Featured Books and Articles
Publications by members of the Indian Ocean Research Group
By Timothy Doyle and Dennis Rumley
In the 21st century, the Indo-Pacific region has become the new centre of the world. The concept of the ‘Indo-Pacific’, though still under construction, is a potentially ‘pivotal’ site, where various institutions and intellectuals of statecraft are seeking common ground on which to anchor new regional coalitions, alliances. and allies to better serve their respective national agendas. This book explores the ‘Indo-Pacific’ as an ambiguous and hotly contested regional security construction. It critically examines the major drivers behind the revival of classical geopolitical concepts and their deployment through different national lenses. The book also analyses the presence of India and the U.S in the Indo-Pacific, and the manner in which China has reacted to their positions in the Indo-Pacific to date. It suggests that national constructions of the Indo-Pacific region are more informed by domestic political realities, anti-Chinese bigotries, distinctive properties of 21st century U.S hegemony, and narrow nation-statist sentiments rather than genuine pan-regional aspirations.
The Rise and Return of the Indo-Pacific argues that the spouting of contested depictions of the Indo-Pacific region depend on the fixed geo-strategic lenses of nation-states, but what is also important is the re-emergence of older ideas – a class conceptual revival – based on early to mid-20th century geopolitical ideas in many of these countries. The book deliberately raises the issue of the sea and constructions of ‘nature’, as these symbols are indispensable parts of many of these Indo-Pacific regional narratives. Despite the existence of diverse nation-statist, pan- and sub-regional discourses, the narratives of the most powerful states still dominate 21st century Indo-Pacific statecraft. The term ‘Indo-Pacific’ has the potential of unsettling various existing bilateral and multilateral geopolitical equations within the Indian Ocean region. Despite substantial heterogeneity in Indo-Pacific regional imaginations, the most dominant ‘stories’ and ‘maps’ are crafted and disseminated by the most dominant nation -in this case, the U.S- as it grapples with new ways of retaining its hegemony into the 21st century.
Please scroll down to see a comprehensive selection of books and publications written by members of the Indian Ocean Research Group.
The research output covers a wide range of subjects related to the Indian Ocean Region, from international relations and geopolitics, to environmental issues and policy analysis and more.
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Daniel Baldino and Rhys Crawley
Intelligence plays an important, albeit often hidden hand, in the everyday function of government. Australia’s intelligence agencies—collectively referred to as the Australian Intelligence Community (AIC)—are an established and fundamental component of the bureaucracy: they keep watch on potential problems in the name of national security, exploit weaknesses in the name of national interests, and build a picture of the complexities of the broader world for their consumers—other domestic government departments, partner intelligence agencies overseas and, most importantly, Australia’s policy-makers. Their aim is to provide the government with ‘information’—for that is essentially what intelligence is—to better enable it to tackle the issues confronting it; to be better armed, informed and forewarned of what might lay ahead; and to facilitate coherent policy-making. But we should not expect intelligence to be perfect, nor should we think that good intelligence guarantees good policy.
This book draws on a wide range experts including academics, former and current strategic advisers and members of government, private industry professionals and intelligence community experts, to provide a diagnostic, clear-eyed approach in explaining, accessing and exposing the central foundations and frameworks necessary for effective practice of intelligence in Australia as well as the shaping of intelligence expectations.
Edited by Christian Bouchard, Shafick Osman
Islands are intrinsic parts of the Indian Ocean Region’s physical geography and human landscape. Historically, many have played substantial roles in the regional cultural and economic networks, as well as in the regional political developments. Today, at least three issues bring these islands back to the forefront of the regional and global affairs, namely geopolitics and strategic matters, environmental conditions and challenges, as well as ocean affairs. However, there has not been yet a lot of research and publications on this phenomenon of islands’ growing significance in the specific context of the Indian Ocean Region.
