The Hedging Strategy of the Countries of Southeast Asia

  • Pavel Hlaváček
Keywords: hedging strategy, balance of power, Southeast Asia, China, USA


Since the end of the Cold War the region of South-East Asia has undergone profound changes, which were marked, above all, by the rise of China and also the US rebalance towards Asia. This paper seeks to demonstrate how the small states in this region cope with the changing regional order. Specifically it explores the reactions of the governments in Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Hanoi to the policies of Washington and Beijing. They employ a general strategy commonly known as “hedging” that includes engagement with China, soft balancing with the United States and enmeshing other regional actors in the related affairs. Although the strategies of the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam may look the same, we may find significant differences in the ways hedging is pursued in these countries.

Author Biography

Pavel Hlaváček
born 1980 in Zlín, he earned his university degree (a Master’s in Political Science) at the Department of Political Science and European Studies, Palacky University in Olomouc. Later he continued with his studies (earning a PhDr. & a PhD in Political Science) at the Department of Political Science and International Relations, the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. His research area is focused primarily on US foreign policy and security issues of the East Asia region. He has repeatedly been a visiting professor at Hanoi University in Vietnam and the National University of Mongolia.