Two Tales of a Region: Japan, the Philippines, and the Economic Theory of Alliances
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In Asia, there is an argument among the literature that the rise of China is causing a split in the region’s security and economic hierarchy. China is a growing potential superpower, and it is providing economic incentives towards states traditionally allied with the United States. This paper’s research focus is aimed at looking at the alliance maintenance of the non-major powers in Asia, and how they react to two contesting great powers that provide different incentives. The hypothesis of this paper is that the economic condition of a state affects with whom these non-major powers strengthen their relationship with. A formal model was constructed to portray how economic conditions affect the choice of alliance maintenance when paired with the perception of external threat. A critical case comparison was used to test this hypothesis using the cases of Japan and the Philippines. The analysis supported the hypothesis. A state’s economic condition, coupled with perception of external threat, affects its alliance maintenance in a condition where security and economy are oppositional to each other.