This book provides a rare attempt to cover various issues related to geopolitics, international relations, history, security, anthropology and ocean/environment of Indian Ocean islands and their societies. More specifically, it provides case studies on Sri Lanka (foreign policy), Cocos and Christmas Islands (geo-strategy), Chagos Archipelago (history), Mauritius (‘Indo-Mauritians’), Mauritius and Seychelles (maritime security), European Union and the Indian Ocean Islands (international relations), and Sundarban islands (environment and society).
South Asia`s complex geopolitical realities present a number of challenges to regional countries and dominate the discourse. Likewise, there are complex geostrategic issues which inhibit regional cooperation and add to trust-deficit. This volume captures perspectives of experts and scholars on South Asia who offer some deep insights of the region. It addresses a number of issues that fall into the domain of geopolitics, geo-economics and geostrategic. With connectivity being the buzzword of 2016, the volume draws attention to the geostrategic calculus involving transport corridors and the emerging great game in South Asia. The book also deliberates on thematic issues such as trends in defence spending as well as marine protected areas in the region. This volume is a must read for academics, researchers and policy makers in South Asia as also those who pursue various political, security and environmental issues confronting the region.
The book is written in the backdrop of the environmental impacts of and future requirements from the natural environment for rapid economic growth that has characterized recent economic history of China and India, especially over the past few decades. The environmental impacts of such rapid economic changes have been, more frequently than otherwise, degrading in character. Environmental impacts of economic activities create degraded natural ecosystems by over utilization of nature’s provisioning ecosystem services (from Himalaya to the Ocean), as well, by the use of the natural environment as sink for dumping of unmarketable products or unused inputs of economic activities. Such processes affect wide range of ecosystem processes on which the natural environment including human population depend on.
Critical perspectives cast by various chapters in this book draw attention to the various ways in which space and power interact to produce diverse geographies of sustainability in a globalizing world. They also address the questions such as who decides what kind of a spatial arrangement of political power is needed for sustaining the environment. Who stands to gain (or lose) what, when, where, and why from certain geographical areas being demarcated as ecologically unique, fragile and vulnerable environments? Whose needs and values are being catered to by a given ecosystem service? What is the scope for critical inquiry into the ways in which the environment is imagined, represented and resisted in both geopolitical struggles and everyday life? The book provides insights to both academics from diverse disciplines and policy makers, civil society actors interested in mutual exchange of knowledge between China and India.
“This book demonstrates that the social innovations do matter and will continue to do so in the realization of environmental sustainability for two large Asian countries, China and India across diverse landscapes connected by river flows from mountain grasslands to flood plains of Himalayan rivers to the urban settlements to the remote farming areas to mangroves and estuaries. The challenge of finding innovative solutions to the problem of environmental unsustainability in China and India is compounded by social and economic transformations at local and regional scales. This provides a very useful platform for these two neighboring countries for jointly promoting innovations that would benefit humanity as a whole. This book can attract you to read, think, and act right away for promoting the environmental sustainability in China and India, even beyond.” (Bojie Fu, Academician, Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), Distinguished Professor, Research Center for Eco-environmental Sciences, Beijing, China)
“The future of global sustainability depends on how China and India develop in the decades ahead. This book represents an important contribution to understanding and promoting environmental sustainability in a millennial context in these two ‘civilizational twins’, with ecosystems that depend on the ‘Himalayan water tower’. I am very pleased to see the publication of this timely and productive book, given the pervading sense of urgency in the era of extensive environment degradation, especially climate change. It provides new insights on environmental sustainability from Himalayan grasslands to the coastal areas, linked by Himalayan rivers, and rural and urban landscapes in China and India. I highly recommend this important publication to researchers, designers, planners, policy makers, students, and others who are working on environmental sustainability in China or India and worldwide.” (Nitin Desai, Former Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations, New Delhi, India)
“Over the past decade Professor Dong has successfully broadened his ecological focus on grassland management in China to embrace the complexities of the social environmental nexus and to encourage trans-disciplinary collaborations that are essential to eventually realizing sustainable development worldwide. Here, Dong and colleagues provide a unique and useful interdisciplinary synthesis of the social environmental challenges and their possible solutions across a major geopolitical landscape. I can think of no more complicated, or more important, setting for a consideration of environmental sustainability than the mountains to oceans continuum that spans the rapidly developing countries of China and India. This volume provides a solid foundation for stimulating that important discussion.” (James P. Lassoie, International Professor of Conservation, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA)
Edited by Dennis Rumley
This book examines the states of maritime Africa in the Indian Ocean Region in terms of their changing geopolitical and geo-economic context. It discusses the changing patterns of the region’s trade, investment and aid relationships with both extra-regional states and with countries that are members of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA). It analyses the extent of actual cooperation of regional states with other IORA members, especially in terms of two fundamentally important regional issues -maritime security and education and innovation. This book is part of a larger research project funded by the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Special Fund and the Governments of Australia, India, Oman, South Africa and Sri Lanka as well as a contribution from an Australian Research Council grant for the project “Building an Indian Ocean Region” [Discovery Project DP120101166].
