Middle Power alignment in the Free and Open Indo-Pacific

The change in power balance associated with China’s re-emergence as the largest economy in Asia has brought concerns about the Sino-U.S. strategic competition and raised questions concerning U.S. leadership in the Indo-Pacific region among many U.S.-aligned middle powers such as Australia, Japan, Canada, and India. Specific challenges China is creating include instability in the maritime domain, fracturing the openness of the emerging digital economy, and the practice of coercive economic behavior, to which middle powers are vulnerable.

Therefore, middle powers are aligning to adapt to these changing dynamics and transforming their middle power diplomacy and cooperation towards what the author coins as “neo-middle power diplomacy”. This new type of diplomacy proactively engages in behavior which includes lobbying, insulating, and rulemaking in the realms of security, trade, and international law, and aims to ensure that middle powers’ interests are not affected by the Sino-U.S. rivalry. 

This event is co-hosted Australia-Japan Research Centre.

Venue will be online and in person - the address is Lennox Room in the bottom floor of the Crawford Building on ANU campus.

Register here for the virtual session 


Dr. Stephen Nagy is a senior associate professor at the International Christian University in Tokyo, a fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI) and a visiting fellow with the Japan Institute for International Affairs (JIIA). His recent funded research projects are “Sino-Japanese Relations in the Wake of the 2012 Territorial Disputes: Investigating changes in Japanese Business’ trade and investment strategy in China”, and “Perceptions and drivers of Chinese view on Japanese and US Foreign Policy in the Region”. He is currently working on middle power approaches to great power competition in the Indo-Pacific. 


The ANU Japan Institute Seminar Series is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-Japan Foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

Updated:  27 November 2018/Responsible Officer:  JI Management Group/Page Contact:  Japan Institute