ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Political Assessment of the Parties and Mechanisms Involved in the South China Sea Dispute

The Politics of South China Sea Disputes by Nehginpao Kipgen, London and New York: Taylor and Francis Group, Routledge, 2020; pp 148, 695.


The South China Sea dispute has attained immense recognition in the international community and remains a major concern in the current times. An in-depth research on the dispute has already been done in the last few years by the scholars across the globe. Nehginpao Kipgen has very comprehensively given a detailed account of the dispute in his book The Politics of South China Sea Disputes. In the introductory part, Kipgen explores the dominant international relation theories: realism, liberalism and constructivism through the lens of which the dispute has been analysed. In addition, he exp­lores the ASEAN Way, an approach adop­ted by the ASEAN members to deal with the issue. These aspects make the book stand apart from other scholarly works. Kipgen has lucidly focused on the factors involved in escalating the conflict among the claimants and the non-claimants and its implications witnessed both at a regional and international level. The book can mostly be divided in three parts. Part I gives an introductory overview of the South China Sea dispute with appropriate historical framework to better understand the developments in the South China Sea. Part II comprises China’s interests, acti­vities and its newly commenced policies towards the South China Sea. It also inc­ludes the claims and policies initiated towards the South China Sea by other claimants. Part III describes the involvement of other powers which are not directly a part of the dispute and the different mechanisms used by them to counter Chinese assertiveness in the ­waterbody.

Historical Framework

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Updated On : 9th Jul, 2021
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