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Critical Security in the Asia-Pacific

by Anthony Burke and Matt McDonald (Editors) Manchester University Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 320 pages
AU$44.99 NZ$46.95
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In the wake of 9/11, the Asian crisis and the 2004 Tsunami, traditional analytical frameworks appear increasingly unable to explain the ways in which individuals and communities are rendered insecure, or to advance individual, global or environmental security. This innovative new book challenges these limitations and addresses the missing problems, people and vulnerabilities of the Asia-Pacific region, while also turning a new, critical eye on traditional inter-state strategic dynamics.

Critical security in the Asia-Pacific applies both a critical theoretical approach that interrogates the deeper assumptions underpinning security discourses, and a human-centred policy approach that focuses on the security, welfare and emancipation of individuals and communities. Leading Asia-Pacific researchers combine to apply these frameworks to the most pressing issues in the region, from tension on the Korean peninsula to environmental change, Indonesian conflict, the war on terror and the plight of refugees.

The result is an accessible and sophisticated account of often-neglected realities of marginalisation and vulnerability in the region, and a powerful argument for the empowerment and security of the most vulnerable.

Introduction: Asia-Pacific security legacies and futures - Matt McDonald & Anthony Burke
1. Regionalism and security in East Asia - Julie Gilson
2. Emancipation and force: the role(s) of the military in Southeast Asia - Alex J. Bellamy and Bryn Hughes
3. The political economy of security: geopolitics and capitalist development in the Asia-Pacific - Mark Beeson
4. Deconstructing the discourse of epistemic agency: a Singaporean tale of two 'Essentialisms' - See Seng Tan
5. Constructing separatist threats: security and insecurity in Indonesian Aceh and Papua - Edward Aspinal and Richard Chauvel
6. Freedom from fear: conflict, displacement and human security in Burma (Myanmar) - Hazel Lang
7. Australia paranoid: security politics and identity policy - Anthony Burke
8. Harm and emancipation: making environmental security 'critical' in the Asia-Pacific - Lorraine Elliott
9. Seeking security for refugees - Sara Davies
10. Discourses of security in China: towards a critical turn? - Yongjin Zhang
11. Nuclear weapons in the Asia-Pacific: a critical security appraisal - Marianne Hanson
12. US hegemony, the war on terror and security in the Asia-Pacific - Matt McDonald
13. Dealing with North Korea: conventional and alternative security scenarios - Roland Bleiker
14. Security as enslavement, security as emancipation: gendered legacies and feminist futures in the Asia-Pacific - Katrina Lee Koo
Conclusion: emancipating security in the Asia-Pacific? - Simon Dalby

''Challenges us to look beyond the available scholarship on Asia-Pacific regional security. Its claims about what constitute core security issues in the region, what is missing from existing analyses, and how to move forward are sure to provoke healthy disagreement and debate among Asian security experts about the 'state of their art'.''--Amitav Acharya, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Anthony Burke is Senior Lecturer in the School of Politics and
International Relations, University of New South Wales, Australia.

Matt McDonald is Lecturer in International Relations and Security
Studies at the University of Birmingham.