Edited by Dennis Rumley, Sanjay Chaturvedi and Vijay Sakhuja (ISEAS, 2009)
The book aims to further the debate on the impacts of fisheries policies in the Indian Ocean Region in order to facilitate a new regional policy direction. A key argument of the volume is that ecologically sustainable and socially just development and management of Indian Ocean fisheries require a paradigm shift in the perceptions and policies of major stakeholders. A central policy challenge is to identify a collective regional interest for fisheries and accordingly the development of integrated management policies that link ecology and society and which incorporate individuals, communities, agencies, states and regimes into a holistic cooperative endeavour. Successful ocean governance therefore requires greater inter-state and inter-agency consultation and cooperation, an improvement in linking national initiatives to local action, increased participation of local government and local communities and the enhancement of local capability. In order to achieve this overall goal requires either the enhancement of existing regional institutions or the creation of a new regional body.
“The book under review seeks to set a roadmap for marine management model in the Indian Ocean along with a sustainable oceanic future for regional fisheries. The IOR-ARC too must be given new impetus by member states, and therefore must take on its agenda the challenges of climate change, and threats to marine biodiversity and fisheries in particular. However, the IOR-ARC experience over a decade has been that of members looking more outwards than inwards, and seeing their interests being served better with partnerships in Europe and East Asia. The editors have rightly concluded that regardless of the management framework chosen, a political will would be required to implement the laws, regulations and management measures. This political will has not been in evidence in the last few years, despite lip service, and remains to be seen what magic wand brings about a broad based cooperation in the Indian Ocean region” (Environscan_Newsletter_COES).
It is well known that the future of the world’s fisheries is under threat from ocean warming, over-fishing and other anthropogenic impacts. Fish are an important source of protein for the world’s population and a valuable source of export earnings for many countries. Most fish species are over exploited — the familiar tale of ‘too many boats chasing too few fish’. The scarcity of fish has led to increased conflicts between small scale and large scale fishers and also, in some cases, between the former groups and recreational fishers. Fisheries have been described as one of the last environmental casus belli. Even with the imposition of 200-mile zones in the 1980s, government and regional fisheries managers have struggled to ensure resources are managed sustainably. Nowhere is this truer than in the Indian Ocean which covers a vast area of 75 million square kilometres, stretching from Africa in the west, northward to the Indian subcontinent, eastward to Indochina and Australia and southward to Antarctica. The ambitious aim of Fisheries Exploitation in the Indian Ocean: Threats and Opportunities is to facilitate a paradigm shift in the ideas and policies of the key stakeholders to assist with the development of integrated regional management policies. A key message of the first section on fisheries policy frameworks is that current governance arrangements that are dependent on state and local enforcement capacity are often inadequate. Some states such as, for example, Indonesia, do not have the resources to adequately police their exclusive economic zones and combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. In an insightful chapter Rumley outlines a basic typology which conceptualizes fisheries conflict as resulting from complex interactions between the marine environment, international marine resources management regimes, government agencies, local community fisheries and non-state actors. He advocates a new policy framework built on the three pillars of reconfiguring regulatory authority, widening the outlook of fishing bureaucracies and conserving marine species” (International Journal of Maritime History).
