Strategy, Tactics and Tilts: A Networked Approach to UK Influence in the Indo-Pacific

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrives for the G20 leaders’ summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, November 2022. Courtesy of Reuters/Kevin Lamarque/Alamy Stock Photo

To increase its role in the Indo-Pacific, the UK should focus on the region's networks.

The 2021 Integrated Review was informed by two assumptions: that leaving the EU would allow a more agile foreign policy based on ad hoc groups; and that a global shift in power towards the Indo-Pacific meant that the UK needed to engage more with the region. Jamie Gaskarth argues that the missing element to this strategy is a networked approach. Using the insights of network theory and social network analysis, policymakers should be aiming to analyse the social dynamics of the region in a more systematic way. This would allow them to better identify opportunities for greater connectedness and the benefits these may bring, as well as the limits to UK engagement, and non-linear effects that network spillovers can produce.

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