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Franco-German Observatory of the Indo-Pacific

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The concept of the “Indo-Pacific” would first be used by strategic thinkers in India and Australia from around 2005. It was then subsequently picked up by the governments in New Delhi and in Canberra. These early adopters were followed by Japan, whose long-serving Prime Minister Shinzō Abe had already spoken in 2007 about the confluence of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, with policy-relevant ideas crystallising later around the idea of a “free and open Indo-Pacific.” In the United States, the Indo-Pacific entered the foreign policy lexicon in 2010, in the context of the US “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific region. Under the Donald Trump administration, the US mainstreamed the “free and open Indo-Pacific” as a policy concept during a tour of the president to the region in 2017. It then adopted, in 2018, a national-security strategy for the Indo-Pacific region, and renamed its former Pacific Command the “United States Indo-Pacific Command.”

A number of European countries, beginning with France, have also embraced this Indo-Pacific terminology. On 2 May 2018, at the headquarters of the Royal Australian Navy at Garden Island (Sydney), President Emmanuel Macron presented the French strategy in this region. The latter was then elaborated in a French Foreign Ministry policy paper. In October 2020, the German Foreign Ministry published a similar policy paper outlining its own vision for the region. A month later, the Dutch Foreign Ministry published its version too. Moreover, the United Kingdom government has heralded a “pivot to the Indo-Pacific” as part of its quest for a “Global Britain” emerging out of Brexit.

Unfortunately, few Westerners – and particularly Europeans – have sought to understand the views and approaches of actors within the Indo-Pacific itself. The Franco-German Observatory of the Indo-Pacific seeks to fill this vacuum. There is a need to better understand especially the vital link between domestic political developments in these countries and their implications for regional dynamics in the wider Indo-Pacific.

The Franco-German Observatory invites key actors from the Indo-Pacific to present their vision of the region, how they conceive of it geo-strategically and the place of China, the US, and Europe within this framework. We look forward to debating questions of economic interdependence and independence, of trade and investment, and the expectations the countries of the Indo-Pacific might have towards the “West” in general, and Europe, in particular.

Organisers: Dr. Christophe Jaffrelot (CERI-Sciences Po/CNRS & King’s College London) Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner (GIGA) Prof. Dr. Amrita Narlikar (GIGA)

An Indonesian Perspective on the Indo-Pacific Regional Architecture Wednesday, 29 September 2021 | 9:30‒10:30 a.m. (CET) | 2:30‒3:30 p.m. (Jakarta) Speaker: Prof. Dr. Dewi Fortuna Anwar is an academician of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences (AIPI), a Research Professor at the Center for Political Studies-Indonesian Institute of Sciences (P2P-LIPI), Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Habibie Center (THC), and co-founder of the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI) based in Jakarta. In 2010-2017 Dewi served as a Deputy Secretary to the Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia and from 2001 to 2010 as Deputy Chairman for Social Sciences and Humanities-LIPI. Dewi was the Kippenberger Visiting Chair at the Centre for Strategic Studies, Victoria University of Wellington in 2018, a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), NTU, Singapore in 2017-2018, a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at CSEAS, Kyoto University in 2010 and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at SAIS, Johns Hopkins University in 2007. She has written widely on Indonesia’s foreign policy, and ASEAN regional political and security issues.

Chairs & Moderation: Dr. Andreas Ufen is Senior Research Fellow at the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies. Prof. Delphine Allès is Professor and Director of the International Relations programme at Inalco.

The Biden Administration and the Indo-Pacific

Wednesday, 7 July 2021 | 3:00‒4:00 p.m. (CET) | 9:00‒10:00 a.m. (Washington)

Speaker: Dr. Tanvi Madan is a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy within the foreign policy program, and director of the India Project at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. Her work explores India’s role in the world and its foreign policy, focusing, in particular, on India's relations with China and the US. She also undertakes research at the intersection between India's energy policies and its foreign and security policies. Dr. Madan is the author of Fateful Triangle: How China Shaped US-India Relations during the Cold War (Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2020). She is currently completing a monograph on India’s foreign policy diversification strategy, and researching her next book on the China-India-US triangle.

Chairs & Moderation: Prof. Dr. Amrita Narlikar is the President of the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA), and Professor at the Universität Hamburg. Dr. Hugo Meijer is CNRS Research Fellow at Sciences Po, Center for International Studies (CERI).

Japan’s Geoeconomic Strategy in the Indo-Pacific

Tuesday, 15 June 2021 | 5:30‒6:30 p.m. (CET) | 8:30‒9:30 a.m. (California).

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Saori Katada is Professor of International Relations at University of Southern California. Her newest book Japan’s New Regional Reality: Geoeconomic Strategy in the Asia-Pacific was published by Columbia University Press in July 2020. She is also a co-author of two recent books: The BRICS and Collective Financial Statecraft (Oxford University Press, 2017), and Taming Japan’s Deflation: The Debate over Unconventional Monetary Policy (Cornell University Press, 2018). She has her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Political Science), and her B.A. from Hitotsubashi University (Tokyo). Before joining USC, she served as a researcher at the World Bank in Washington D.C., and as International Program officer at the UNDP in Mexico City.

Chairs & Moderation: Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner is Vice President of the GIGA and Director of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies. Dr. Isabelle Saint-Mézard is a Associate Professor in the Geopolitics of Asia at the French Institute of Geopolitics, the University of Paris VIII.

Australian Views on the Indo-Pacific

Wednesday, 19 May 2021 | 09:30‒10:30 a.m. (CET) | 5:30‒06:30 p.m. (Australia).

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Rory Medcalf has been Head of the National Security College (NSC) at the Australian National University since January 2015. He has led the expansion of the College into policy engagement and futures analysis, as well as education, executive development and research, repositioning the College as “more than a think tank”. His professional background involves three decades of experience across diplomacy, intelligence analysis, think tanks, academia and journalism.

Chairs & Moderation: Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner is Vice President of the GIGA and Director of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies. David Camroux is Honorary Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor, Sciences Po-CERI.

Inaugural event: Indian Perspectives on the Indo-Pacific

Thursday, 8 April 2021 | 09:30‒10:30 a.m. (CET) | 03:30‒04:30 p.m. (Singapore time).

Speaker: Prof. Dr. C. Raja Mohan is an Indian academic, journalist and foreign policy analyst. He is the Director of the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore.

Chairs & Moderation:  Prof. Dr. Amrita Narlikar is the President of the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA), and Professor at the Universität Hamburg. Dr. Christophe Jaffrelot is a Senior Research Fellow at Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI-CNRS) who teaches at Sciences Po Paris and is Professor of Indian Politics and Sociology at King’s College London.

Cooperation Partners

Center for International Studies, SciencesPo


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