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Alan Bloomfield

This chapter considers America’s strategic posture in the Indian Ocean. The discussion first reviews how this has changed over time and then considers what place the region now plays in the United States’ overall global strategy. The chapter then lists the interests Washington pursues in the Indian Ocean before it then examines three key strategic challenges America has faced recently in the region – piracy off Somalia, the War on Terror (especially in Afghanistan), and the increasing Chinese presence in the region – before it details Washington’s responses to these. How America expects to cooperate with two key ‘like-minded’ regional states, India and Australia, is also considered, along with a detailed discussion of America’s key regional base at Diego Garcia. The chapter finishes with a prediction that the region is only likely to become more important in the United States’ strategic calculations.

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Andrea Benvenuti

Since the end of the Second World War, the United States have played a major role in Asia. Measured against American participation in Asian affairs before 1939, Washington's post-war regional engagement has been nothing short of breathtaking. From limited involvement, the US transformed itself into a major player, if not the major player, on the Asian scene. This chapter seeks, therefore, to chart the development of American diplomacy in Asia since 1945 and explain how the US went about building its web of regional relationships and then maintaining them. Furthermore, it aims briefly to discuss the prospects for these regional relationships. In this context, it provides a broad introduction to those chapters that specifically explore Washington's bilateral relations with the principal regional actors.

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Andrea Benvenuti

This chapter examines the US role in Asia in a historical context and explains how it has evolved over the years as a result of the geostrategic changes taking place at regional and international level. As no foreign and defence policy is ever formulated in a vacuum, America’s regional role has been significantly shaped by the ever-changing strategic context and by the way in which American policymakers have perceived political change globally and regionally. It is against this backdrop that the current challenges to US pre-eminence in Asia should also be assessed. With the rise of Chinese economic and military power in the region and with uncertainties surrounding Washington’s ability and resolve to maintain a strong presence in Asia, the future of US power does not seem to be as assured as it was only a decade ago.

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Andrew T.H. Tan

Terrorism in Asia, particularly in South and Southeast Asia, remains a serious and growing security challenge, especially given the rise of the Islamic States since 2014. The linkages with global terrorism and the severity of the terrorism challenge means that the United States remains an indispensable security and political partner for the affected countries, particularly Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Comprehensive approaches to counter-terrorism, however, require enormous capacity and resources, as well as a long-term perspective. This, and the fact that the terrorism challenge is a long-term challenge in these countries, mean that the role of the United States will also be enduring, sustained through continued counterterrorism cooperation. An important strategic benefit of the United States’ involvement in regional counterterrorism is that this also increases its security and political roles in both South and Southeast Asia. In turn, this strengthens and sustains the United States’ position in Asia.

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Agnes Olusese, Shamm Petros and Edwin Odhiambo Abuya

Humanitarian emergencies and displacement usually leads to disruption of families, which augments the vulnerability of children, exposing them to increased risks of sexual and labor exploitation, abuse and violence as they are separated from their care-givers. Kenya receives a significant number of refugees annually with a sizable portion being unaccompanied and separated children (UASC). In Kenya, a lack of sufficient and well-monitored alternative care options results in gaps that allow for the abuse and exploitation of refugee UASC, especially in urban areas where regulation by agencies is not as strict as it is in refugee camps. UASC in urban areas are largely cared for by non-profit and non-governmental organizations involved in child protection, with the government playing a minimal role. Unlike UASC in camp settings, UASC in urban settlements are marginalized by policy and social tensions, resulting in limited access to livelihood and protection services. Alternative care-givers are generally unverified, unmonitored and spread out all over the peri-urban areas, which complicates supervision and reporting efforts. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) plays a coordinating role with refugee children but their oversight is mainly on activities undertaken by implementing partners. Refugee children who end up in informal arrangements are not regularly supervised and are easily exploited and abused by their care-givers.