The Indian Ocean is shaping up to become a major strategic battleground of the 21st century. The rise of India and China is shaping a new regional balance of power in the Indo- Pacific. Just as China is now asserting itself in the Pacific, India aspires to be the leading power in the Indian Ocean.
In this timely new book, India’s Ocean: the story of India’s bid for regional leadership, David Brewster examines India’s growing strategic role in the Indian Ocean. It asks:
- What are India’s strategic ambitions in the Indian Ocean?
- Who are India’s regional military partners?
- How is India responding to the growing Chinese presence in the region?
- How will this contest affect Australia?The future of the Indian Ocean will be a competition between great powers. Is it destined to become India’s Ocean?‘What happens in the Indian Ocean will define India’s strategic future, and that in turn will do a great deal to set Asia’s course in the Asian Century. David Brewster gives us a perfect guide to the forces shaping India’s role in the Ocean that bears its name. It is a lucid, lively, comprehensive and judicious account of one of the central strategic questions of our times.’ – Professor Hugh White, Australian National University’A knowledgeable India hand, David Brewster explores India’s maritime ambitions and provides an incisive assessment of its potential to wield influence across the Indian Ocean region.’ – Admiral Arun Prakash (Retd), Chief of Naval Staff, Indian Navy 2004-06’In this book, David Brewster [outlines] a realistic trajectory for India as an Indian Ocean power. In so doing he explains the power relationships and the subregional dynamics that will determine how smooth or otherwise this course will be. This book fills an important gap for scholars and policymakers striving to understand how India will affect the Indo-Pacific strategic order in the 21st century.’ – Rory Medcalf, Director, International Security Program, Lowy InstituteAbout the author: David Brewster is a former international corporate lawyer and joined the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University in 2007. He is one of Australia’s leading thinkers on Indian and Indian Ocean strategic affairs. For more of David Brewster’s publications on Indian Ocean Matters, click here. For a review of the book, click here.
, edited by Clive Schofield, Seokwoo Lee, and Moon-Sang Kwon, comprises 36 chapters by leading oceans scholars and practitioners devoted to both the definition of maritime limits and boundaries spatially and the limits of jurisdictional rights within claimed maritime zones. Contributions address conflicting maritime claims and boundary disputes, access to valuable marine resources, protecting the marine environment, maritime security and combating piracy, concerns over expanding activities and jurisdiction in Polar waters and the impact of climate change on the oceans, including the potential impact of sea level rise on the scope of claims to maritime zones. The volume therefore offers critical analysis on a range of important and frequently increasingly pressing contemporary law of the sea issues.
edited by Timothy Doyle and Melissa Riseley (Rutgers University Press: New Brunswich, New Jersey, and London 2008)
Edited by Priya Chacko
During the last twenty years, burgeoning transnational trade, investment and production linkages have transformed the area between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The appearance of this area of interdependence and interaction and its potential impact on global order hascaptured the attention of political leaders, and the concept of the Indo-Pacific region is increasingly appearing in international political discourse.
This book explores the emergence of the Indo-Pacific concept in different national settings. Chapters engage with critical theories of international relations, regionalism, geopolitics and geoeconomics in reflecting on the domestic and international drivers and foreign policy debates around the Indo-Pacific concept in Australia, India, the United States, Indonesia and Japan. They evaluate the reasons why the concept of the Indo-Pacific has captured the imaginations of policy makers and policy analysts in these countries and assess the implications of competing interpretations of the Indo-Pacific for conflict and cooperation in the region.
A significant contribution to the analysis of the emerging geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific, this book will be of interest to researchers in the field of Asian Studies, International Relations, Regionalism, Foreign Policy Analysis and Geopolitics.
Sanjay Chaturvedi and Timothy Doyle (2015), Climate Terror: A Critical Geopolitics of Climate Change, London: Palgrave Macmillan
Climate Terror engages with a highly differentiated geographical politics of global warming. It explores how fear-inducing climate change discourses could result in new forms of dependencies, domination and militarized ‘climate security’.
