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  • WYSS Marco (4)
  • DIAN Matteo (3)
  • BÉRAUD-SUDREAU Lucie (2)
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Europe's security landscape has changed dramatically in the past decade amid Russia's resurgence, mounting doubts about the long-term reliability of the U.S. security commitment, and Europe's growing aspiration for strategic autonomy. This changed security landscape raises an important counterfactual question: Could Europeans develop an autonomous defense capacity if the United States withdrew completely from Europe? The answer to this question has major implications for a range of policy issues and for the ongoing U.S. grand strategy debate in light of the prominent argument by U.S. “restraint” scholars that Europe can easily defend itself. Addressing this question requires an examination of the historical evolution as well as the current and likely future state of European interests and defense capacity. It shows that any European effort to achieve strategic autonomy would be fundamentally hampered by two mutually reinforcing constraints: “strategic cacophony,” namely profound, continent-wide divergences across all domains of national defense policies—most notably, threat perceptions; and severe military capacity shortfalls that would be very costly and time-consuming to close. As a result, Europeans are highly unlikely to develop an autonomous defense capacity anytime soon, even if the United States were to fully withdraw from the continent.

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Europe is unable to pool and effectively employ military power due to its lack of an integrated command structure and its deficient C4ISR capacity.

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Throughout history, Great Powers have devised balancing strategies aimed at checking the ambitions of rival Great Powers. To do that, they have sought to enter and mobilize alliances and security partnerships with secondary states. Yet, the influence of secondary states on the balancing strategies of Great Powers remains largely underestimated in the International Relations literature. Contrary to conventional wisdom, we posit that secondary state preferences play a key enabling or constraining role in shaping the balancing choices of Great Powers. We focus specifically on how the adoption of hedging strategies on the part of secondary states affects the balancing strategies of established Great Powers. We argue that when secondary states adopt a hedging strategy established Great Powers are incentivized to engage in what we call ‘covert balancing’. Covert balancing occurs when an established Great Power conceals its security cooperation with a secondary state beneath a cover that is seemingly unrelated to balancing a rising Great Power, thus working around the secondary state's hedging strategy while at the same time helping generate a latent capacity to balance. We probe our argument by examining US balancing strategy against China in the Asia–Pacific.

The US-led system of alliances and defence partnerships in East Asia has undergone profound change since the end of the Cold War. The so-called “hub-and-spokes” system of bilateral alliances has been gradually supplemented by a “networked security architecture”—a network of interwoven bilateral, minilateral and multilateral defence arrangements between the US and its regional allies and partners, in which China is also included through a variety of cooperation channels. This paper shows that, from Washington’s perspective, the networked security architecture is not merely a means to externally balance a revisionist China, as Structural Realist analyses contend. Rather, the US has sought to broaden the composition of the US-led hegemonic order in East Asia by diversifying the range of defence ties with and amongst its allies and partners, but also by seeking to include the PRC in it. Thereby, Washington aims to channel and shape the trajectory of China’s rise within the US-led hegemonic order, from a position of pre-eminence, through a mixture of negative and positive incentives (resistance and accommodation) with the ultimate goal of upholding the existing hegemonic order. To empirically substantiate this argument, the paper relies on a large body of elite interviews with senior US policymakers.

in International Politics Sous la direction de DIAN Matteo, MEIJER Hugo Publié en 2020-04
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This Special Issue aims to explain the transition from the Cold War US-led system of exclusive bilateral alliances in East Asia (or “hub-and-spokes” system) into a “networked security architecture”, i.e. a network of interwoven bilateral, minilateral and multilateral defence arrangements between the US and its regional allies and partners, and that also partly includes China. Drawing from the English School of International Relations, it challenges dominant Structural Realist explanations which interpret such development as a form of external balancing against a revisionist China. By contrast, this Special Issue submits that China’s selective contestation of the US-led hegemonic order in East Asia has sparked a renegotiation of such order among regional powers, which has resulted in the restructuring of the underlying alliances and defence partnerships into a networked security architecture. Specifically, regional powers have sought to broaden the composition of the US-led hegemonic order in East Asia—by diversifying the range of defence ties between US allies and partners, but also by seeking to include the PRC in it. Thereby, rather than merely balancing the People’s Republic of China, they have sought to channel the trajectory of China’s rise within this hegemonic order through a mixture of resistance and accommodation.

in International Politics Publié en 2020-04
DIAN Matteo
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This introductory paper develops the theoretical framework and central argument of the Special Issue "Networking hegemony".

