The Making of the Asia Pacific: Knowledge Brokers and the Politics of Representation

The Making of the Asia Pacific: Knowledge Brokers and the Politics of Representation

by See Seng Tan



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The Making of the Asia Pacific: Knowledge Brokers and the Politics of Representation by See Seng Tan

This illuminating volume critically surveys the power of narratives in shaping the discourse on the post-Cold War Asia Pacific. The author examines the purposes, practices, power relations and protagonists behind policy networks such as the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789089644770
Publisher: Amsterdam University Press
Publication date: 08/15/2013
Series: IIAS Publications series
Pages: 238
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

See Seng Tan is associate professor and deputy director of the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies at the Nanayang Technological University in Singapore.

Table of Contents

List of Tables 9

Acknowledgements 11

1 Introduction: From 'Pacific Asia' to 'Asia Pacific" 13

The Politics of Representation 16

What Discourses Do 19

About This Book 20

2 The Desire for Essence 27

State of the Art: Security, Sovereignty and Subjectivity 31

Art of the State: What States Make 34

Ideas All the Way Down 40

Conclusion: Beyond Essentialism and Rationalism? 43

3 Knowledge Networks as Agents of Representation 45

Debating Epistemic Agency 46

Knowledge Networks as Instrumental Agents 47

Knowledge Networks as 'Abject Beings' 52

Epistemic Agency as Political Prerogative 55

Knowledge Networks and Their Representational Practices 57

A Strategy in Radical Constructivism 62

How Texts Work 63

Conclusion: Towards a Radical Constructivism 67

4 Representing the 'Asia Pacific' 69

'Asia Pacific': Whose and What? 75

A Realm of Abjection 76

Presupposition 77

Predication 78

Placement/Positioning of Subjects 79

'It's Europe, stupid!' 83

A Realm of Uncertainty and Opportunity 85

Presupposition 89

Predication 91

Placement/Positioning of Subjects 94

Conclusion: Whither Asia Pacific Subjectivity? 108

5 Representing Sovereign States 111

The State as a Constructed and Contested Identity 112

Presupposition 115

Predication 122

Placement/Positioning of Subjects 126

The China Threat and the Writing of 'America' 127

Conclusion: Are States What States Make of Them? 133

6 Representing the 'In/Human' Faces of Asia Pacific Security 135

Asia Pacific Security: Reset or Redux? 138

Non-Traditionalising Security: Expanding State Purview and Control? 139

Humanising Security: Who's Responsible? 142

From 'Right' to 'Responsibility": Re-visioning Sovereignty? 146

(En)Countering Terrorism: Abjection and Agency at the 'Second Front' 148

Conclusion: Domesticating Security, Sovereignty and Subjectivity 152

7 Representing the 'Authority' of Knowledge Networks 155

Deconstructing the Imagined Community 157

Self-Formation 160

Self-Governance 162

Track 2 Discourse: Revolution or Re-incitement? 165

Sovereignty-Subjectivity Nexus: Reinforcement or Reinstatement? 167

Forming and Governing the Track 2 'Self: Two Illustrations 169

Domesticating the Regional Security Discourse 169

Domesticating Human Rights Discourse 173

Conclusion: The Precarious Art of Self-Representation 176

8 Conclusion: A Plea in Three Parts 179

The Persistent Allure of Essence 180

The Scholar/Statesman Paradox 182

An Invitation to Play 184

Notes 187

Bibliography 203

Index 229

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