The Pacific President

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The Pacific President

Type: Master thesis
Title: The Pacific President
Author: Leijten, IvoLeijten, Ivo
Issue Date: 2017-08-31
Keywords: Securitization, Pivot to Asia, Sino-American relations
Abstract: The South China Sea became in a short time-span quickly heavy militarized. American and Chinese warships are increasingly active in these contested waters. While the G.W. Bush administration focused militarily mostly on the Middle East, Obama re-shifted with the ‘pivot to Asia’ significant military attention to East Asia. This study aims to clarify to what extent Obama legitimized the military component in the pivot through securitization, as proposed by the Copenhagen School. Therefore, several American and Chinese policy documents and speeches are analyzed. The results indicate that, contrary to what the administration claimed, military policies were predominant in the pivot and ‘extraordinary measures’ compared to pre-existing policies. Furthermore, the Obama administration securitized Chinese policies regarding the South China Sea by portraying them as threatening U.S. security, and thus exceptional measures are required. In successfully securitizing the issue, the administration constructed a reality in which Beijing would have to respond, perceiving Washington uplifting the issue to a ‘top security issue’ as credible.
Supervisor: ForoughForough, Mohammadbagher
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: International Relations (Master)
Specialisation: Global Conflict in the Modern Era
ECTS Credits: 15
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/53149
 

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