Engaging the Indo-Pacific: German and Korean Perspectives on Regional Cooperation

  • A policy-oriented research project bringing together the GIGA and the East Asia Institute in Seoul. The project aims at analysing German/EU and Korean strategies for Indo-Pacific engagement and identifying areas for in-depth consultation, coordination and cooperation.
    Korea Foundation, 2022


    Prof. Dr. Sook-Jong Lee

    Prof. Dr. Yul Sohn

    Prof. Dr. Chaesung Chun


    Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner

    Director of the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies / Vice President

    Dr. Johannes Plagemann

    Research Fellow / Research Team Spokesperson

    Dr. Christian Wirth

    Research Fellow

    Research Questions

    * How have Germany, the EU and the Republic of Korea (ROK) reacted to the rise of the Indo-Pacific as a strategic space?
    * How have Germany, the European Union and the ROK resorted to foreign policy signalling in this regard and who have been the respective target audiences?
    * How and in which issue areas can and should Germany/EU and the ROK cooperate in the Indo-Pacific?

    Contribution to International Research

    International research on the Indo-Pacific has burgeoned in recent years, investigating the rise of the Indo-Pacific concept and analysing how in particular the Quad countries (Australia, India, Japan and the US) have developed relevant strategies and are cooperating with each other. Not much attention has however been focussed on how Indo-Pacific-based middle powers can cooperate with external parties to help shape the Indo-Pacific order. Against the background of their respective strategies for the region, this project seeks to identify areas for fruitful cooperation between the Republic of Korea and Germany/the European Union in the Indo-Pacific.

    Research Design and Methods

    Outcome-explaining process tracing to analyse the development of Indo-Pacific-related and other regionally focussed foreign policy strategies in Germany/the European Union and the ROK combined with elite and expert interviews in both countries to identify areas for effective bi- and/or multilateral cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.

    Preliminary Findings

    The proposed project asks how Germany/the European Union and the Republic of Korea, can effectively co-operate in the Indo-Pacific to advance their collective interests, also in terms of helping to establish a reformed liberal order. The project participants will first take stock of how Germany/the EU and the ROK have engaged with the strategic concept of the Indo-Pacific and how they have resorted to foreign-policy signalling in this regard. The second part of the project will focus on selected issue and policy areas, viz. (a) multilateralism, (b) maritime governance and security, and (c) economic cooperation and connectivity, which hold promise for effective collaboration between like-minded partners in Asia and Europe. Policy recommendations for plurilateral cooperation in the Indo-Pacific in these policy areas and beyond will be contained in briefing papers published by the EAI and the GIGA in late 2022.


    Der Indo-Pazifik als neuer strategischer Raum

    Auf Einladung der Hans Böckler Stiftung referierte Patrick Köllner auf der Sommerakademie der Bildungsförderungswerke in Deutschland zu Aufstieg und politischen Implikationen des Indo-Pazifik-Konzepts.


    From Asia-Pacific to Indo-Pacific

    Seminar 02/11/2021

    Webinar organised by IMPRI, India.


    Maritime Security Strategies in the Era of the Indo-Pacific

    Patrick Köllner, Johannes Plagemann and Christian Wirth exchanged views with Korean university, think tank and media representatives in a joint maritime policy seminar of the SLOC Study Group-Korea and the GIGA. The event was co-sponsored by the Haesung Institute for Ethics in International Affairs.


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