Beyond Dichotomous Choices: Responses to Chinese Initiative in Southeast Asia

  • Alice D. Ba


Despite expectations that China’s power status will compel states to balance or bandwagon, the Southeast Asian experience suggests a more complicated story. While great power incentive structures clearly condition Southeast Asian choices, smaller states, moved by strongly held beliefs in self-determination, have complicated large power agendas and initiatives, even as they have sought new cooperation. Drawing on a growing literature on Southeast Asian strategy, this chapter considers a range of Southeast Asian responses as illustrations of states’ efforts to accommodate but also condition China’s role in Southeast Asia. Theoretically, it draws attention to both the changing and immutable conditions that shape Southeast Asian responses, the multidimensionality of Chinese power that complicates easy categorizations, and the social dynamism, not just the structural conditions, of China–Southeast Asian relations.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alice D. Ba
    • 1
  1. 1.University of DelawareNewarkUSA

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