Successful funding application for a workshop on the Indo-Pacific

The South Asia Initiative has received 160 000 SEK from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond for organizing the workshop “A new regional order with global consequences? Studying an emerging partnership in the ‘Indo-Pacific’” in Lund 7-8 Nov 2018. The application was co-written by Henrik Chetan Aspengren and Dr John Hennessey, Linnaeus University.

The workshop will focus on the emerging geostrategic arena, referred to as the “Indo-Pacific”. The workshop will initiate a project on the implications of a closer Indo-Pacific partnership centring on Japan and India and its effects on European foreign policy, and enable the formation of an international network of scholars working on the topic. In light of the economic and military rise of China and changing regional objectives of the United States many analysts and scholars have called for an “Indo-Pacific” partnership centring on Japan and India. Such a partnership could counterbalance Chinese dominance in the region and secure key trade routes. India in particular has a strong interest in creating a “multipolar world order” that is not dominated by hegemonic superpowers like the United States or China. An Indo-Pacific partnership centring on India and Japan could serve to promote such an order, which could lead to a more equal and possibly democratic distribution of power in the region. On the other hand, increasing security ties between Japan and India could lead to an unwarranted escalation of regional conflicts. Singapore, Australia and the United States have intermittently shown interest in supporting such a strategic partnership. The European Union and individual European nations will need to take a position on this issue in the near future, but there is currently a dearth of research and expertise on the Indo-Pacific in and in relation to Europe. The workshop is an initiation of a collaboration with National University of Singapore Institute of South Asian Studies.

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