My dissertation examines the different processes through which Western war-fighting concepts and practices diffuse to the Indo-Pacific region. It seeks to explain how and why different militaries in the Indo-Pacific emulate Western war-fighting systems with different levels effectiveness. It develops a theory based on two components. First, the different transmission pathways—whether it is coercive, commercial, or cooperative—that provides different transfer methods and mechanisms of war-fighting systems from the innovator to the emulator. Second, the quality of what I call the emulator's 'personnel policy infrastructure' that determines the likelihood that a group of supporters for new war-fighting ideas--dubbed 'champions of the cause'--emerges within the organization. The different configuration of mechanisms under which these two conditions intersect shapes the extent to which we see a minimalist, half-hearted, maximalist emulation.
To evaluate this theory, I employ a mixed-method research design in two parts. The first part integrates process tracing and comparative-historical analysis to examine three case studies—Meiji Japan, British India, and Cold War Indonesia—and investigate the different causal mechanisms underlying the process of military emulation. The second part uses different statistical methods to examine an original panel data on the outcomes of Asian warfare involving 15 different states since the 1800s to establish whether adopting Western military systems confer certain advantages in war. The findings will elucidate key challenges and inform contemporary policymaking in the fields of regional security, defense modernization, local security force development, military assistance and training, as well as security sector reform.
➤ Dissertation Committee
Colin Elman (Chair)
Miriam F. Elman
Brian D. Taylor
Project supported by grants and fellowships awarded by:
Smith Richardson Foundation, Hoover Institution Library and Archives, University of Sydney's Southeast Asia Centre, Fulbright-IIE Southeast Asia Supplemental Grant, Andrew Berlin Family National Security Fund, Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, and others.