Is the US Intent on Containing China? The Obama administration’s Pivot to Asia Reconsidered?

Is the US Intent on Containing China? The Obama administration’s Pivot to Asia Reconsidered?

Monday, 27 October 2014 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm
Venue: 
Dahrendorf Room, Founder’s Building, St Antony’s College
Speaker(s): 
Dr Hugo Meijer (King’s College London)
Chair: 
Professor Rosemary Foot
Convenor: 
Professor Rosemary Foot
Series: 
East Asia Seminar

The Obama administration has launched a series of diplomatic, military and economic initiatives that over time came to shape and define the so-called US “pivot” (or “rebalance”) toward the Asia Pacific. After a decade of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, this policy shift signalled a new direction for US foreign policy in the 21st century. Nonetheless, existing public debates and analyses have so far tended to oversimplify key aspects of the policy. First, they have focused almost exclusively on the military dimension of the rebalance. Secondly, the US rebalance to Asia has often been depicted, in a rather reductive manner, as a US “grand strategy” of military containment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This presentation aims to counter these misconceptions by bringing to light the breath and complexity of what is a diplomatic, military, and economic repositioning of the United States toward (and within) the Asia Pacific

Hugo Meijer is Lecturer in Defence Studies at King’s College London. He is also Research Associate at the Center for International Research and Studies (CERI), Sciences Po, Paris, where he co-founded the research seminar “Sociology of Foreign Policy”. Previously, he was Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Strategic Research Institute of the French Military Academy (IRSEM), Visiting Scholar at the Sigur Center for Asia Studies at George Washington University, and Temporary Lecturer and Research Assistant (ATER) in Political Science at the University of Montpellier 1. He received his Ph.D. in International Relations at Sciences Po, Paris. Recent and forthcoming publications: “Balancing Conflicting Security Interests : US Defense Exports to China in the Last Decade of the Cold War ,” Journal of Cold War Studies, (Fall) 2014; Origins and Evolution of the US Rebalance toward Asia: Diplomatic, Military, and Economic Dimensions (ed), Palgrave Macmillan/CERI Series in International Relations and Political Economy (2015).