The United States in the Indo-Pacific

Obama's legacy and the Trump transition

Edited by Oliver Turner and Inderjeet Parmar

The United States in the Indo-Pacific


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3503-2
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £25.00
  • Published Date: March 2020
  • BIC Category: International Relations, POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Asian, POLITICAL SCIENCE / American Government / General, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy, China, Asia, North America (USA & Canada), Society & social sciences / International relations, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General, Society & social sciences / Diplomacy, North Korea, Japan
  • Series: Manchester University Press


This edited collection examines the political, economic and security legacies of former US President Barack Obama in Asia and the Pacific, following two terms in office between 2009 and 2017. In a region that has only become more vivid in the American political imagination since Obama left office, this volume interrogates the endurance of Obama's legacies in what is increasingly reimagined in Washington as the Indo-Pacific. Advancing our understanding of Obama's style, influence and impact throughout the region, this volume explores dimensions of US relations and interactions with key Indo-Pacific states including China, India, Japan, North Korea and Australia; multilateral institutions and organisations such the East Asia Summit and ASEAN; and salient issue areas such as regional security, politics and diplomacy, and the economy.

How far has the Trump administration progressed in challenging or disrupting Obama's Pivot to Asia? What differences can we discern in the declared or effective US strategy towards Asia and to what extent has it radically shifted or displaced Obama-era legacies? Including contributions from high-profile scholars and policy practitioners such as Michael Mastanduno, Bruce Cumings, Maryanne Kelton, Robert Sutter and Sumit Ganguly, contributors examine these questions at the halfway point of the 2017-21 Presidency of Donald Trump, as his administration opens a new and potentially divergent chapter of American internationalism.


'This sound, edited volume provides varied and thorough analysis of recent US foreign policies regarding East and South Asia. Its first eight chapters assess Barack Obama's policies and their consequences in the area. Next come three chapters on the first two years of the Trump administration's policies and finally three surveys of contemporary challenges and opportunities for US policies in the region. Many chapters contrast Obama's nuanced "pivot to Asia" with Trump's more aggressive policies. This contrast spurs concerns among several authors about new uncertainties in the region. For example, Michael Mastanduno explores how Obama's "hopeful" pivot policy has given way to Trump's "combative" strategic competition. Authors' concerns mount in the chapters concerning Trump's policy changes. Ketan Patel and Christian Hansmeyer list many potential winners and losers in the policy transition from Obama to Trump, culminating in two equally possible, but alternative, grand outcomes: declining American power or an orderly transition to multilateralism. A concluding chapter by the editors labels the region as one that "is set to dominate 21st-century global affairs" and finally asks how future US administrations "will respond to this rapidly evolving and highly unfamiliar set of global circumstances.'"
S. E. Schier, emeritus, Carleton College


Inderjeet Parmar (City, University of London)
Section one: Obama's legacy in the Asia Pacific
1. Old Roots, New Beginnings: A Genealogy of the American Presence in Asia
Oliver Turner (University of Edinburgh)
2. US-China Relations and Obama's Enigmatic Legacy Christopher Layne, Texas A&M
3. The US and India: A Renewed Strategic Partnership
Sumit Ganguly (Indiana University)
4. Obama and Japan: An Endangered Legacy
Matteo Dian (University of Bologna)
5. Obama's Strategic Patience Toward North Korea
Bruce Cumings (University of Chicago)
6. US-Australia Ties Under Obama: Consolidation with New Contours
Maryanne Kelton and Zac Rogers (Flinders University)
7. Obama's Legacy in US-ASEAN Relations: Promises and Perils
Prashanth Parameswaran (The Diplomat and Tufts University)
8. Obama and the East Asia Summit: Commitment and Constraint
Malcolm Cook (ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute)
9. Trump and Asia-Pacific Politics and Diplomacy
Robert G. Sutter (George Washington University)
10. Trump and Asia Pacific Security
Nick Bisley (La Trobe University)
11. Trump and the Asia Pacific Economy
Mike Mastanduno (Dartmouth College)
12. Red China' and the 'Yellow Peril': Why Trump Supporters Oppose Obama's Legacy in Asia
Peter Gries (University of Manchester)
Section three. The practitioner's view
13. In Search of a Sustainable China Policy
Borje Ljunggren (Former Swedish Ambassador to China, Mongolia and Vietnam)
14. From Multilateralism to Transactionalism: Obama and Trump in the Asia Pacific
Ketan Patel (CEO, Greater Pacific) and Christian Hansmeyer (Greater Pacific)
15. From Obama to Trump: Whither US-ASEAN Economic Relations?
Rebecca Fatima Santa Maria (Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia; ASEAN, and Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia) and Ponciano Intal (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia)
Oliver Turner and Inderjeet Parmar

Each numbered chapter will be 6000-6500 words in length, including bibliography. The introduction and conclusion chapters will each be a maximum of 3000 words, including bibliography. This means the total volume will be 96,000-103,500 words in length.


Oliver Turner is a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Edinburgh

Inderjeet Parmar is Professor of International Politics at City, University of London

The United States in the Indo-Pacific

Edited by Oliver Turner, Inderjeet Parmar

Paperback £25.00 / $36.95

Hardcover £80.00 / $120.00

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