Narratives of Security in Asian Geopolitics

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From a global history perspective there is nothing inherently Western in the conceptual basis of Asian security. Despite structural resemblances to the pursuit of security in the contemporary international system, the agents within this order come from a diverse historical and philosophical setting. This paper examines three narratives of security in Asian geopolitics: those of Indic Mandala, Chinese Paradox and Islamic Transition. The first divides into two parts: the Buddhist-Hindu cosmological insights of security that are of ontological and psychological significance; and the more strategically oriented ‘statal circle’ that has reverberated from antiquity to modern times. The Chinese Paradox is discussed through such representative narratives as ‘harmony in difference’ and ‘actionless action’. The Islamic Transition is one in which class, culture, race, and statehood are subsumed in a wider identity of a community of believers. The paper concludes with the West’s global projection of power. This is viewed as only an historical phase, albeit a singularly influential one. In creating the conditions of contemporary globalization the West must contend – and be changed by – the world beyond itself. Narratives of security in Asian geopolitics continue to shape the policies of state and non-state actors in the Asian international context.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2019
EventISA Asia-Pacific Conference 2019: Asia-Pacific and World Order: Security, Economics, Identity and Beyond - Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 4 Jul 20196 Jul 2019


ConferenceISA Asia-Pacific Conference 2019
Abbreviated titleNarratives of Security in Asian Geopolitics
OtherThe International Studies Association Asia-Pacific Conference 2019 on “Asia-Pacific and World Order: Security, Economics, Identity and Beyond” was held from 4th – 6th July at Nanyang Technological University, One North Campus in Singapore and was deemed a great success in many ways. There was a truly collegial feeling with high-level dialogue and engagement between all academics and researchers. The Welcome Reception featured a host of local Singaporean dishes and a lion dance as colleagues continued their discussions through the event. We received a number of positive comments about the Exhibition Hall with a total of 15 booths made up of publishers, journals, academic institutions and think tanks; apparently a new record for a regional conference. It provided a space for informal discussions with a supply of tea, coffee and water to keep the conversations going. We had a hitch with food being unavailable on campus due to the vendor undergoing its periodic assessment, but thanks to our team of excellent volunteers, delegates were provided with a map of the nearest eateries and volunteers helped them find the way.
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