Since the 1950s the regional security architecture in Asia was underpinned by the U.S. led hub and spoke system of bilateral alliances. A multilateral security or defense architecture akin to NATO in Europe never took root. ASEAN-led multilateral security forums began to flourish since the 1990s, but they complemented rather than challenged the hub and spoke system. China, however, has begun to openly challenge the existing, U.S. dominated, security architecture, calling for a security system by and for Asians.
The concept of the Indo-Pacific is widely regarded as a strategic response to the so-called China challenge. How security is provided and maintained in the Indo-Pacific is crucial seeing that the region hosts numerous security hotspots, such as the South China Sea, Taiwan or the Sino-Indian border conflict. Yet there is very little research to date on the Indo-Pacific’s emerging security architecture. Against this backdrop a number of questions are to be examined: Will a new regional security architecture emerge? How will it be structured and which actors will play key roles? Which strategic objectives will the regional security architecture try to realise?
About the Speaker
Felix Heiduk is the head of the Asia Research Division at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (German Institute for Foreign and Security Affairs) in Berlin. His main research focus is on international politics and security affairs in Southeast Asia; specifically on geopolitics, interstate and intrastate conflict, civil-military relations and regional integration. Dr. Heiduk received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Free University Berlin. Prior to joining Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, he was a visiting scholar at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University and taught International Studies at the University of Birmingham.
About the Chairperson
Frederick Kliem is a Research Fellow and lecturer at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. Frederick is with the Centre for Multilateralism Studies at RSIS, and his main research interests are regional integration and multilateralism in as well as the geopolitics of Asia and Europe. Specific research projects include the study of ASEAN and EU institutions, inter-regionalism and comparative regionalism as well as European Indo-Pacific engagement. In addition, Frederick is a freelance Consultant and a EU Key Expert on ASEAN-EU matters. His latest book is Great Power Competition and Order Building in the Indo-Pacific: Towards a New Indo-Pacific Equilibrium (London and New York: Routledge, 2022).