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Asia’s Regional Architecture: Alliances and Institutions in the Pacific Century, Andrew Yeo

Reviewed by Norashiqin Toh

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A hallmark of the Barack Obama administration’s foreign policy strategy was the so-called pivot to Asia, which clearly reflected the growing importance of the Asia-Pacific region in the twenty-first century. Notwithstanding President Donald Trump’s executive order that pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, his administration continues to view Asia as a region of high priority, and the United States has largely maintained its role as a key player in the region’s security and economic arrangements. Andrew Yeo’s book is thus a timely contribution for both scholars and policymakers looking to navigate the overlapping institutions that make up Asia’s complex regional architecture.

In this comprehensive examination of change and continuity within Asia’s institutional structure, Yeo seeks to precisely explain the complex layering of bilateral and multilateral arrangements that have come to characterize the region. Specifically, he examines how the regional architecture has come to incorporate durable U.S. bilateral alliances, constituting an enduring hub-and-spoke system, alongside a swift increase in the number of multilateral institutions. Using an impressive range of secondary and primary sources, including official documents from regional institutions, policy documents, diplomatic cables, and elite inter

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