chapter  22
14 Pages

Perspectives in Asia-Pacific security studies

BySorpong Peou

The Asia-Pacific has attracted growing attention from security experts and practitioners alike, but there is no consensus on how to make the region more peaceful and secure. There are several reasons for this, one of which is the undeniable fact that the concept of security itself is essentially contested. Realists continue to give analytical attention to the perennial problem of politics among great powers, but their pessimism no longer sustains realism’s academic hegemonic status as it did during the Cold War. Liberal scholars place emphasis on the pacifying effects of regional institutions, commerce and democratic regimes. Most constructivists reject state-centric, especially American-centric, security thinking but disagree among themselves. Proponents of peace studies, human security studies, and transnational security studies share their hostility towards statist assumptions, placing more emphasis on the transnational and intra-state sources of threat, but they are still strong on advocacy but weak on empirical analysis.1 Theoretical pluralism has now become the dominant feature of Asia-Pacific security studies today.