Conclusion: Asian International Security in the Mode of Indefinite Polycentrism

  • Alan Chong


The conclusion points to a steady state of ‘transitional polycentrism’ in the Asia-Pacific security order. The great powers will continue to compete against one another’s self-defined ‘national interests’, but their competition will likely be subject to self-restraint or the regional security architecture pioneered by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The ‘lowest common denominator’ approach to security keeps the imperfect peace at the very least. Interestingly, this aspect of polycentrism ensures that diplomatic and military balancing remains subtle and positive in ensuring access to developmental goals. When it comes to non-traditional security, polycentrism allows all solutions, including national and international ones, experimental room.


  1. Ba, A. 2014. Outside-In and Inside-Out: Political Ideology, the English School and East Asia. In Contesting International Society in East Asia, ed. B. Buzan and Y. Zhang, 119–143. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Buzan, B., and Y. Zhang, eds. 2014. Contesting International Society in East Asia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Katsumata, H. 2006. Establishment of the ASEAN Regional Forum: Constructing a ‘Talking Shop’ or a ‘Norm Brewery’? The Pacific Review 19(2): 181–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Kissinger, H. 2014. World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History. London: Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Chong
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Multilateralism StudiesS. Rajaratnam School of International StudiesSingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations