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Centre for Geopolitics

Providing historically grounded approaches to enduring geopolitical problems

12 February 2021

By Ian Park and Kun-Chin Lin

Despite being the world’s fifth largest economy when measured in terms of gross domestic product, having the sixth largest military budget, being a nuclear power, permanent member of the UN Security Council, and member of, inter alia, NATO and the G7, the United Kingdom is facing a period of deep uncertainty. This uncertainty is in part borne out of Brexit, but equally significantly is borne out of a requirement, amid decreasing economic and military power, to redefine its role in the world and adapt to the changing geopolitical, economic and military landscape – a landscape that potentially has Asia as its fulcrum and Southeast Asia at its heart.

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Britain's Pivot to Asia: The Big Picture is a forthcoming chapter in Security, Strategy and Military Dynamics in the South China Sea - Cross-National Perspectives. Edited by Gordon Houlden, Scott N Romaniuk and Nong Kong. Bristol University Press. Author's final draft version, published here with permission of the editors and coauthor. 

With thanks to the Chiang Ching Kuo Foundation and the Korea Foundation for supporting Dr K-C Lin's research.