From the age of asymmetry to the great reconvergence: Securing order in the Asian century

Andrew Phillips

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Hugh White has advanced a lucid, provocative but ultimately unduly pessimistic assessment of the region's strategic trajectory in his latest Quarterly Essay. While White argues that American primacy has underwritten the past forty years of peace, and that shifting power relativities will likely catalyse a revival of regional strategic contestation, I contend that Asian states have themselves played a critical role in consolidating and deepening the post-1972 peace through their adoption of self-strengthening strategies that link their continued security and prosperity to the preservation of the existing international order. Whereas the region's demographic giants (China, India and Indonesia) once pursued self-strengthening strategies involving a mixture of autarky at home and revisionism abroad, they have each since progressively abandoned these policies in favour of selfstrengthening programs that seek to enhance states' security and prosperity through their deeper integration within a predominantly liberal international order. This seismic reorientation in self-strengthening strategies-from isolation and confrontation to integration and conciliation-has left Asian states both stronger and more satisfied with the status quo than they were in the immediate post-colonial period. In so doing, this shift has cultivated a powerful constituency for peace encompassing the region's great and middle powers that should militate strongly against the revival of violent Great Power competition in Asia as American primacy gradually declines.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)94-101
    JournalAustralian Journal of International Affairs
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    Dive into the research topics of 'From the age of asymmetry to the great reconvergence: Securing order in the Asian century'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this