Peace in the Pacific century: The military buildup and multilateral security in Southeast Asia
The region of Southeast Asia is arguably more peaceful today than at any time this century, and many ASEAN states are enjoying rapid economic growth. Yet strategic uncertainties in the wake of the Cold War cast doubt on continued stability, and Southeast Asian states are engaging in a major military buildup and modernization. The rise of China is one of several causes for concern in a region where the influence of external powers is immense. Through an examination of Southeast Asian security with reference to theories of international security, arms control, and peace and conflict resolution, this thesis finds that current trends in militarization could be a central factor in future instability. While a power-balancing, state-centric approach continues to dominate international politics, there is reason to believe that further enlargement of multilateral security mechanisms could make a substantial contribution to preserving and strengthening trends toward international cooperation in the region.