While US-centred bilateralism and ASEAN-led multilateralism have largely dominated the post-Cold War regional security architecture in the Indo-Pacific, increasing doubts about their effectiveness have resulted in countries turning to alternative forms of cooperation, such as minilateral arrangements. Compared to multilateral groupings, minilateral platforms are smaller in size, as well as more exclusive, flexible and functional.
Both China and the US have contributed to minilateral initiatives in the Indo-Pacific. In the case of the former, there is the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation mechanism—involving China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam—established in 2015. In the case of the latter, there has been a revival of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue in 2017—involving the US, Australia, Japan and India. This book examines the rise of these arrangements, their challenges and opportunities, as well as their impact on the extant regional security architecture, including on the ASEAN-led multilateral order.
A valuable guide for students and policy-makers looking to understand the nature and development of minilateralism in the Indo-Pacific region.
Table of Contents
List of contributors
Introduction: minilateralism in the Indo-Pacific (Bhubhindar Singh and Sarah Teo)
1. Minilateralism and US security policy in the Indo-Pacific: the legacy, viability, and deficiencies of a new security approach (William T. Tow)
2. The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue and Indo-Pacific minilateralism: resurrection without renewal? (Andrew O’Neil and Lucy West)
3. The future of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue: possibilities and challenges (Tomohiko Satake)
4. Lancang-Mekong Cooperation: minilateralism in institutional building and its implications (Xue Gong)
5. Lancang-Mekong Cooperation: the latest stage of China’s hydro-politics (Shang-su Wu)
6. The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue and ASEAN centrality (Huong Le Thu)
7. Minilateralism in Southeast Asia: facts, opportunities, and risks (Vannarith Chheang)
8. ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus: multilateralism mimicking minilateralism? (See Seng Tan)