Language games and Southeast Asia-United States relations, 1954-2006
Misalucha, Charmaine Galos
Date of Issue2009
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Narratives of Southeast Asia-US relations usually depict the flow of power as unidirectional. In most instances, the relationship is seen as being led by the US, and the Southeast Asian states take on the role of free riders. In other accounts, power is held by the small Southeast Asian states when they are able to “pull” the US into the security architecture of the region. However, given that the flow of power is indeed unidirectional, what explains why sometimes it is the US that seems to shape, influence, or steer the relationship, while at other times it is the Southeast Asian nations? The relationship has also been described as following certain types of rule or order: sometimes it is described as hegemony, while at other times it is characterized by hierarchy. What explains this assortment of international orders? Moreover, what makes one type of rule hold in a particular time period? It is offered in this dissertation that such a variation may be explained by the use of language games as a method of analysis. It is argued here that Southeast Asia-US relations have experienced various types of rule from 1954 to 2006 because of the change in the language games that these states play. Paying attention to language emphasizes the constant and active participation of actors in international relations, be they superpowers or members of the so-called Third World.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Political science::International relations