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Vito Breda

In this chapter, I will discuss the process of the negotiation and accommodation of identity-based constitutional claims in the UK. Britain is a political union of four ethnic communities. These communities are the English, the Northern Irish (who are divided along sectarian lines), the Scottish and the Welsh. However, and until relatively recently, the ethnic claims of these communities had little constitutional relevance. Before 1998, the UK was constitutionally a unitary state like other regional systems such as that of neighbouring France. In less than two decades, however, the system of governance moved from the unitary model to a highly decentralized asymmetrical system of territorial governance. There are multiple factors that have driven and drive this transformative process; however, in this chapter, I will focus on those elements that influenced the negotiation between central and regional institutions and that have a general comparative interest. The first aspect, from a comparative perspective, is the flexibility of the Westminster Model that allowed for the development of a multitrack decentralization system. The UK adopts a bespoke version of the Westminster Model in which the UK parliament has absolute legislative supremacy. One of the effects of this legislative sovereignty is that parliament and regional parliament acting intra vires have a large margin of discretion in allocating rights and policy aims. This level of flexibility at central and regional level has been the proxy for an asymmetric institutional and administrative diversity that mirrors, at least in part, the British multinational social structure. The second distinctive aspect of UK devolution is the existence of several communication channels between regional and central institutions. Institutions such as the Sewel Convention have the role of coordinating day-to-day policies and also ensuring smooth operations between central and regional political institutions.

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Sean Kenji Starrs

U.S. economic engagement in Asia has been one of the core drivers of the development of globalization since the late twentieth century, and we cannot adequately understand one without the other, especially concerning the rise of China. We also need to move beyond national accounts such as GDP and reconceptualize how to investigate the dynamics of Asian–U.S. economic relations given the globalization of production, foreign ownership, and the uneven distribution of global value chains. After arguing why this is so, this chapter will present original empirical research to demonstrate the nature of U.S. engagement in Asia, especially China, and how the United States continues to benefit disproportionately from these economic relationships – contrary to popular perceptions of hegemonic and industrial American decline. The chapter concludes with certain implications from this analysis in regard to the populist upsurge in 2016 that elected Donald Trump as U.S. president, and possible paths forward.

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Alfredo Jiménez, Secil Bayraktar and Mesut Eren

In Turkey, the fight against corruption has been long, arduous, and largely unsuccessful. Rapid economic growth in a neo-liberalizing state has done little to curtail corruption, where bribery is endemic. The authors embed this phenomenon within Turkish culture, including the high levels of “power distance” (degree to which members of a society expect and accept unequal distribution of power), collectivism (tendency to privilege members of in-groups at the expense of outsiders), the country’s low level of interpersonal trust, and a paternalistic set of values that legitimizes the patronage networks set up by authority figures. Although Turkey has taken steps to reduce corruption, partly due to attempts to join the European Union, it has little to show for its efforts.

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Jai Galliott

This chapter explores the way in which the Trump administration has responded to the ongoing Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) and examines the implications of this response for Australia. It argues that, although it is too early to determine the longevity of the Trump administration or the long-term coherency of its apparent disdain for military-technical investment as means of improving capability and furthering international partnerships, there is considerable wisdom and potential in any Australian effort to maintain its robust military relations with the United States while simultaneously enhancing its level of techno-strategic autonomy. In terms of RMA-theorising and adaptation, this would concrete Australia’s position as a ‘middle power’ and provide a valuable model for others to emulate as the baton of global technological leadership is passed onto China.

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Paul J. Smith

The ascendancy of Donald J. Trump to the office of President of the United States has led many to speculate about the future of U.S. strategy toward the Asia-Pacific. As a candidate, Mr. Trump made a number of statements suggesting a dramatic break with past policies. However, upon assuming office and notwithstanding his immediate rejection of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, Trump appeared to favor a more traditional and internationalist approach to foreign policy, particularly with his appointments of James Mattis and Rex Tillerson to head the Defense and State Departments respectively. However, it would be a mistake to assume that President Trump’s attitude toward international relations will automatically align with that of previous administrations. As an unconventional political leader, Trump will likely bring both continuities and discontinuities in his approach to the Asia-Pacific and to the alliance relationships that the U.S. has maintained for more than six decades.