American hegemony and East Asian order

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97 Scopus citations


The dangers to today's liberal hegemonic order are twofold. One is the growing duality and disjunction between where the region sees its economic and security futures. Economically, most East Asian countries increasingly expect their future economic relations to be tied to China. In terms of security, most of these countries continue to expect to rely on American alliance protection. Indeed the rise of China makes this American security tie valuable. The question is: can the region remain stable when its economic and security logics increasingly diverge? The other danger is American security choices. Will the United States continue to invest political capital in its own regional order? More fundamentally, is a unipolar American world order compatible with strong bilateral security ties with old partners who are less important in confronting new terrorist-oriented security threats? I will look first at the basic logic of the postwar American-led East Asian liberal hegemonic order. After this I will explore the new challenges to this order. The challenge for both the United States and its partners in the region is to envisage a future regional order that involves more multilateral forms of security and political cooperation. But this needs to be done in a way that does not undermine the stabilising features of today's bilateral-based regional order.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-367
Number of pages15
JournalAustralian Journal of International Affairs
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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