As the Biden administration advances its Indo-Pacific strategy, it faces a familiar challenge that U.S. policymakers have grappled with for the past half-century in Southeast Asia: sustaining a level and distribution of foreign policy commitment to Southeast Asia that matches the region’s growing importance amid other domestic and international priorities. The discussion, drawn from Prashanth Parameswaran’s new book Elusive Balances: Shaping U.S. Southeast Asia Strategy, will examine its argument that the U.S. commitment challenge in Southeast Asia is rooted in balances U.S. policymakers have to consider between shifts in power, threats and resources within the U.S. domestic landscape and wider American foreign policy, which can make it challenging to forge sustained, calibrated commitment to the region. The discussion will explore how this applies to the Biden administration’s ongoing engagement of Southeast Asia and the implications for the region.
About the Speaker
Dr. Prashanth Parameswaran is a Fellow with the Asia Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C. and a Senior Columnist at The Diplomat. His new book, Elusive Balances: Shaping U.S.-Southeast Asia Strategy, develops and applies a new “balance of commitment” model to examine the structural challenges U.S. policymakers face in balancing between shifts in power, threats and resources in forging U.S. commitment to Southeast Asia in the global context of American foreign policy across the past half-century. He has conducted grant-based field research on Southeast Asia politics and security issues across all eleven countries in Southeast Asia, consulted for companies and governments, and taught courses affiliated with the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of State. He holds a Ph.D. and a Master of Arts from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Kindly RSVP your attendance to Dr. Adrian Ang: [email protected].