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Bradford, John F. and Emmers, Ralf (2024) 'Why the quad is not squaring off in the South China Sea: evaluating interests, objectives and capacity.' Australian Journal of International Affairs, 78 (1). pp. 1-21.

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The Quad has formulated repeated statements confirming their shared interests and common commitment to maritime issues and highlighting the South China Sea as an area of strategic priority. However, beyond diplomatic declarations, the Quad has taken few actions in the maritime domain and none to influence the dynamics of the South China Sea disputes. Why words have not been translated into action is the central question of this article. Comparative analysis involving three variables – interests, stakes and power projection capacity – shows that the members’ primary divergence is related to India’s deemphasising the preservation of the status quo rules-based maritime order. India is also the member preventing the Quad from moving into coordinated activities, as can be seen by the regularly coordinated diplomatic stances and naval actions conducted trilaterally among the others in the South China Sea. This will sustain the Quad as a secondary actor in the South China Sea disputes. Furthermore, it suggests that whereas Australia and Japan are responding to the evolving geopolitical structure by finding common cause with the United States-led order, India is behaving as a rising power seeking to manage the challenge posed by China while growing into its own great power status.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: South China Sea, the Quad, maritime security, minilateralism, great power competition
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
ISSN: 10357718
Copyright Statement: This is the version of the article accepted for publication in Australian Journal of International Affairs, 78 (1). pp. 1-21 (2024). published by Taylor and Francis.Re-use is subject to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2024 08:53

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