Power Politics and the Institutional Architecture in the Mekong Subregion: Beyond the Geopolitical Trap? | Jittipat Poonkham

Power Politics and the Institutional Architecture in the Mekong Subregion: Beyond the Geopolitical Trap? | Jittipat Poonkham

วันที่นำเข้าข้อมูล 27 Jun 2022

วันที่ปรับปรุงข้อมูล 14 Dec 2022

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No. 1/2022 | June 2022

Power Politics and the Institutional Architecture in the Mekong Subregion: Beyond the Geopolitical Trap?*
Jittipat Poonkham** 

(Download .pdf below)

 

Abstract

This article argues that power politics and the contending institutional contestation are key to understanding Mekong’s complex dynamics. It is structured in four main parts. The first discusses China’s struggle for predominance in the Mekong, known as Lancang in Chinese. The second part examines the parallel and competing subregional institutional architectures. The penultimate part explores how the US and other extra-regional development partners have responded to the changing configuration of power in Mekong. The last part concludes with the ways forward, by addressing how to transcend the geopolitical trap in the Mekong Basin. It calls for the riparian states to search for a sustained and robust regional architecture through a political construction of security community. Within the subregional security community, every Mekong actor should be seen as an equal partner and winner.

 

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* This article is developed from my keynote speech, given at the “Mekong-ROK Cooperation: Seeking Synergies on Mekong-ACMECS” Forum in Bangkok, 17 June 2022. The author would like to thank the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Bangkok and the Mekong Institute for their kind invitation.

** Jittipat Poonkham (PhD in International Politics, Aberystwyth University) is Associate Professor of International Relations, Associate Dean for International Affairs and Director of International Studies Program in the Faculty of Political Science, Thammasat University, Thailand. He is an author of A Genealogy of Bamboo Diplomacy: The Politics of Thai Détente with Russia and China (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 2022) and co-editor of International Relations as a Discipline in Thailand: Theory and Sub-fields (London: Routledge, 2019).

Documents

Journal_1-2022_Power_Politics_and_Institutional_Architecture_in_the_Mekong_Subregion_Jittipat.pdf