Back to the Water's Edge? Historicizing Current American Security Policies in the Asia-Pacific


Tuesday, November 16, 2021, 12:00pm to 1:30pm


Online (Zoom)

Asia Center Seminar; co-sponsored by the Harvard Asia Center, Korea Institute, Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, WCIA, and Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies 

event poster

Mesrob Vartavarian
Fellow, Harvard University Asia Center 

Vincenzo Bollettino, Director, Program on Resilient Communities, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative 
Carter Eckert, Yoon Se Young Professor of Korean History, Harvard University
Aki Nakai, Policy Innovations Fellow, Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Harvard University 

Chaired by James Robson, James C. Kralik and Yunli Lou Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations; Harvard College Professor; Victor and William Fung Director, Asia Center, Harvard University

The recent US withdrawal from Afghanistan has raised a host of questions regarding America’s future strategic direction and geopolitical policies. By all indications, President Biden’s hard pivot to Asia signals a rapid redistribution of strategic power to rimland Asia geared toward containing Chinese expansion. In certain respects, American strategy is reverting to where it stood during the early Cold War. Yet, administration officials must now factor in a radically altered regional context. This lecture argues that the Biden administration can potentially succeed in curbing China’s revisionist aspirations if it takes the needs and distinct historical trajectories of America’s Asia-Pacific alliance partners into account. It uses Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the Philippines as case studies.

To attend this online event, please register here.

A reminder email with the Zoom link will be sent in advance of the event.