1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of US Foreign Policy in the Indo-Pacific

Edited By Oliver Turner, Nicola Nymalm, Wali Aslam Copyright 2023
    528 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This handbook provides a comprehensive survey of US foreign policy throughout the Indo-Pacific. Home to around 60 percent of the world’s population; most of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies; around half of the world’s states with full nuclear capabilities; and a complicated web of unresolved tensions, disputes, and conflicts, the Indo-Pacific is arguably the most diverse, dynamic, and contested region on Earth. US strategy there has evolved over centuries, with its physical presence going broadly unchallenged since at least the middle of the last century. However, the rapid development and expanding influence of China – alongside the growth of India, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and others – as well as political and economic crises and disruptions within the United States itself, mean that in recent times the US has come to occupy a newly uncertain position and perceive a range of highly unfamiliar challenges.

    To explore how the US has managed, and continues to manage, its regional history, and how it approaches the modern-day landscape of an Indo-Pacific only recently normalised within international political discourse, the book contains 33 newly commissioned chapters from leading experts in the field. It does so partly with help from the more traditional realms of International Relations theory as well as more critical realms. It also unpacks US policy and strategy as it pertains to regional governments, states, and multilateral institutions, as well as to pressing issues including inter-state security, human rights, trade, artificial intelligence, and cyber strategy. It does so in four parts:

    • History of the US in the Indo-Pacific
    • Theorising US Policy and Presence in the Indo-Pacific
    • The US and Indo-Pacific States and Institutions
    • The US and Indo-Pacific Issues

    The book is designed to be of interest to students and scholars of the US in the Indo-/Asia Pacific; the international relations of the Indo-/Asia Pacific; and US foreign policy.

    Introduction Oliver Turner, Nicola Nymalm, and Wali Aslam
    SECTION ONE: History of the US in the Indo-Pacific 
    1. The United States in the Indo-Pacific before World War II: Trends, Strategic Thinking, and Diplomatic Realities  Dong Wang
    2. World War Two and the Post-War ‘New Order’ in the Indo-Pacific Sue Thompson 
    3. US Grand Strategy in Asia  Georg Löfflmann
    SECTION TWO: Theorising US policy and presence in the Indo-Pacific
    4. ‘Asian’ International Relations Theory: Theorizing Difference, Speaking Back from the Indo-Pacific, and Alternative Imaginaries of US Indo-Pacific Policy Lena Tan
    5. The Racial Dimensions of US Policies and the Indo-Pacific Zoltán I. Búzás
    6. Power and Hegemony in the Indo-Pacific: A Postcolonial View Sheila Nair
    7. West Meets East: Constructivism and American Policy in the Indo-Pacific Jarrod Hayes
    8. Poststructuralism and US Discourses of the Indo-Pacific Benjamin Coulson
    9. Gender and American Foreign and Security Policy in the Indo-Pacific Eric M. Blanchard
    10. Explaining the US Presence in the Indo-Pacific: Marxist-Gramscian-Kautskyian Approaches Inderjeet Parmar and Bamo Nouri
    11. Realist Theories and US Foreign Policy in the Indo-Pacific Michael Mastanduno
    12. The Liberal Paradigm and US Policy in the Indo-Pacific  John M. Owen
    SECTION THREE: The US and Indo-Pacific states and institutions 
    13. US Foreign Policy Towards China  Oliver Turner
    14. The US, Japan, and the Indo-Pacific Sheila A. Smith
    15. The US and North Korea: The Nuclear Problem that Refuses to Go Away  Ramon Pacheco Pardo
    16. Alliance Asymmetries and the Challenges of Balancing Security and Democracy: US relations with the Republic of Korea  John Nilsson-Wright
    17. The United States and Taiwan: Foundations and Challenges of the One China Policy Jonathan Sullivan and Jessica Drun 
    18. The Philippines in the United States’ Indo-Pacific Grand Strategies: From Strategic Rebalancing to Strategic Competition  Renato Cruz De Castro
    19. Less is More: US Engagement with Indonesia (1945–2021)  Timo Kivimäki
    20. Values Over Interests: Variations in US–Myanmar Policy since 1988  Hunter Marston
    21. US Relations with Sri Lanka: A Case of Impulsiveness, Missed Opportunities and Strategic Competition  Bhagya Senaratne
    22. The Evolution of American Foreign Policy Toward India Sumit Ganguly 
    23. Misaligned Expectations and Broken Promises: United States Foreign Policy Approach Towards Pakistan (1947–2021)  Wali Aslam
    24. US Engagement with Australia: ‘No Better Friend’?  Rebecca Strating
    25. The United States and ASEAN: Bilateralism and Regionalism in a Changing Asia  Alice D. Ba
    SECTION FOUR: The US and Indo-Pacific issues 
    26. The Pursuit of Primacy: US Security Policy in Indo-Pacific  Nick Bisley
    27. US Regional Economic Policy in the Indo-Pacific  Rémy Davison
    28. Congress, Domestic Politics and Contemporary US Policy in the Indo-Pacific Robert Sutter 
    29. US Nuclear Strategy in the Indo-Pacific (1945–2021) Benjamin Zala
    30. The Role of Democracy and Human Rights in US Indo-Pacific Policy (1945–2021) David O. Shullman
    31. US Concerns Regarding the Belt and Road Initiative David Arase
    32. US Cyber Strategy in the Indo-Pacific  Kimberly Orinx
    33. The US, Indo-Pacific, AI and Emerging Security Technologies James Johnson


    Oliver Turner is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

    Nicola Nymalm is Assistant Professor in War Studies at the Swedish Defence University (FHS) and an Associate Research Fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) in Stockholm.

    Wali Aslam is Reader (Associate Professor) in International Relations at the University of Bath, UK.

    "The volume is a collection of comprehensive, up-to-date, and balanced analyses of US policy in the Indo-Pacific by top-notch experts. A must reading for students and practitioners of American foreign policy and Indo-Pacific affairs."

    - Chung-in Moon, Chairman of the Sejong Institute and Professor Emeritus, Yonsei University

    "In the 2020s, the United States is staking its credibility on the stabilising role it plays in a region defined as the Indo-Pacific. This book brings an exceptional diversity of global scholarship to bear on understanding the many dimensions and long pedigree of America's Indo-Pacific policies, which are about much more than the military balancing of China."  

    - Rory Medcalf, Professor and Head, National Security College, Australian National University, and author of Indo-Pacific Empire: China, America and the Contest for the World's Pivotal Region.

    "A timely and valuable contribution to understanding how the idea of the Indo-Pacific is taking shape as a normalised region, and how it has become enveloped into the dominant geopolitical rivalries of our era. This Handbook offers a wide range of perspectives and voices, and covers issues, actors, and methodological approaches that help to uncover the nature and significance of America's role in the evolution of this construct."

    - Rosemary Foot, Professor Emerita, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford.