Southeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

75 - The South China Sea: Historical Claims and Contemporary Securitization

7/6/2018
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: Magnolia, Lower Ground Floor

The South China Sea is a major fulcrum of conflict in the middle of the Indo-Pacific region. Trillions of dollars’ worth of trade transits this important sea that connects East Asia’s dynamic economies with South Asia and Europe and the flow of oil to East Asia from the Gulf States. The United States, as an Indo-Pacific power, is keenly interested in the security of the sea lanes of communication that pass through the South China Sea. In recent years, China has asserted its claims more boldly and militarized the islands it possesses to enhance its negotiating leverage with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei, all who occupy many islets in the South China Sea. The disputants have issued a Declaration of Conduct in an effort to avoid conflict, and are working to craft a Code of Conduct to adopt some legal parameters as guidelines for conflict management. But, there is no clear path to a final resolution of this multilateral territorial conflict.


While political actors and academics tend to focus on the contemporary legal issues and security concerns this multilateral territorial dispute engenders, little academic research and policy analysis takes into consideration the historical “geographies and genealogies” of the South China Sea. The papers on this panel will consider the historical origins of China’s claims, as well the Philippines, and the “securitization” of the South China Sea, in an effort to probe the deeper causes of the conflict and pathways to resolving the dispute.

Presentations:

Eric Hyer

Brigham Young University, United States

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Ulises Granados

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, Mexico

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Eric Hyer

Brigham Young University, United States

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Ulises Granados

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, Mexico

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Zenel Garcia

Florida International University, United States

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Eric Hyer

Brigham Young University, United States

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