You searched for: Content Type Working Paper Remove constraint Content Type: Working Paper Publishing Institution S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies Remove constraint Publishing Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies Political Geography Southeast Asia Remove constraint Political Geography: Southeast Asia Topic Foreign Policy Remove constraint Topic: Foreign Policy
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  • Author: Farish A. Noor
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Today, there is much talk about the 'American pivot' back to Southeast Asia, and the role that America continues to play in terms of the geo-strategic relations between the countries in the region. That America has been a player in Southeast Asian affairs is well-known, as America's presence in countries like Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam has been well documented since the Cold War. However, there has been less scholarship devoted to America's role in Southeast Asia prior to the 20th century, lending the impression that the United States is a latecomer as far as Southeast Asian affairs is concerned.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Southeast Asia
  • Author: KUIK Cheng-Chwee
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper adopts a neoclassical realist perspective to explain Malaysia's evolving policy towards the United States under Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. It argues that to the extent that there is a “shift” in Malaysia's U.S. policy under the current leadership, the substance and symbolism in Najib's U.S. policy has been driven and limited by the needs of the ruling elite to strike a balance between a variety of structural imperatives and domestic considerations. Structurally, in the face of a fast rising China (with whom Malaysia has come to develop an increasingly productive relation in both economic and diplomatic domains, but with whom it has unresolved territorial issues), the leader of the smaller state is increasingly confronted with the geostrategic need to keep a more balanced relationship with all the major players. This is especially so with the United States, which, under the Obama administration's “pivot” to Asia policy, has demonstrated a renewed and enhanced commitment to engage countries in the Asia-Pacific, including Malaysia. This structural push, however, has been counteracted by the smaller state's desire of not wanting to be entrapped in any big power rivalry, and by its concern about the uncertainties of great power commitments. Domestically, there is a strong economic need to further enhance two-way trade and increase the flow of American capital and technology into Malaysia, deemed vital to Najib's Economic Transformation Program. Perhaps more importantly, there is also a political calculation by the governing elite to capitalize on the increasingly warm and close bilateral ties as a leverage to reduce – if not neutralize – Washington's support for the Anwar Ibrahim-led opposition and civil society movements, which have presented a growing challenge to the ruling BN coalition. This calculation, however, has been counteracted by UMNO's domestic concern of not wanting to appear too closely aligned with America, in order not to alienate the country's Muslim majority voters who have been critical of U.S. policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These structural and domestic determinants together explain Malaysia's evolving policy toward the superpower under the current leadership.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, Islam, Political Economy, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Malaysia, Israel, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Evelyn Goh
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Drawing on China's relations with its relatively weak neighbours in Southeast Asia where we ought to find evidence of China getting other states to do what they otherwise would not have done, this paper asks how and how effectively China has converted its growing resources into influence over other states, their strategic choices and the outcomes of events. First, it adopts the framework of structural and relational power, further disaggregating the latter into persuasion, inducement and coercion as modes of exercising power. Second, it accounts for the reception to power by offering an analytical framework based on variations in the alignment of the extant preferences of the subjects and wielders of power, which determine the degree to which alterations are necessary as part of an exercise of power. The analysis identifies key cases particularly demonstrating three categories of Chinese power: its power as 'multiplier' when extent preferences are aligned; its power to persuade when pre-existing preferences are debated; and its power to prevail in instances of conflicting preferences. It finds that the first two categories of power have been most prevalent, while there have been very few instances where Southeast Asian states have done what they would otherwise not have done as a result of Chinese behaviour. These findings suggest that even though China's power resources have increased significantly, the way in which it has managed to convert these resources into control over outcomes is uneven.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Helen E.S. Nesadurai
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper explains Malaysia-US relations in terms of national interests derived from the nature of the Malaysian political economy and the salience of Islam in Malay(sian) politics as they interact with US foreign policy postures derived from distinct US grand strategies. The paper compares Malaysia's responses to the US under the Clinton and the first George W. Bush Administrations in terms of the following: (a) instances of cooperation and non-cooperation on key US initiatives; (b) pursuit of alternative economic and defence/security relationships; and (c) construction of alternative discourses and coalitions aimed at challenging US initiatives and its hegemony more broadly. Malaysia's responses to the US can be summed up in the phrase, 'rejecting dominance, embracing engagement', evident during both the Clinton and the Bush Administrations and consistent under the Mahathir and the current Abdullah Badawi governments. The Malaysian government's attempts to develop coalitions to challenge US initiatives and its hegemony have not alwyas been successful. The government has, nonetheless, stood firm and rejected US initiatives and actions that directly threatened national interests. The US, on its part, has accommodated itself to Malaysia's positions on a number of occasions since September 11, reflecting Malaysia's valuable role in Washington's fight against terrorism. Both governments also cooperation extensively in economics, defence and transnational crime from which both parties draw benefits.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Malaysia, Southeast Asia