Thomas S. Wilkins. 2019. Security in Asia Pacific: The Dynamics of Alignment

Published date01 April 2020
Date01 April 2020
Subject MatterBook Reviews
Book Reviews 129
war on secessionists precipitate an alliance between secessionists and external
state. Given that all of these aspects could potentially complicate Butt’s argument,
his lack of consideration of these perspectives is problematic. Additionally, there
are several cases that Butt’s theory seemingly struggles to explain. One recent
example is Spain’s coercive response to Catalan’s 2017 unilateral effort to hold a
referendum for independence. The absence of any significant identity division
between Catalan and the rest of Spain and peaceful neighbourhood inhabited by
Spain lessens the state’s fear of future war. Hence, according to Butt’s theory,
Spain should have attempted to strike some form of compromise or negotiated
settlement rather than engaging in police crackdown.
Notwithstanding all these challenges, the theory overall makes a novel
contribution to the field, shedding light on hitherto unexplored dimensions of the
subject of state policies towards secessionist movements. Secession and Security’s
balanced and rigorous analysis on the topic will make it a must read for any scholars
and policymakers dealing with separatist insurgencies within Asia and beyond.
Maqsood Hussain
Dos Santos, A. N. (2007). Military intervention and secession in South Asia: The case study
of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Kashmir and Punjab, USA: Praeger Security International.
Hechter, M. (1992). Dynamics of secession. Acta Sociologica, 35(4): 267–283.
Varshney, A. (1991). India, Pakistan and Kashmir: Antinomies of nationalism. Asian
Survey, 31(11): 997–1019.
Maqsood Hussain
Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution,
Jamia Milia Islamia,
New Delhi, India
Thomas S. Wilkins. 2019. Security in Asia Pacific: The Dynamics of
Alignment. Boulder, London, UK: Lynne Rienner Publishers. 251 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-62637-745-5 (Hardback).
DOI: 10.1177/2347797020907280
The Asia-Pacific region has been undergoing significant changes that have
increased both the complexity and uncertainty of the regional international
politics. China’s rapid rise and the intensification in the China–USA and Russia–
USA rivalries, the growing complexity of interactions between smaller and larger
powers, as well as the move of non-traditional security issues, such as terrorism,
environmental degradation, transnational crime and cybersecurity to the forefront

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