherbee’s extensive history as an ASEAN scholar, coupled with his network and hands-on experiences in Southeast Asia, greatly enriches the book. His unique position allows for personal connections and insightful perspectives to be woven seamlessly into the narrative, offering readers a more nuanced understanding of the events described. While primarily descriptive, the book serves as a comprehensive point of reference for the history of ASEAN, offering valuable insights and information. The organisation and structure of the book are commendable, as Weatherbee navigates through different periods of ASEAN’s history with clarity. The chronological approach aids readers in following the progression of events, and the thematic discussions offer a holistic view of the political dynamics within the organisation. However, the academic tone of the book could be a challenge for those without a background in Southeast Asian politics and its extensive scope may not be ideal for those looking for a concise overview.

NUS Libraries is home to one of many ASEAN Corners, the fruit of a project to establish information centres in the libraries of higher education institutions in ASEAN member states. This dedicated space provides authoritative information about ASEAN through digital resources comprising books, periodicals, maps, language instructions, infographics and videos covering economic, political, security, and socio-cultural aspects. You can find the ASEAN Corner at the Peggy Wai Chee Leong-Hochstadt Room on the fifth level of NUS Central Library. For more details, visit

To delve into the history of ASEAN, refer to this curated collection or explore this comprehensive list of ASEAN-related holdings within our libraries. 

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