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Title: Hub and Spokes: Explaining the Origins and Persistence of the U.S. Bilateral Alliance System in the Asia-Pacific
Authors: Lee, Jeongseok
Advisors: Christensen, Thomas J
Contributors: Public and International Affairs Department
Keywords: alliance politics
Asia-Pacific security
US alliance system in the Asia-Pacific
US foreign policy
Subjects: International relations
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation examines why a network of bilateral alliances became and remained the dominant structure of the American alliance system in the Asia-Pacific region. Challenging the conventional view that the United States deliberately designed and imposed the bilateral structure to maximize its influence over the region, this dissertation offers an intergovernmentalist explanation that the U.S. bilateral alliance system was created and maintained by explicit and implicit bargains between the United States and its regional allies and argues that not only the United States but also its regional allies had a considerable influence on both the origins and persistence of the American hub-and- spokes alliance system. Taking a historical institutionalist approach, this dissertation presents the following findings on the American hub-and-spokes system’s (1) origins, (2) a missed opportunity for structural change, and (3) the long-term persistence during and after the Cold War. First, the creation of the hub-and-spokes system was an outcome of bargains in which the United States made a series of concessions regarding the institutional design of its alliance system. Second, SEATO, a U.S.-led multilateral security pact that could have changed the bilateral structure, failed to survive due to its flawed organizational design chosen by its key member states. Third, the United States and its regional allies’ responses to exogenous shocks and trends, along with habitual path dependence, contributed to the persistence of the American hub-and-spokes system throughout and after the Cold War.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Public and International Affairs

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