- First book to critique climate change from a critical geopolitical perspective
- Relevant to agenda setting and international policy makers on climate change
- Important emphasis placed on impact of climate change in the Global South, rather than being purely a challenge for and threat to the West
- Interdisciplinary book that sits at the critical and popular intersection between security, human security and science and the environment and will be of value to researchers from a broad spectrum of disciplines
“Climate Terror offers an invaluable contribution because it combines and fully develops a number of important critical angles –there are not many books doing that, if any at all. The book will represent an important resource for critical scholars approaching the field of climate politics, as well as a necessary starting point for those working on and towards decolonized and progressive climate politics.”
Giovanni Bettini (Lancaster University, UK) in Progress in Human Geography (Sage)
“Climate Terror is a frenetic, impassioned, angry book, from the denunciation of ‘historically perpetuated environmental injustices by the powers that be’ on the first page to the ‘Armageddon’ of the ‘the globally peripheral peoples of the global South’ on the last…the authors manage to craft a largely coherent account of many violences done by the rise of a Climate Terror Industry, and the great value of this book is both its scope and range, combined with writing from the perspective of the Global South with an orientation towards forces of subaltern resistance. Despite the many allusions to diverse concepts and theorists the book manages to be relatively accessible as well as challenging, and researchers new to the fields of climate geopolitics or political ecology will find a range of provocative lines of enquiry.”
Carl Death (University of Manchester, Manchester, UK) Social Movement Studies: Journal of Social, Cultural and Political Protest (Routledge)
“Chaturvedi and Doyle offer a much-needed reminder to those concerned to think about climate in global terms that the politics of discourse matters. Geographical contextualisations are key to this process, hence their subtitle explicitly invoking critical geopolitics… Their concern is that subalterns in the Global South have their lives directly interconnected with matters of ecological injustice and vulnerabilities in ways often distant from the geopolitical narratives of Northern technocrats.”
Simon Dalby (Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) in Geopolitics (Routledge)
“In this book, Chaturvedi and Doyle venture deep into strategies of hegemony and resistance to explore how the biographies of place and culture are contesting formations of globalization predicated on a hollow empathy of environmental concern. The journey they take exposes the reader to the great dangers posed to the cultures and economies of southern states by solutions that emerge from a universalist, market-oriented, post-political and militarized dogma. Seeking to underline the inherent violence it contains, the authors have termed this conservative environmentalism ‘climate terror’.”
Barry J. Ryan (Keele University, UK) in Capital & Class (Sage)
“Through the eight chapters of their book, Chaturvedi and Doyle have weaved a master narrative on how climate change transpires in the wake of global warming and where these processes and politics might lead, without the rhetoric and the noise of fear, but with evidence as available and theoretical postulation as necessary…what Chaturvedi and Doyle have attempted to do is to provide a script for both the history of climate change, as we understand it now and possibilities for the future, if reasonable people might be able to capture the momentum.”
Sasanka Perera (Department of Sociology, South Asian University, New Delhi) in India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs (Sage)
Book Review by Carl Death, University of Manchester.
The rise of India as a major power has generated new interest in understanding the drivers of its foreign policy. This book argues that analysing India’s foreign and security policies as representational practices which produce India’s identity as a postcolonial nation-state helps to illuminate the conditions of possibility in which foreign policy is made.
Spanning the period between 1947 and 2004, the book focuses on key moments of crisis, such as the India-China war in 1962 and the nuclear tests of 1972 and 1998, and the approach to international affairs of significant leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru. The analysis sheds new light on these key events and figures and develops a strong analytical narrative around India’s foreign policy behaviour, based on an understanding of its postcolonial identity.
It is argued that a prominent facet of India’s identity is a perception that it is a civilizational-state which brings to international affairs a tradition of morality and ethical conduct derived from its civilizational heritage and the experience of its anti-colonial struggle. This notion of ‘civilizational exceptionalism’, as well as other narratives of India’s civilizational past, such as its vulnerability to invasion and conquest, have shaped the foreign policies of governments of various political hues and continue to influence a rising India.
