Ending ambivalence: Australian perspectives on stability in Asia

John Hardy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


A growing body of literature analysing Asia-Pacific security in the twenty first century regards the ascendancy of regional powers a threat to the stability of the current regional security environment. However, a shift toward multipolarity in the region need not necessarily be viewed as a threat. The view that a relative decline of US primacy threatens regional stability is based on an assumption that maintaining stability is the same as maintaining the status quo. This assumption mistakes the process of US security assurance for the objective of stability in the region. Alternatively, Asian ascendancy may be viewed as an opportunity to create a regional security community. A concept of regional stability that emphasises adaptation to Asia’s new political and security realities will be used frame regional engagement as an opportunity rather than a threat. This paper will then substantiate the importance of a regional stability concept by examining the elements of Asian emergence that are construed as threats to regional stability and discussing how rising regional powers might be engaged as partners instead of potential rivals. Perceptions of threat and partnership within the Asia-Pacific may have a significant bearing on regional engagement, cooperation and stability in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Asia Studies Association of Australia 18th Biennial Conference
EditorsElizabeth Morrell, Michael D. Barr
Place of PublicationAdelaide
PublisherAsia Studies Association of Australia
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9780725811365
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventAsia Studies Association of Australia Biennial Conference (18th : 2010) - Adelaide
Duration: 5 Jul 20107 Jul 2010


ConferenceAsia Studies Association of Australia Biennial Conference (18th : 2010)


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