South China Sea

s-china-seaIn a new review at JCA, Laura Southgate of the Centre for International Security and Resilience at Cranfield University writes about the collection The South China Sea: A Crucible of Regional Cooperation or Conflict-Making Sovereignty Claims? (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2017.1296175). Edited by C.J. Jenner and Tran Truong Thuy, the book is published by Cambridge University Press.

As Southgate observes, “The South China Sea is the setting for a number of conflicting sovereignty claims, which have heightened tensions between China and regional Southeast Asian states…”. It is also a site of considerable tensions between the USA and its allies such as Australia and China.

At times textbook-like, the reviewer sees the collection as a useful compendium of accounts of law, history and politics about the South China Sea and has perspective for the sub-national, national and regional levels.

The reviewer concludes:

While the book is a useful primer on this topic, those readers already familiar with the complexities of the South China Sea dispute may be disappointed that the book lacks a clearly articulated narrative to help set it apart from others in the field. These concerns do detract from the book to a certain degree. However, it has plenty of positive attributes that, on balance, outweigh the negatives. These include the book’s multi-disciplinary nature, engaging chapters and impressive list of contributing authors. In sum, the book succeeds in its overall governing aim, which is to enhance readers’ knowledge of what is a deeply complicated and intractable regional issue.

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