East Asian Security & International Relations
A major scholarly book published in January 2020 with Oxford University Press setting out two innovative conceptual and empirical approaches to reconsider shared histories in Northeast Asia. Winner of the ISA Asia-Pacific Distinguished Book Award.
  • Watch the authors discussing the book at the Toda Peace Institue (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4).
  • Watch the authors discussing the book at the ANU Coral Bell School book launch.
  • Watch Evelyn’s presentation of the four scenarios for East Asia’s future order (Chapter 7).
  • Listen to Prof. Buzan’s discussion of the book’s historical approach.
  • Read some reviews of the book by Shin Kawashima, Amy King, and Seo-Hyun Park.

How has world order changed since the Cold War ended? Do we live in an age of American empire, or is global power shifting to the East with the rise of China? Arguing that existing ideas about the balance of power and power transition are inadequate, this book gives an innovative reinterpretation of the changing nature of U.S. power, focused on the 'order transition' in East Asia.

  • Read some reviews of the book by Alice D. Ba, Andrew Hurrell, and Andrew Phillips.
  • Read Evelyn's Centre of Gravity article exploring some of the book's themes.

In Southeast Asia, China’s growing economic and political strength has been accompanied by adept diplomacy and active promotion of regional cooperation, institutions and integration. Southeast Asian states and China engage in ‘strategic regionalism’: they seek regional membership for regime legitimation and collective bargaining; and regional integration to enhance economic development, regarded as essential for ensuring national and regime security. Sino-Southeast Asian regionalism is exemplified by the development plans for the Mekong River basin, where ambitious projects for building regional infrastructural linkages and trade contribute to mediating the security concerns of the Mekong countries. However, Mekong regionalism also generates new insecurities. Developing the resources of the Mekong has led to serious challenges in terms of governance, distribution and economic externalities. Resource allocation and exploitation conflicts occur most obviously within the realm of water projects, especially hydropower development programmes. While such disputes are not likely to erupt into armed conflict because of the power asymmetry between China and the lower Mekong states, they exacerbate Southeast Asian concerns about China’s rise and undermine Chinese rhetoric about peaceful development. But the negative security consequences of developing the Mekong are also due to the shared economic imperative, and the Southeast Asian states’ own difficulties with collective action due to existing intramural conflicts.

In East Asia, the United States is often acknowledged as a key determinant of stability given its military presence and role as a security guarantor. In the post-Cold War period, regional uncertainties about the potential dangers attending a rising China have led some analysts to conclude that almost all Southeast Asian states now see the United States as the critical balancing force. In contrast, based on case studies of Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam, this study argues that key states in the region do not perceive themselves as having the stark choices of either balancing against or bandwagoning with China. Instead, they pursue hedging strategies that comprise three elements: indirect balancing, which mainly involves persuading the United States to act as counterweight to Chinese regional influence; complex engagement of China at the political, economic, and strategic levels, with the hope that Chinese leaders may be socialized into conduct that abides by international norms; and a more general policy of enmeshing a number of regional great powers in order to give them a stake in a stable regional order. The study also investigates each state?s perceptions of the American role in regional security and discusses how they operationalize their hedging policies against a potential U.S. drawdown in the region, as well as the different degrees to which they use their relationships with the United States as a hedge against potential Chinese domination. Finally, it discusses these states? expectations of what the United States should do to help in their hedging strategies toward China, suggesting a range of policies that span the military as well as political, diplomatic, and economic realms. This is the sixteenth publication in Policy Studies, a peer-reviewed East-West Center Washington series that presents scholarly analysis of key contemporary domestic and international political, economic, and strategic issues affecting Asia in a policy relevant manner.

With Nixon's historic reconciliation with China in 1972, Sino-American relations were restored, and China moved from being regarded as America's most implacable enemy to a friend and tacit ally. Existing accounts of the rapprochement focus on the shifting balance of power between the USA, China and the Soviet Union, but in this book Goh argues that they cannot adequately explain the timing and policy choices related to Washington's decisions for reconciliation with Beijing.
Edited Volumes
Featuring contributions from leading experts, this book provides a new analytical framework of influence. Featuring new case studies in developing Asia, it focuses on economic, political, and military dimensions.
  • Read Andrew Nathan's review in Foreign Affairs.
  • Read Joel Campbell's review in International Affairs.
  • Read Kevin Cooney's review in Asian Politics & Policy.
  • Read Brantly Womack's review in the Asan Forum.
Reassessing Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific
This volume reassesses security cooperation in the region in light of such recent developments as the emergence of new roles for existing institutions, the rise of new institutions, challenges to existing norms of regional interaction, increasing formalization or legalization of regional institutions, the reconstruction of modes of security cooperation that were once seen as mutually exclusive, and the creation of ad hoc and informal security approaches. The book examines how successful these new arrangements have been, whether there is competition among them, and why some modes of security cooperation have proven more feasible than others.
China, America and Southeast Asia: Contending Perspectives on Politics, Economics and Security
China's emergence as a great power is a global concern that can potentially alter the structure of world politics. Its rise is multidimensional, affecting the political, security, and economic affairs of all states that comprise the world's fastest developing region of the Asia-Pacific.

