The Higher Research Seminar: ‘Paths to Primacy: How Rising Powers Win Regional Domination’ – Andrew Phillips, University of Queensland
The Higher Research Seminar is the main collective seminar of the Department. The research staff and invited national and international leading scholars present ongoing research and analyses of a broad range of exciting topics of relevance for Political Science. The seminars are open to the public. Welcome to join us!
Wednesdays 13.15 to 14.30 in Eden 367, unless otherwise indicated.
13 December 2023 - Chair: Associate Professor Ted Svensson
‘Paths to Primacy: How Rising Powers Win Regional Domination’ – Andrew Phillips, University of Queensland
This paper engages historical evidence from South and East Asia to examine how rising powers have historically won domination over existing international orders. Existing explanations of successful domination-seekers foreground a coercion-intensive path to primacy, through wars of universal conquest. Conversely, Phillips argue that there are paths to primacy beyond blitzkrieg. Specifically, this paper will trace out an alternative path to primacy through displacement. This path to primacy rests on rising powers exploiting the existing order’s openness first to gain system access; second to surreptitiously cultivate alternative commercial and security patronage networks centred around themselves; and third to leverage these networks to displace and ultimately replace the incumbent international order. Historical evidence is drawn from the English East India Company’s conquest of India and the Qing conquest of China to illustrate this framework. The paper concludes with a brief plausibility probe of the framework’s applicability to understanding China’s current challenge to the US-dominated liberal international order.
Andrew Phillips is an Associate Professor of International Relations and Strategy in the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland. He formerly held an appointment as a Fellow in the Department of International Relations at the Australian National University.
His research interests focus broadly on the evolution of the global state system from 1500 to the present, and concentrate specifically on the challenges that 'new' security threats such as religiously motivated terrorism, the spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction, and state failure pose to the contemporary global state system.
Dr Phillips' book, War, Religion and Empire: The Transformation of International Orders (Cambridge University Press, 2011) examines the evolution of international orders in Europe, East Asia, and the Islamic world from the Protestant Reformation to the present, and offers the first book-length effort to synthesise insights from realism and constructivism in accounting for international orders' constitution and transformation.
Additionally, Dr Phillips also has works published or forthcoming in journals including Review of International Studies, Australian Journal of International Affairs, National Identities, and Security Challenges. Prior to undertaking his postgraduate studies in international relations, Dr Phillips also worked as a policy advisor in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Research Interests: International relations theory, historical sociology, world history, international security, theories of world order and disorder, grand strategy and Great Power rivalry in the Asia-Pacific region, terrorism and counter-terrorism, insurgency and counter-insurgency.