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: Japan, North Korea, Society & social sciences / Diplomacy, International Relations, China, POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Asian, POLITICAL SCIENCE / American Government / General, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General, Asia, North America (USA & Canada), Society & social sciences / International relations
  • 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


Introduction: The United States in the Asia and Indo-Pacifics - Inderjeet Parmar

Part I: Obama's legacy in Asia and the Pacific
1 US imperial hegemony in the American Pacific - Oliver Turner
2 Humanitarian hawk meets rising dragon: Obama's legacy in US China Policy - Peter Gries
3 The Obama administration and India - Christopher K. Colley and Sumit Ganguly
4 Obama and Japan: An endangered legacy - Matteo Dian
5 Obama, Trump, and North Korea - Bruce Cumings
6 US and Australia: Deepening ties and securitising cyberspace - Maryanne Kelton and Zac Rogers
7 Obama's legacy in US-ASEAN relations: Promises and perils - Prashanth Parameswaran
8 The Obama administration and the East Asia Summit: Exception, not transformation - Malcolm Cook

Part II: The US in Asia and the Pacific under Trump
9 Obama, Trump and US politics and diplomacy towards Asia - Robert G. Sutter
10 Security policy in Asia from Obama to Trump: Autopilot, neglect or worse? - Nick Bisley
11 A grand strategic transition? Obama, Trump, and the Asia Pacific political economy - Mike Mastanduno

Part III: From Obama to Trump in Asia and the Pacific: The practitioners' view
12 From Obama to Trump, and beyond: Washington's painful search for a credible China policy - Borje Ljunggren
13 Multilateralism to transactionalism: America and Trump in the Asia Pacific - Ketan Patel and Christian Hansmeyer
14 Obama and Trump's marine machoism in the Indo-Pacific - Atul Bhardwaj
Conclusion: Legacies and Transitions in the twenty first century Indo-Pacific - Oliver Turner and Inderjeet Parmar



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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