To construct a coherent account of East Asia's evolving security order, this article treats the United States not as an extra-regional actor, but as the central force in constituting regional stability and order. It proposes that there is a layered regional hierarchy in East Asia, led by the United States, with China, Japan, and India constituting layers underneath its dominance. The major patterns of equilibrium and turbulence in the region since 1945 can be explained by the relative stability of the US position at the top of the regional hierarchy, with periods of greatest insecurity being correlated with greatest uncertainty over the American commitment to managing regional order. Furthermore, relationships of hierarchical assurance and hierarchical deference help to explain critical puzzles about the regional order in the post-Cold War era.
|Journal||International Relations of the Asia-Pacific|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|