How Do Weaker States Hedge? Unpacking ASEAN states’ alignment behavior towards China

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24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The extant literature on alignment behavior has focused primarily on the macro dimensions, i.e. the typology, manifestations and implications of states’ alignment choices vis-à-vis the great power(s). Relatively few studies have examined the micro aspects of alignment choices. This article attempts to fill in the gap by unpacking the constituent component of weaker states’ alignment decisions, with a focus on ASEAN states’ hedging behavior in the face of a rising China in the post-Cold War era. It contends that the enduring uncertainty at the systemic level has compelled the states to hedge by pursuing contradictory, mutually counteracting transactions of ‘returns-maximizing’ and ‘risk-contingency’ options, which seek to offset the potential drawbacks of one another, as a way to project a non-taking-sides stance while keeping their own fallback position at a time when the prospect of power structure is far from clear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Contemporary China
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 Mar 2016

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ASEAN
China
distribution of power
great power
contingency
cold war
transaction
typology
uncertainty
post-Cold War
hedge
alignment
literature
time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

Cite this

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