Most of the recently published studies on China's rise have focused on its relations with its immediate neighbours in Northeast Asia: Japan, the Koreas, Taiwan, and Russia. Less attention has been given to Southeast Asia's relations with China. To address these issues, this volume, with its wide range of perspectives, will make a valuable contribution to the ongoing policy and academic dialogue on a rising China. It examines a range of perspectives on the nature of China's rise and its implications for Southeast Asian states as well as US interests in the region.
Journal Articles
  • 'China in International Affairs: A Century of Encounter', International Affairs, May 2022. Read the article here.
  • 'Worldviews on the United States, Alliances, and the Changing International Order: An Introduction’, Contemporary Politics 26:4, 2020, pp. 371-383 (co-authored with Ryo Sahashi). Read the article here.
  • 'In Response: Alliance Dynamics, Variables, and the English School for East Asia’, International Politics 57, 2020, pp. 278-284. Read the article here.
  • ‘Contesting Hegemonic Order: China in East Asia,’ Security Studies 28:3, 2019, pp. 614-644. Read the article here.
  • ‘The International Relations of East Asia: A New Research Prospectus,’ International Studies Review 21:3, 2019, pp. 398-423 (co-authored with Rosemary Foot). Read the article here.
  • ‘US Dominance and American Bias in International Relations Scholarship: A View from the Outside’, Journal of Global Security Studies 4:3, 2019, pp. 402-410. Read the article here.
  • ‘The Modes of China’s Influence: Cases from Southeast Asia’, Asian Survey 54:5, September/October 2014, pp. 825-848. Read the article here.
  • 'East Asian Financial Regionalism and the Renegotiation of Global Economic Order', Studia Diplomatica LXVI-1, 2013, pp. 11-30. Read the article here.
  • ‘How Japan is Crucial to Asian Security’, International Affairs 87:4, July 2011, pp. 887-902. Read the article here.
  • ‘Institutions and the Great Power Bargain in East Asia: ASEAN’s Limited “Brokerage” Role’, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific 11:3, September 2011, pp. 373-401. Read the article here.
  • ‘Hierarchy and the Role of the United States in the East Asian Security Order’, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific 8:3, September 2008, pp. 353-377. Read the article here.
  • ‘Great Powers and Hierarchical Order in Southeast Asia: Analyzing Regional Security Strategies’, International Security 32:3, Winter 2007/8, pp.113-157. Read the article here.
  • ‘Nixon, Kissinger, and the ‘Soviet Card’ in the US Opening to China, 1971-4’, Diplomatic History 29:3, June 2005, pp.475-502. Read the article here.
Book Chapters
  • ‘China as a Partial Environmental Great Power,’ in Robert Falkner & Barry Buzan, eds., Great Powers, Climate Change, and Global Environmental Responsibilities (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 71-94 (co-authored with Pichamon Yeophantong).
  • ‘Conceptualizing the Economic-Security-Identity Nexus in East Asia’s Regional Order,’ in Yul Sohn & T. J. Pempels, eds., Japan and the Emerging Regional Order: The Nexus of Security, Economy, and Identity (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), pp. 17-37. Read the chapter here.
  • ‘Southeast Asia: Foreign and Security Relations and Policies’, in Saadia Pekkanen, John Ravenhill, and Rosemary Foot, eds., The Oxford Handbook of the International Relations of Asia (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 462-480.
  • ‘East Asia as Regional International Society: The Problem of Great Power Management’, in Barry Buzan and Yongjin Zhang, eds., International Society and East Asia: English School Theory at the Regional Level (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), pp. 167-187. Read the chapter here.
  • ‘Hierarchy and Regional Security Governance’, in Jochen Prantl, ed., Effective Multilateralism: Through the Looking Glass of East Asia (Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013), pp. 177-195. Read the chapter here.
  • ‘Conceptualising the Relationship between Bilateral and Multilateral Security Approaches in the Asia-Pacific: A Great Power Regional Order Framework’, in William T. Tow and Brendan Taylor, eds., The Bilateral-Multilateral Nexus and Asian Security: Convergence, Competition or Complex Patchworks? (London: Routledge, 2013), pp. 169-182. Read the chapter here.
  • ‘Hegemony and Hierarchy: Exploring the Regional-Global Nexus in Asia’s Evolving Security Order’, in William Tow, ed., The Global-Regional Security Nexus in Asia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 101-121. Purchase the book here.