Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs

Sage Publications, Inc.
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Latest documents

  • Book review: Bajpai, Kanti, India Versus China: Why They Are Not Friends

    Bajpai, Kanti, India Versus China: Why They Are Not Friends. New Delhi: Juggernaut Books, 2021, 284 pp. (hardcover). ISBN: 9789391165086

  • Beyond Militarisation: Japan’s Path to Civilian Power

    This article examines Japan’s evolution as a civilian power from 2012 to 2023, highlighting continuities and changes. In a nutshell, a civilian power prioritises cooperative international relations over unilateral action and military force. Using a qualitative content analysis of Japanese Ministry of Defence white papers, we base our analysis on three key categories to examine civilian power attributes: ‘Enforcement of morals’, ‘multilateralism’ and ‘will to promote and initiate’. Over 11 years, Japan has updated its Indo-Pacific partnerships, strengthened multilateral cooperation and pursued a proactive regional role. Contrary to views that Prime Minister Abe’s policies favour remilitarisation, we show continuity in Japan’s civilian power posture. While core values shifted from 2013 to 2020, the overall categories increased, particularly under Suga and Kishida. Our findings do not suggest a broad erosion of civilian power principles and show Japan’s gradual progression towards greater civilian power.

  • Book review: Elizabeth C. Economy, The World According to China

    Elizabeth C. Economy, The World According to China>. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2022, 304 pp. (hardback). ISBN: 9781509537495

  • Does the Offence– Defence Theory Explain War Onset Between Small States? Causes and Consequences of the 2020–2023 Armenia–Azerbaijan War

    The article explores the causes and consequences of the 2020–2023 Karabakh War between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan reclaimed large parts of territories within 44 days of the war in 2020, the country lost control in the early 1990s and was only hindered from full control by a Russian-brokered ceasefire. Over the subsequent three years, Azerbaijan gradually asserted dominance, reclaiming all lost territories by 2023. The study probes the war’s causes and Azerbaijan’s military success. It focuses on power imbalances and strategic dynamics between the two countries that led to the war. By applying the offence–defence theory, it argues that shifting economic and military strengths rendered war inevitable due to deadlock in negotiations. Azerbaijan’s military investment, modernisation and purchase of advanced technological armament changed the balance between the two states and increased its offensive advantage. The article also examines underlying regional power competition, shaping post-war dynamics in the South Caucasus.

  • A Traumatic Relationship: The United States and Indonesia–Russian Relationship

    Indonesia’s insistence on refusing to directly condemn Russia’s unprovoked aggression in Ukraine raised a lot of eyebrows. Some scholars attributed this to the long history of Indonesia–Russia relationship, which is dated even before the formal establishment of Soviet–Indonesia relations, when the Soviet Union brought ‘the Indonesian Question’ before the Security Council in 1946 and helped Indonesia’s struggle for independence. That, however, is only part of the picture. In fact, it is more important to see how the history of the relationship between the United States and Indonesia influenced Indonesia’s strategic culture and creating a feeling of trauma, the inability to trust the United States that influences Indonesia’s foreign policy, especially in regards to how Indonesia perceives and reacts to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The invasion is seen less as a state’s infringement of another state’s sovereignty than a sibling spat that is widely exacerbated by meddling from other countries.

  • Book review: Sumantra Bose, Kashmir at the Crossroads: Inside India’s 21st-Century Conflict

    Sumantra Bose, Kashmir at the Crossroads: Inside India’s 21st-Century Conflict. New Delhi: Picador India, Pan Macmillan India, 2021, 333 pp. (hardcover). ISBN: 978-93-90742-73-8

  • China’s ‘Liquid’ Warfighting Shift and Its Implications for Possible Future Conflict

    Some suggest that remote, precision strike warfare is a Western phenomenon motivated by aversion to high troop casualties among democratic leaders subject to re-election. Others contend that it is the result of a global transition in the way of modern war towards ‘liquid warfare’, centred around the disruption of adversary networks in the increasingly integrated and high-tech battlespace. This article advances the debate by applying the liquid warfare hypothesis to China’s post-1993 military reforms. It finds (a) that China’s development and embrace of its prevailing ‘systems destruction warfare’ concept constitutes a liquid shift in its warfighting approach, dispelling the contention that such transformations are necessarily linked with democratic political systems; and (b) that the liquidification of China’s warfighting approach has immediate implications for possible regional conflict scenarios, particularly those involving the United States, making them mutually costlier and susceptible to rapid escalation.

  • Cyber Shadows over Nuclear Peace: Understanding and Mitigating Digital Threats to Global Security

    This article examines the intersection of cyber warfare and nuclear security, emphasising the significance of addressing the emerging threats to nuclear facilities from cyberattacks. The article highlights a gap in the international security architecture: the absence of an international regime for nuclear cybersecurity. This deficiency challenges the Non-Proliferation Treaty regime, threatening global peace and stability by undermining the treaty’s objectives and increasing the risk of nuclear proliferation and misuse. The research underscores the need for an international regime that integrates cybersecurity with nuclear security. It calls for the involvement of middle powers in international negotiations and consensus-building, alongside exploring innovative diplomatic strategies and robust legal frameworks. The article seeks to contribute to the discourse on international security, advocating for a coordinated global response to safeguard against the catastrophic consequences of digital threats in the nuclear domain.

  • Book review: Christophe Jaffrelot, Modi’s India: Hindu Nationalism and the Rise of Ethnic Democracy
  • The EU–Japan Partnership in the Post-pandemic Order: What Comes Next?

    EU–Japan relations have been treated in the literature as a ‘normal relationship’ between two mature actors with a long history of promises, expectations and indifferences. However, since 2004, the EU has been considering its relations with Japan as a strategic partnership; that is, a powerful relationship that plays an increasingly central role in the international system. Recent changes in the EU and Japanese domestic and international environments show how both parties’ relations have shifted from a period of indifferences and low expectations to a new momentum of cooperation in facing common global challenges such as open trade, climate change, multilateralism or the recent pandemic. The main objective of this article is, first, to suggest a framework of analysis to better calibrate the EU–Japan relationship, and second, to understand recent trends in EU–Japan relations that have enabled the Economic Partnership Agreement that entered into force in 2019.

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