The U.S.-Philippines Alliance: An Analysis from an Offshore Balancing Perspective

  • Date:2018-09-11

Taiwan Social Sciences Citation Index(TSSCI)

Prospect Quarterly Vol.19 No.3 (July 2018)

The U.S.-Philippines Alliance: An Analysis from an Offshore Balancing Perspective

Two Philippine warships (the first two) are participating in the exercise with the US warships (the latter three).
Source: Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia Commons, <>.


The U.S.-Philippines Alliance: An Analysis from an Offshore Balancing Perspective 

Chen-dong Tso
Professor, Department of Political Science,
National Taiwan University
 Po-ming Tsai
M.A. Student, International Relations, Department of Political Science,
National Taiwan University

        Recently, academic debate on American grand strategy has seen a renewed upsurge. In this context, it is worth studying whether the rising anti-base sentiment in the Philippines around the signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement and the Philippines' loss of control over Scarborough shoal should be attributed to Obama's embracing an offshore balancing strategy. This paper holds that the demand for bases and the avoidance of security guarantees on the part of the United States are in line with the objective of the offshore balancing strategy. However, it is American public opinion and information on the enemy's preference that have more influence on the way the U.S. handles Philippines-China confrontation in the South China Sea. During the China-Philippines standoff on Scarborough Shoal, the demand of the American public for tough action was low and the information on how China would respond insufficient. As a result, Obama adopted the option of increasing military presence. By contrast, facing an increasing public demand for tough action and having more information on China's calculations, Obama allowed an implicit security commitment to solve the standoff on the Second Thomas Shoal.

Keywords:Barack H. Obama, Offshore Balancing, U.S.-Philippines Alliance, Scarborough Shoal, Second Thomas Shoal



A Study on the Stability of the Second Abe Administration: The Role of the Chief Cabinet Secretary 

Ming-shan Wu
Professor, Department of Mass Communication,
I-Shou University

        Abe Shinzo came to power on December 26, 2012 and has been in power over 2,000 days by now, ranking third among the 32 Prime Ministers after the implementation of the Post-war Constitution. Moreover, the average ratio of support for Abe's Cabinet has been 55.8% since the establishment of the second Abe Administration, ranking third, which is rarely seen in Japanese politics. What are the factors that make Abe Administration stable? General analysis of the political system will center on the power of political leaders and their effectiveness. However, other than these points of view, this paper deals with the influence of the role of the Chief Cabinet Secretary, known as the "the Prime Minister's right-hand man," in the second Abe Administration.

Keywords:Abe Administration, Cabinet Secretary, Chief Cabinet Secretary, Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, Ratio of Cabinet Support



Revisiting the Politics of “Foreign Aid” in Southeast Asia: Development, Dynamics and Local Responses  

Alan H. Yang
Associate Professor, Graduate Institute of East Asian Studies,
Associate Research Fellow, Institute of International Relations,
National Chengchi University

        The rise of Asia has attracted attention from Asia-Pacific major powers, including the United States, China and Japan. This article looks at the politics of foreign aid by analyzing its development, dynamics and local responses with a specific focus on Southeast Asia. The first section of this article highlights the importance and definition of the politics of foreign aid whereas the second section delineates the problematique of contemporary discussion. The current development and changing faces of foreign aid practice and economic engagement in Southeast Asia as a case study is provided in the third section. This article, then, examines competing IR theoretical frameworks for the purpose of re-orientating the configuration of level-of-analysis and network of stakeholders. It will particularly pinpoint the responses towards/against the external economic involvement in infrastructure issues at Southeast Asian localities. Finally, it concludes by recommending changing ideas and practices from "legitimate engagement" to "fair engagement" for the purpose of bridging the external economic resources with local social development.

Keywords:ASEAN, ASEAN Community, the Politics of Foreign Aid, Infrastructure, Local Resistance 



  • Update:2019-03-06