Reassessing Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific

From Belfer Center Studies in International Security

Reassessing Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific

Competition, Congruence, and Transformation

Edited by Amitav Acharya and Evelyn Goh





Since the 1990s, Asia-Pacific countries have changed their approaches to security cooperation and regional order. The end of the Cold War, the resurgence of China, the Asian economic crisis, and the events of September 11, 2001, have all contributed to important changes in the Asia-Pacific security architecture. In addition to the traditional bilateral security arrangements based on the US "hub and spokes" alliance system, there has been an increase in multilateral efforts, including the ASEAN Regional Forum, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Shangri-la dialogue of defense ministers, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. But because of their varying membership, scope, and mandates, these new arrangements have suffered from a lack of coordination. 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.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262012225 304 pp. | 6.25 in x 9.25 in


$27.00 X ISBN: 9780262511896 304 pp. | 6.25 in x 9.25 in


Amitav Acharya

Amitav Acharya is Deputy Director, Head of Research, and Professor at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is the author of Constructing a Security Community in Southeast Asia: ASEAN and the Problem of Regional Order and other books.

Evelyn Goh

Evelyn Goh is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She is the author of Constructing the US Rapprochement with China, 1961-1974: From Red Menace to Tacit Ally.


  • Covering the topic with unparalleled style and depth, this book is a 'must read' for those determined to understand the cutting-edge theories and policy debates shaping Asian security politics. It will be a core resource for students, analysts, and policy-makers for years to come. It brings together the most formidable group of experts yet assembled to gauge how the region's alliances, institutions, and regimes work to advance Asia's regional security order.

    William Tow

    Professor of International Relations, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University

  • There was a time in the late 1990s when many wondered whether Asia-Pacific institutions were too weak to survive economic crises and traditional security practices. Yet in this century older institutions are adapting, and brand new institutions proliferating. Is all this activity paving theway for the emergence of sub-regional security communities? Or is it mostly a cover for realpolitik-as-usual in the region? Amitav Acharya and Evelyn Goh have brought together some of the most knowledgeable and innovative experts on Asian institutions to examine these kinds of questions. Theoretically pluralistic and sensitive to history, the volume challenges many conventional wisdoms about the under-institutionalization of the Asia-Pacific.

    Alastair Iain Johnston

    Laine Professor of China in World Affairs, Harvard University