Small States and Hegemonic Competition in Southeast Asia: Pursuing Autonomy, Security and Development amid Great Power Politics, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Small States and Hegemonic Competition in Southeast Asia

Pursuing Autonomy, Security and Development amid Great Power Politics, 1st Edition

By Chih-Mao Tang


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In the last few decades, Southeast Asia has become generally more peaceful and more prosperous, with progress in economic development, regional cooperation and integration. ASEAN in particular plays a leading role within and beyond the region in promoting multilateral cooperation in both security and economic matters. All these developments progress amid increasing hegemonic competition between the US and China for regional dominance in the Asia-Pacific region. According to the realist viewpoint of international politics, Southeast Asian states can do nothing but choose sides at the expense of international political autonomy in order to maintain their national interests. Tang argues, however, that in fact there exists an opportunity for Southeast Asian states to simultaneously reinforce their military security, economic development and international political autonomy in face of the US-China hegemonic competition.

Drawing on the ideas of power transition theory and recent works of capitalist peace, Tang argues that small states can exploit the competition between great powers to make economic gains and ensure security while maintaining their autonomy. He outlines the necessity of cooperation among these small states and of economic liberalization for the effectiveness of this reinforcing dynamics, applying policy and econometric analyses to a wide range of qualitative and quantitative data.

Table of Contents


1. Chapter 1: Introduction

2. Chapter 2: Small State’s Autonomy, Security, and Development: A Reinforcing Logic

3. Chapter 3: Southeast Asian States’ Cooperation in the Context of US-China Competition

4. Chapter 4: Pursuit of Economic Development and Southeast Asian Peace

5. Chapter 5: US-China Competition and Southeast Asian States’ International Political and Strategic Autonomy

6. Chapter 6: Conclusion


About the Author

Chih-Mao Tang is Assistant Professor and Director of Center for Globalization and Peace Research in the Department of Political Science, Soochow University, Taiwan.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in International Relations and Global Politics

International relations is a rapidly changing area of research, reacting to and anticipating an ever more integrated and globalised world. This series aims to publish the best new work in the field of international relations, and of politics more generally. Books in the series challenge existing empirical and normative theories, and advance new paradigms as well as presenting significant new research.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Treaties
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Intergovernmental Organizations
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies