1st Edition

Geopolitics, Military Modernisation and the Future of the Indo-Pacific

    178 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines to what extent geopolitics explains the current wave of force modernisation in the Indo-Pacific region. Examining the leading Indo-Pacific nations in terms of defence spending: the United States, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, Pakistan, Indonesia and Thailand, geopolitical principles are used to create hypotheses that can be tested against the military modernisation programmes of the major actors in the Indo-Pacific region. The book represents a bridge between reference works and the literature on international politics in the Indo-Pacific. The empirical chapters provide qualitative narratives that explore the force postures, military modernisation and procurement patterns of the cases, and assess why these nations’ military modernisation has followed particular courses and evaluate this evidence against the expectations of geopolitics and its rivals. This book will be a valuable addition to scholars, practitioners and, indeed, anyone interested in the future stability of one of the world’s most important and dynamic regions.

    List of Illustrations


    Chapter 1: Introduction         

    Chapter 2: The Influence of Geopolitics and Geostrategy on Force Modernisation

    Chapter 3: Great Power Competition: China’s Military Build-Up and US-China Rivalry      

    Chapter 4:  The Geopolitics of Middle Powers’ Military Modernisation

    Chapter 5: Small Powers, Geopolitics and Military Modernisation 

    Chapter 6: Beyond Geopolitics: Explaining Military Modernisation in the Middle and Small Powers of the Indo-Pacific

    Chapter 7: Conclusion: Geopolitics and Other Factors




    Dr Bates Gill is Executive Director of the Center for China Analysis with the Asia Society Policy Institute and Honorary Professor with the Department of Security Studies and Criminology, Macquarie University.  His 35-year international career has focused on security issues in Asia, especially with regard to China.  He has academic and think tank leadership positions in the United States, China, Europe and Australia, including with the Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.  The author or editor of ten books, Dr Gill received his PhD in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.

    Adam Lockyer is Associate Professor in Strategic Studies at Macquarie University and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Sea Power Centre, Australia. He held the 2015 Fulbright Scholarship in US-Australian Alliance Studies at Georgetown University. Before joining the Department of Security Studies and Criminology, A/Prof. Lockyer was a Research Fellow in Defence Studies at the University of New South Wales. He has also held positions at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in Washington, DC, and was the Lowy Institute's 2008 Thawley Scholarship in International Security winner.

    Yves-Heng Lim is Senior Lecturer in Security Studies at the Department of Security Studies and Criminology, Macquarie University. His research focuses on the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific, the evolution of China’s strategy, with a particular interest in China’s naval strategy, and international relations theory (realism and power transition theory). Yves-Heng is the author of China’s Naval  Power: An Offensive Realist Approach (Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, 2014) and of more than 20 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. His works appeared in the Journal of Strategic Studies, the Journal of Contemporary China, Contemporary Strategy, and Asian Security.

    Andrew T. H. Tan is Non-Resident Principal Fellow, Institute for Indo-Pacific Affairs (IIPA), New Zealand. He was Professor of Security Studies at Macquarie University until February 2024. Andrew specialises in defence issues, regional security, terrorism and insurgency. He was also previously Senior Lecturer at King's College London and was based at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, Watchfield, UK. Andrew is a graduate of Cambridge and Sydney, where he obtained his PhD. He is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of 23 books to date, and has been consulted by governments and security agencies over the years.

    "This ground-breaking analysis of Indo-Pacific military modernization provides a vital bridge between abstract geopolitical theory and regional arms acquisitions. Co-authored by four esteemed authorities, it meticulously explores the military strategies of major, middle, and smaller powers, unveiling counter-intuitive findings that open valuable avenues for new research. Importantly, the book adds essential breadth to its formidable depth by highlighting the role that factors beyond geopolitics - domestic pressures, prestige, alliances, corruption, and bureaucratic rivalries - play in shaping strategic choices. In short, Geopolitics, Military Modernisation and the Future of the Indo-Pacific is an indispensable resource, offering unique insight into the world’s most strategically vital region. Highly recommended!"

    - Dr Brendan Taylor, Professor of Strategic Studies at the Australian National University and co-author of Asia’s New Geopolitics: Military Power and Regional Order (IISS, 2021).