Bilateralism, Multilateralism and Asia-Pacific Security: Contending Cooperation, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Bilateralism, Multilateralism and Asia-Pacific Security

Contending Cooperation, 1st Edition

Edited by William T. Tow, Brendan Taylor


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Many scholars of international relations in Asia regard bilateralism and multilateralism as alternative and mutually exclusive approaches to security co-operation. They argue that multilateral associations such as ASEAN will eventually replace the system of bilateral alliances which were the predominant form of U.S. security co-operation with Asia-Pacific allies during the Cold War. Yet these bilateral alliances continue to be the primary means of the United States’ strategic engagement with the region. This book contends that bilateralism and multilateralism are not mutually exclusive, and that bilateralism is likely to continue strong even as multilateralism strengthens. It explores a wide range of issues connected with this question. It discusses how US bilateral alliances have been reinvigorated in recent years, examines how bilateral and multilateral approaches to specific problems can work alongside each other, and concludes by considering how patterns of international security are likely to develop in the region in future.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Setting the Context 1. Introduction William T. Tow and Brendan Taylor 2. Conceptualising the Bilateral-multilateral Nexus Brendan Taylor Part 2: The Nexus and America’s Asian Alliances 3. Bridging Alliances and Asia-Pacific Multilateralism Ajin Choi and William T. Tow 4. Stretching the Japan–US Alliance Rikki Kersten 5. The US–Philippines Alliance: Moving Beyond Bilateralism Renato De Castro 6. Thailand's Security Policy: Bilateralism or Multilateralism? Chulacheeb Chinwanno Part 3: The Nexus and Asian Multilateralism 7. The Role of the Five Power Defence Arrangements in the Southeast Asian Security Architecture Ralf Emmers 8. Territorial and Maritime Jurisdiction Disputes in East Asia: Comparing Bilateral and Multilateral Approaches Aileen SP Baviera 9. The Bilateral–Multilateral Nexus in Asia's Defence Diplomacy David Capie Part 4: The Nexus and Asian Security Order 10. The Rise of China and the Transformation of Asia-Pacific Security Architecture Ryo Sahashi 11. Alliances and Order in the "Asian Century" Hugh White 12. Conceptualizing the Relationship between Bilateral and Multilateral Security Approaches in East Asia: A Great Power Regional Order Framework Evelyn Goh 13. Conclusion William T. Tow

About the Editors

William Tow is Professor and Head of the Department of International Relations at the Australian National University.

Brendan Taylor is Associate Professor and Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University.

About the Series

Routledge Security in Asia Pacific Series

Series editors: Leszek Buszynski and William Tow, both Australian National University


New security concerns are emerging in the Asia Pacific region as global players face challenges from rising great powers, all of which interact with confident middle powers in complicated ways. This series puts forward important new work on key security issues in the region. It embraces the roles of the major actors, their defense policies and postures and their security interaction over the key issues of the region. It includes coverage of the United States, China, Japan, Russia, the Koreas, as well as the middle powers of ASEAN and South Asia. It also covers issues relating to environmental and economic security as well as transnational actors and regional groupings.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General