Multilateralism and East Asian transitions: the English School, diplomacy, and a networking regional order

  • Alice D. BaEmail author
Original Article


This article traces East Asia’s evolving multilateralisms and role in transitioning East Asia away from “US hub-and-spokes” bilateralism toward a more networked system of security arrangements. Drawing on the English School, it argues for revisiting multilateralism’s diplomatic foundations as a way to direct attention to (1) the practice’s region-specific content and (2) the ways that multilateralism has introduced system-transitioning changes that include system-level dynamics associated with membership, actor hood, and the types of security at stake. The result is a more complex security environment and normative context that calls for more multifaceted responses from all, including the United States and China whose current multilateral diplomacies both draw from and challenge the multilateral norms and practices that have been created. Theoretically, re-attention to multilateralism’s diplomatic foundations also offers the English School an opportunity to make more distinctive contributions to ongoing debates about East Asia’s networking processes and security arrangements.


Security multilateralism Diplomacy English School Security networks Power transition Asia 



The author gratefully acknowledges financial support from the Czech Science Foundation under the standard research Grant No. GA16-02288S.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of DelawareNewarkUSA

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