Central to India–ASEAN relations has been a consistent equivalence between their similar core principles and outlooks, which have served as a shared value-based footing upon which the two entities have built and enhanced their relations. These underlying sets of norms inform their diplomatic dealings with each other, and stem from principles and practices critical to their foundational identities and experiences. This article investigates and evaluates the historical roots of these norms and then utilizes them as an analytical vehicle with which to trace the growing strategic convergence typifying present-day India–ASEAN relations. Drawing upon constructivist accounts that emphasize the role played by history, culture, identity and learning, the article considers the key areas of agreement in relations, and how a value-based form of analysis provides an essential lens through which to better understand material factors structuring their relations. It also underlines the analytical value and empirical richness that a norm-based approach provides for analysing specific sets of norms in a specific state-to-multilateral interaction.