Benny Teh's research focuses on the role and significance of human security in the development of ASEAN. Regional security cooperation has for far too long remained a top-down process with limited involvement of the people. This has adversely affected the construction of a shared regional identity that the ASEAN leaders aim to achieve. Instead of supplementing existing political structures with human security elements, there is a need to consider human security as the core of ASEAN's development. The decision to establish the ASEAN Community and the subsequent call for a people-centered institution lend credence to the obligation to develop policies that not only protect peoples' wellbeing but also empower them through regional processes.