Asia has experienced decades of peace and stability with many experts providing competing views as to whether this stability will continue or would it be just the ‘calm before the storm’ as depicted by some experts foreseeing inevitable use of force by Asian states to achieve its respective political means. I intend to provide a brief summary on the argument made by Alagappa in the chapter ‘Introduction: Predictability and Stability Despite Challenges’ of his book ‘Asian Security Order: Instrumental and Normative Features’ and concluding the paper with my views on it. 2.
Alagappa started his study by sharing on the views of Friedburg where Asia will become the “cockpit of great-power conflicts” [ (Friedberg, 1993, p. 7) ] and Buzan’s and Segal’s “back to the future” (Buzan and Segal, 1994, p. 3) where they shared the region will be volatile, filled with conflicts and political tensions. The main argument of Alagappa was his view that despite the security challenges facing the region; security order continues to persist in Asia, in contrary to the views of Friedburg, Buzan and Segal. 3.
He maintained that security order exists in Asia and shared three key factors supporting his argument. Firstly, Asian state interactions adhered to agreed norms and principles with states acknowledging the sovereignty rights of the other. Secondly, though force and power remained tools in state interactions, their use are limited especially with the perceived accepted notion that disputes may be resolved through peaceful negotiations. These were instead, used purely as a mode of deterrence or defense. It was clear in Alagappa’s argument that these states are no longer interested in the use of force for territorial expansion and invasion as they pursue and focused on the third factor - economic developments. Alagappa noted the growing focus on economic developments since the 1960s and with trade flourishing coupled by economic interdependence. This focus further catalysed the...
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