Locating the Quad: informality, institutional flexibility, and future alignment in the Indo-Pacific

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    11 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Australia, India, Japan, and the US are coordinating security activities in the Indo-Pacific under the guise of the ‘Quad’, a highly informal intergovernmental organization that some observers describe as an embryonic military alliance. For others, it is a loose group amounting to little else. Cutting a path through this confusion, this article poses and answers a series of interlinking questions. First, is the Quad purposeful? What do its members expect to achieve through its existence? If it possesses an identifiable purpose—which we claim is a shared need to meet the long-term challenge posed by China—why is the Quad’s format highly informal? Does this informality reflect the growing cascade of informal IGOs in international politics? We argue that although informality is a geopolitical necessity, it also provides a workable format for four diverse members to coordinate security activities whilst maintaining equivocal positions vis-à-vis China.

    Original languageBritish English
    JournalInternational Politics
    DOIs
    StateAccepted/In press - 2022

    Keywords

    • Alliances
    • China
    • Indo-Pacific
    • Informality
    • Intergovernmental organizations (IGOs)
    • Quad

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