Edited by Dennis Rumley, Sanjay Chaturvedi
First published in 2004, this book is the inaugural volume of the Indian Ocean Research Group (IORG) and is based on a selection of papers presented at the IORG launch in Chandigarh in November 2002. The volume emphasizes the complexity and historical and contemporary geopolitical significance of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). It also propagates the necessity for increased intra-regional cooperation, especially in terms of economic and environmental security, maritime boundaries, sea lane security and ocean management, in the spirit of open regionalism, in order to ensure a more secure IOR. In addition, the volume initiates an agenda for future social science policy-orientated research. The book should be of particular interest to policy-makers, business people and academics, as well as citizens of the IOR.
Environment and Politics 4th Edition is a concise introduction to this ever-expanding interdisciplinary field, explaining and illustrating how concepts, conflicts, movements, political systems and the practices of policy-making can be analysed in a systematic way. This book provides a comprehensive overview of the key themes that shape the field, and examines a diverse range of environmental problems and policy solutions found in different countries and cultures.
The new edition has been extensively revised to include up-to-date explanation of green political theories and traditions and the debates that shape action on the ground. It contains an expanded discussion of environmental movements that work in the Global North, the Global South and transnationally. Greater attention has been given to the roles of corporations, non-governmental organizations, the media, consumers and citizens in order to reflect the changing nature of environmental governance. The text also focuses throughout on debates surrounding the concepts of environmental security, environmental justice and environmental citizenship.
The authors examine the institutional responses of parliaments, administrative, legal and electoral systems; the more informal politics of social movements; and the politics of markets and the corporate sector as they respond to (or resist) the greening of societies. This engaging text has been fully updated to offer readers a greater understanding of international, national and local environmental politics as well as expected future developments at all levels.
Environment and Politics continues to use illustrative examples of conflicts, people and events spanning North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, giving it global perspective and relevance.
Each chapter includes questions for debate as well as a list of key words and resources for independent research. This successful textbook remains a key resource for undergraduate and postgraduate studies across politics, environmental studies, development studies and human geography courses.
Pan-regional constructions in the Indian Ocean are of relatively recent origin, are contested and remain relatively weak at present. Sub-regional constructions, on the other hand, have tended to be more focussed, especially in terms of security, and have generally been more successful.
The principal purpose of this volume is to critically evaluate the debates surrounding these issues and to elucidate some of the main strengths and weaknesses of regionalism at both scales. The discussion begins at the pan-regional scale with an evaluation of pan-regional contestation, followed up by a chapter on the main pan-regional grouping – Indian Ocean Region-Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) – which was renamed Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) in 2013. Thereafter, key examples of sub-regional groupings – South Asia, ASEAN, SADC and GCC – are critically discussed in turn.
The principal readership for this volume will be: scholars of geography, politics and international relations; students of Indian Ocean studies; regionalism experts; bureaucrats and politicians both within and outside the Indian Ocean Region who wish to gain insights into Indian Ocean matters; scholars who appreciate a view of regional relations ‘from the inside’.
This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of the Indian Ocean Region.
Edited by Dennis Rumley, Sanjay Chaturvedi, Mat Taib Yasin
First published in 2007, this book focuses on the security of sea lanes of communication. It was a joint publication between the Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA) and the Indian Ocean Research Group (IORG) and is an important book for three particular reasons. First, it takes a step forward in identifying key policy themes that can be applied to interstate cooperation around the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Second, the particular theme discussed is not only central to the economic well-being of Indian Ocean countries, but also to many of the world’s most important trading states, and finally the various discussions within the book raise a host of issues to which regional as well as non-regional policy-makers should give serious consideration.
Dennis Rumley and Sanjay Chaturvedi (Routledge, 2015)
The Indian Ocean Region has become increasingly important to discussions on energy security, not only because of the critical importance of regional states as energy suppliers, but also because of the essential role of the Ocean as an energy route. The main purpose of this volume is to provide an elaborate and critical evaluation of some of these issues and their implications for regions outside the Indian Ocean.