The Rise and Return of the Indo-Pacific

ISBN : 9780198739524

Timothy Doyle; Dennis Rumley
240 Pages
156 x 156 mm
Pub date
Dec 2019
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In the 21st century, the Indo-Pacific region has become the new centre of the world. The concept of the 'Indo-Pacific', though still under construction, is a potentially 'pivotal' site, where various institutions and intellectuals of statecraft are seeking common ground on which to anchor new regional coalitions, alliances. and allies to better serve their respective national agendas. This book explores the 'Indo-Pacific' as an ambiguous and hotly contested regional security construction. It critically examines the major drivers behind the revival of classical geopolitical concepts and their deployment through different national lenses. The book also analyses the presence of India and the U.S in the Indo-Pacific, and the manner in which China has reacted to their positions in the Indo-Pacific to date. It suggests that national constructions of the Indo-Pacific region are more informed by domestic political realities, anti-Chinese bigotries, distinctive properties of 21st century U.S hegemony, and narrow nation-statist sentiments rather than genuine pan-regional aspirations. The Rise and Return of the Indo-Pacific argues that the spouting of contested depictions of the Indo-Pacific region depend on the fixed geo-strategic lenses of nation-states, but what is also important is the re-emergence of older ideas - a classical conceptual revival - based on early to mid-20th century geopolitical ideas in many of these countries. The book deliberately raises the issue of the sea and constructions of 'nature', as these symbols are indispensable parts of many of these Indo-Pacific regional narratives. Despite the existence of diverse nation-statist, pan- and sub-regional discourses, the narratives of the most powerful states still dominate 21st century Indo-Pacific statecraft. The term 'Indo-Pacific' has the potential of unsettling various existing bilateral and multilateral geopolitical equations within the Indian Ocean region. Despite substantial heterogeneity in Indo-Pacific regional imaginations, the most dominant 'stories' and 'maps' are crafted and disseminated by the most dominant nation -in this case, the U.S- as it grapples with new ways of retaining its hegemony into the 21st century.


1 Introduction: Constructions of the Indo-Pacific Region
2 Maritime Regional Theories: Oceans and Seas
3 The Return of Traditional Geopolitical Thought: The Rise of the Indo-Pacific Concept
4 The New 'Multiplex' Cold War in the Indo-Pacific
5 The US 'Pivot' in the Indo-Pacific
6 The Role of India in the Indo-Pacific
7 Regional Middle Powers and the Indo-Pacific Strategic Narrative
8 The Rise of China and the Indo-Pacific
9 Conclusion: Continuities, Change and Challenges

About the author: 

Timothy Doyle, is Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of Adelaide in Australia, where he teaches Global Environmental Politics, International Political Economy, the International Relations of the Indo-Pacific, and Political Fiction. He was Founding Chair of The Indo-Pacific Governance Research Centre (IPGRC) in the School of Social Sciences in the Faculty of Arts. He has served as Chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association's Academic Group, based in Mauritius. He is also Emeritus Professor of Politics and International Relations at Keele University in the United Kingdom. At Keele, he served as Founding Head of the Research Centre for Politics, International Relations and Environment (RC for SPIRE). At the time of writing, Doyle is also Distinguished Research Fellow at the Australia-Asia-Pacific Institute (AAPI), Curtin University, Western Australia. He is Chief Editor of the Journal of the Indian Ocean Region, Taylor and Francis. ; Dennis Rumley is a well-known political geographer from the 'Newcastle School', is the Foundation Editor of the Journal of the Indian Ocean Region as well as being outgoing Foundation Chair of the Indian Ocean Research Group (IORG). He has taught and researched at the University of Western Australia, the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, and more recently at Curtin University where he was Professor of Indian Ocean Studies. For the past 30 years, Dennis Rumley's research has centred principally on Australia's regional relations, first, with the Asia-Pacific, second, with the south-west Pacific and then with the Indian Ocean Region. The latter led to a series of collaborative projects on various aspects of the geopolitics of the Indian Ocean Region with IORG colleagues, especially Sanjay Chaturvedi and Timothy Doyle.

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