The Political Economy of the US Rebalance: Revisiting the “Web of Linkages” between National Security and Economic Prosperity

  • Guillaume de Rougé
Part of the The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy book series (SPIRP)


Since its emergence in the US strategic debate, with the publication of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s article in Foreign Policy,1 the “pivot” (or “rebalancing”) to the Asia-Pacific region has been mainly submitted to two different, though not mutually exclusive, interpretations.2 On the one hand, it has been perceived as a rhetorical and tactical move intended to offer to the Obama administration a “ticket out of the Middle East” as well as short-term reassurance measures toward US Asian allies, who had been facing a renewed Chinese regional assertiveness.3 On the other hand, the “pivot” can be viewed as the product of a long-term strategic thinking deriving from a twenty-first-century version of Harold Mackinder’s famous syllogism, adapting it to “who controls China controls the Asia Pacific region; who controls the Asia Pacific region controls the global economy; and who controls the global economy controls the world.”4


Congressional Research Strategic Stability Bilateral FTAs Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Congressional Research Service Report 
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© Hugo Meijer 2015

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  • Guillaume de Rougé

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