Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The emergence of the Indo-Pacific shows how an ascendant China has shifted US geopolitical priorities and rhetoric toward a closer engagement with states in what is also known as the Asia-Pacific region. The shift that was signaled under the Obama administration evolved in the Trump era in the context of a more aggressive stance toward China. Taking a postcolonial perspective, the chapter asks how and why the Indo-Pacific emerged as a new idea, what it meant for the US and its key allies such as Japan and Australia in policy statements and speeches. It explores the implications of US ideological and discursive power in normalizing the Indo-Pacific to better thwart the perceived and actual threats from China. It also contrasts postcolonial IR and realist, liberal and norms constructivism approaches to the Indo-Pacific and explores how terms and phrases such as ‘democracy,’ ‘human rights,’ and ‘good governance,’ all constants in US foreign policy rhetoric, have been used to distinguish US stakes in the region from China’s. Lastly, the chapter looks at how women’s rights are used by the US to underscore the distinction between ‘us’ and ‘them’ (‘others’), who threaten US power and hegemony, and how women’s rights promotion by the US elides the classed, racialized, and gendered inequities that have been brought about by neoliberalism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Us Foreign Policy in the Indo- Pacific
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781000805031
ISBN (Print)9780367863142
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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