Fellows Program on Peace, Governance, and Development in East Asia 




The aim of this research paper is to provide a fuller understanding of the perspectives of Japan, the ROK, and Taiwan on the US rebalance strategy. In particular, it explores the basis of the difference in approach to that strategy and argues that difference arises from both the distinctive international identities that regional actors have set out to promote, as well as from the multi-layered nature of the rebalance strategy itself. The implications of this for intra-alliance coordination as well as for relations with China — two key elements of the rebalance — are also examined in order to show the complexities associated with America’s successful promotion of this strategy.


Quotes from the Paper


“we have three pillars associated with the US rebalance strategy, and the indications are that, over time, the economic and diplomatic dimensions have come to hold a more prominent and better-integrated place in the strategy. There is also a desire to show that any state’s association with the rebalance does not imply outright antagonism towards the PRC given that the US government itself finds it possible to cooperate with the Chinese government in a number of policy areas. This layered policy should, then, give America’s allies considerable room for manoeuvre in their responses to it.”


“This paper has used a focus on identity and identity politics to try to understand the bases of the differences in policy among Northeast Asian actors. It also has aimed to show that despite political and economic similarities among these actors, and the need to make policy choices in the same systemic environment, the layered nature of the US rebalance strategy has allowed for that differentiated response.”


“The objective in this draft paper has also been to de-emphasize the tendency in IR to focus on outcomes in world politics, and instead to illuminate process. A focus on process implies outcomes remain to be determined, contingent decisions are often taken, and these decisions have a fluidity to them that leaves some room for policy manoeuvre.”







Rosemary Foot was elected to an Emeritus Fellowship of St Antony’s College in October 2014. She is a Senior Research Fellow at Oxford’s Department of Politics and International Relations and a Research Associate at the Oxford China Centre. She was Senior Tutor from 2003-2005, and was Acting Warden of the College from January-October 2012. In 2014, she held the Visiting Sir Howard Kippenberger Chair in Strategic Studies at the University of Victoria in Wellington, New Zealand, and a Visiting Fellowship at the Nobel Institute, Oslo, Norway. Professor Foot studied at the University of Essex (1972), the London School of Oriental and African Studies (1973), and the London School of Economics and Political Science where she completed a PhD degree in 1977. She then took up a post as Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Sussex, in the School of English and American Studies, acting as Sub Dean of the School from 1985 and 1987. She moved to Oxford in 1990. Professor Foot was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1996.


Her publications (authored, co-authored, and edited) includes The Oxford Handbook of the International Relations of Asia (Oxford University Press, 2014), China Across the Divide: The Domestic and Global in Politics and Society (Oxford University Press, 2013), China, the United States, and Global Order (Cambridge University Press, 2011), Framing Security Agendas: US Counter-Terrorist Policies and Southeast Asian Responses (East-West Center, Washington D.C., 2008), Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism in America’s Asia Policy (Routledge, 2004), Rights Beyond Borders: the Global Community and the Struggle over Human Rights in China (Oxford University Press, 2000), Does China Matter? A Reassessment (Routledge, 2004), Order and Justice in International Relations (Oxford University Press, 2003), etc.