From Asia-Pacific to the Indo-Pacific, in three different world(view)s


  • Arturo Santa-Cruz Universidad de Guadalajara


Palabras clave:

Indo-Pacific, Asia-Pacific, constructivism, liberalism, realism


There is a sense of déjà vu in the recent Indo-Pacific talk. Twenty years into the twenty-first century, after the interlude of the (US) “unipolar moment”, Asia-Pacific seems to have metamorphosized into the Indo-Pacific, an even vaster expanse. But are we correct in presuming the latest regional construct? Without denying the possibility that it might turn out a useful notion, based on the experience of the Asia-Pacific idea in this article I question the current furor around the Indo-Pacific concept. I probe how the Indo-Pacific region could come into being from three different International Relations (IR) perspec-tives: realism, liberalism, and constructivism. The article is divided into five sections: in the first one I begin by recapping the origins and reach of the Asia-Pacific concept, and then I proceed to trace the origins of the more recent one, Indo-Pacific. In the three following sections I briefly review the three analytical perspectives mentioned (realism, liberalism, and constructivism) in turn, looking at how they would account for the (potential) emergence of the Indo-Pacific. The final section recapitulates and presents some concluding remarks.


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