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The New Geopolitics of Southeast Asia

November 2012

Southeast Asian states risk becoming pawns in a geopolitical clash between two extra-regional superpowers. This report analyses how the states in the region are responding to the challenge posed by the strategic interests of the US and China in their geography and economy.

If the Southeast Asian states are to take advantage of the opportunities presented by China’s rise and the United States’ pivot, they must stand together in the geopolitical contest currently taking place in the region. However, this is not an easy task: regional states are caught in what game theory would view as a classic ‘prisoners’ dilemma’ that will require a deep degree of trust to escape.


Executive Summary  |  
Nicholas Kitchen, Editor, IDEAS Reports   

The Clash

   Indispensable Nation? The United States in Southeast Asia|
    Michael Cox  

    China and Southeast Asia|
    Odd Arne Westad  

    Southeast Asia between China and the United States|  
    Munir Majid    

The Theatre of Competition

    Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos)|   
    Ang Cheng Guan 
    Rizal Sukma

    Johan Saravanamuttu
    Jürgen Haacke

    The Philippines|   
    Emmanuel Yujuico  

    Robyn Klingler Vidra 

    Thitinan Pongsudhirak

Conclusion: The Regional Dynamic Forging a Regional Response| 
Munir Majid   



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