Minilaterals and Deterrence: A Critical New Nexus

Arzan Tarapore, Brendan Taylor

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    As countries around the Indo-Pacific strive to manage the challenges of China’s growing power and assertiveness, they have emphasized two concepts. First, they have increasingly embraced “minilateral” groupings—small, issue-based, informal, and uninstitutionalized partnerships—as a way of coordinating international policy action. This trend has been building gradually for over two decades, ever since the emergence of mechanisms such as the U.S.-Japan-Korea Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group in the late 1990s and the U.S.- Australia-Japan Trilateral Strategic Dialogue during the early 2000s. But these groupings sharply expanded in number and ambition in the 2010s. The standard-bearer of the minilateral model is the Quad—comprising Australia, India, Japan, and the United States—which was resuscitated in 2017 and now involves regular summit-level meetings. The boldest minilateral is AUKUS, announced in 2021, which brings together alreadyclose allies Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States to further deepen defense technology cooperation, including the provision of nuclear-powered submarines to Australia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2-7
    JournalAsia Policy
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

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