in International Politics Sous la direction de DIAN Matteo, MEIJER Hugo Publié en 2019-10-16
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This Special Issue aims to explain the transition from the Cold War US-led system of exclusive bilateral alliances in East Asia (or “hub-and-spokes” system) into a “networked security architecture”, i.e. a network of interwoven bilateral, minilateral and multilateral defence arrangements between the US and its regional allies and partners, and that also partly includes China. Drawing from the English School of International Relations, it challenges dominant Structural Realist explanations which interpret such development as a form of external balancing against a revisionist China. By contrast, this Special Issue submits that China’s selective contestation of the US-led hegemonic order in East Asia has sparked a renegotiation of such order among regional powers, which has resulted in the restructuring of the underlying alliances and defence partnerships into a networked security architecture. Specifically, regional powers have sought to broaden the composition of the US-led hegemonic order in East Asia—by diversifying the range of defence ties between US allies and partners, but also by seeking to include the PRC in it. Thereby, rather than merely balancing the People’s Republic of China, they have sought to channel the trajectory of China’s rise within this hegemonic order through a mixture of resistance and accommodation. This introductory paper develops the theoretical framework and central argument of the Special Issue.

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The US-led system of alliances and defence partnerships in East Asia has undergone profound change since the end of the Cold War. The so-called “hub-and-spokes” system of bilateral alliances has been gradually supplemented by a “networked security architecture”—a network of interwoven bilateral, minilateral and multilateral defence arrangements between the US and its regional allies and partners, in which China is also included through a variety of cooperation channels. This paper shows that, from Washington’s perspective, the networked security architecture is not merely a means to externally balance a revisionist China, as Structural Realist analyses contend. Rather, the US has sought to broaden the composition of the US-led hegemonic order in East Asia by diversifying the range of defence ties with and amongst its allies and partners, but also by seeking to include the PRC in it. Thereby, Washington aims to channel and shape the trajectory of China’s rise within the US-led hegemonic order, from a position of pre-eminence, through a mixture of negative and positive incentives (resistance and accommodation) with the ultimate goal of upholding the existing hegemonic order. To empirically substantiate this argument, the paper relies on a large body of elite interviews with senior US policymakers.

Au vu de l’importance croissante de l’Asie-Pacifique dans le débat stratégique américain, cet article vise à mettre en évidence les principales lignes de continuité et de rupture entre les politiques de défense des administrations Obama et Trump dans cette région et, en particulier, vis-à-vis de la montée en puissance de la Chine. Pour ce faire, il propose une comparaison systématique des principaux éléments constitutifs de la politique de défense américaine en Asie-Pacifique sous les deux présidences : leurs perceptions de la menace vis-à-vis de la Chine ; les objectifs politiques qui en découlent ; et la manière dont ces objectifs se sont concrétisés dans la (re)définition des alliances et des coopérations de défense ainsi que des capacités militaires-technologiques déployées en Asie-Pacifique. À cette fin, l’article mobilise un large éventail de sources primaires, y compris soixante-quinze entretiens semi-directifs menés avec de hauts responsables américains. Ce qui émerge de cette analyse est que, au-delà des slogans électoraux et des aléas de la « diplomatie de twitter », la politique de défense de l’administration Trump en Asie-Pacifique s’inscrit dans une évolution cumulative de long terme plus que dans une discontinuité radicale.

in Journal of Strategic Studies Publié en 2019-07-29
LANOSZKA Alexander
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Scholars and pundits alike continue to portray the U.S.-led regional alliance systems in Europe and East Asia in stark, dichotomous terms. Whereas the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is the standard model of multilateralism, the U.S.-led system of bilateral alliances in East Asia is the archetypal ‘hub-and-spokes’ structure in which different allies (the spokes) enjoy deep bilateral strategic ties with Washington (the hub) but not with each other. We argue that these common depictions of U.S.-led alliance systems are obsolete. Instead, we show that what we label ‘nodal defence’ – a hybrid category that combines overlapping bilateral, minilateral and multilateral initiatives – better captures how the U.S.-led alliance systems in Europe and East Asia operate today. Specifically, nodal defence is a hybrid alliance system in which allies are connected through variable geometries of defence cooperation that are organized around specific functional roles so as to tackle different threats. To show how nodal defence is an emerging central feature of the U.S.-led regional alliance systems, we conduct an original cross-regional comparison of how these alliance systems work, drawing on elite interviews, official documents, and secondary literature.

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