Past event

The New Age of Naval Power in the Indo-Pacific: Five Factors of Influence Which in many ways was the conversation starter before Johnson went into gov in 2019 on the Indo-Pacific. There is much more to discuss, but this gives a sense

The Making of the Indo-Pacific ‘Tilt': Rethinking British Security in the Age of Sino-American Competition

One of the most significant novelties introduced by the Integrated Review published in 2021 concerned Britain's ambition to reinvigorate its policy engagement with the Indo-Pacific region. Often assessed through the lenses of post-Brexit Britain, the Indo-Pacific 'tilt' has been the subject of much media and intellectual debate, if not outright opposition. This talk addresses the process that led the policy team overseeing the Integrated Review to adopt it. It seeks to challenge the two main criticisms around the tilt. The first concerns its intellectual origins as a post-Brexit ambition to disengage from Europe to re-engage with the wider world; the second focuses on its unattainable ambitions to increase the UK profile as a security actor in the region.
The talk suggests that far from being an exercise in post-Imperial vanity, the tilt reflects three major changes in foreign policy under the Johnson government. The first regards the shift towards state on state competition as a crucial component of international affairs; the second, deals with changes in the UK defence posture post-Afghanistan; the third specifically addresses the impact of the Indo-Pacific in international security and how the UK can contribute to the region's stability through a renewed emphasis on membership to key multilateral forums. The talk reviews this process and set forth an argument for an approach that is unlikely to significantly change under the new Prime Minister Sunak.