Aileen San Pablo Baviera

University of the Philippines Diliman
Asian Center

GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center
University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City
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I am currently looking at regional security in the Asia Pacific and interactions involving China and major powers, as well as between China and Southeast Asia. More specifically, I focus on the South China Sea territorial and maritime jurisdiction disputes and security architecture building. ASEAN regionalism and political-security community building are also areas of interest.

Baviera, Aileen. 2016. "Territorial and Maritime Disputes in the West Philippine Sea: Foreign Policy Choices and their Impact on Domestic Stakeholders." Public Policy 15 (2): 12-49.
Abstract: The study maps out the domestic stakeholders – governmental as well as nongovernmental, national as well as local – in order to test the internal coherence of Philippine policy in relation to maritime disputes. While acknowledging the importance of understanding the international relations dimension of the SCS disputes, this study instead explores the domestic socioeconomic, political, security, environmental, and other concerns of the country that are assumed to be among the drivers of foreign policy choices. The study relies on interviews with key respondents from stakeholder groups; focus group discussions and informal discussions with subject matter experts; news reports; speeches, reports, field notes and other documents provided by key informants. Stakeholders were identified based on the extent of their involvement in the recent disputes involving the Panatag Shoal, Kalayaan Islands, and Reed Bank. Rather than focusing on individuals, stakeholders are defined as sectoral groups or organizations with shared interests.
Baviera, Aileen. 2017. "Challenging Geopolitical Seascapes: Southeast Asia and the Big Powers in the South China Sea." William Hoverd, Nick Nelson and Carl Bradley, ed. New Zealand National Security: Challenges, Trends and Issues (pp. 74–89). New Zealand: Massey University Press.
Abstract: Today, interest in the SCS is no longer solely due to territorial and maritime disputes per se, but also because the disputed areas have become a major arena for geopolitical competition involving the world’s two biggest powers: the United States and China. This situation has been triggered by two developments. First is the rising power and influence of China, which has translated into significant military advances and greater assertiveness in its foreign policy posture in general, but particularly with regard to territorial sovereignty both in the SCS and the East China Sea. The second is the change in U.S. policy – its pivot or rebalance to Asia – once it realized that China’s expanding economic and political reach was encroaching on its own influence and its primacy in Southeast Asia or more broadly speaking, the Western Pacific. How to prevent this competition from turning into armed conflict, how to uphold rules-based order in the seas, and how to preserve the strategic autonomy of small and middle powers in the process are the challenges that maritime states in the ASEAN region, including New Zealand and Australia, must face.
Baviera, Aileen. 2016. "The Domestic Mediations of China's Influence in the Philippines". Evelyn Goh, ed. Rising China's Influence in Developing Asia (pp.101-128) Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Abstract: The chapter looks closely at the Philippines and explores the forms and modalities by which Chinese resources and capability have been transformed into influence in that developing country. Through case studies, the methods and goals of both China as the influencer, and the Philippines as the subject of influence, are examined, with special attention paid to the role that Philippine decision-makers and actors played in the construction and mediation of Chinese influence.
Baviera, Aileen S.P. 2016. “The Philippines and the South China Sea Dispute: Security Interests and Perspectives”. Ian Storey and Lin Cheng-yi, eds. The South China Sea Dispute: Navigating Diplomatic and Strategic Tensions (pp. 161-185). Singapore: ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute.
Abstract: The Philippines is engaged in hedging against the possibility of an aggressive China, and thus relies on whatever deterrent effect its alliance with the United States might have on Beijing's behavior. As with other countries that have developed close economic ties with China but remain wary of its growing military strength and assertive maritime posture, the Philippines must tread a fine line between its desire to have a cooperative relationship with China and its fear of Chinese domination.
Baviera, Aileen. 2015. “Changing Dynamics in Philippines-China-US Relations: Impact of the South China Sea Disputes”. Mingjiang Li and Kalyan M. Kemburi, eds. New Dynamics in US-China Relations: Contending for the Asia Pacific (pp. 252-256) London: Routledge.
Abstract: How does the Philippines view its relations with US and China? How does it perceive US–China strategic relations, specifically during the period of US rebalancing and the growth of Chinese power? Has Manila played any role in shaping US–China relations? What kind of US–China relationship does the Philippines prefer or expect to see and what can it do for the realization of this vision? This chapter aims to address these questions by placing them in a broad historical context and subsequently focusing the analysis on more recent geopolitical developments in the South China Sea. The South China Sea issue had placed the Philippines’ territorial and maritime interests at odds with China, whereas its military alliance with the United States raises the possibility of either Philippine entanglement in a US–China conflict or a US entanglement in a conflict between the Philippines and China.
Baviera, Aileen S.P. “2009. Waltzing with Goliath: Philippines’ Engagement with China in Uncharted Waters”. Tang Shiping, Li Mingjiang and Amitav Acharya, eds. Living with China: Regional States and China through Crises and Turning Points (pp. 173-192) New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Abstract: The chapter explores Philippines-China relations by presenting a brief overview of relations, then traces and explains the transformation of ties by looking at how the global and strategic environment, bilateral interactions, and domestic political imperatives in each of the two states helped shape and reshape the ways both sides perceive and relate to each other. It examines two case studies that illustrate these dynamics: territorial disputes in the South China Sea and illegal fishing by Chinese fishermen in Philippine waters.
Baviera, Aileen S.P. 2013. “China-ASEAN Conflict and Cooperation in the South China Sea: Managing Power Asymmetry”. The Study of National Security at 50: Reawakenings. A Golden Anniversary Publication of the National Defense College of the Philippines (pp. 202-225) Quezon City: National Defense College of the Philippines.
Abstract: This exploratory study examines how the rise of China has transformed the territorial disputes over the Paracels and Spratlys in the South China Sea (SCS) from relatively low-level bilateral tensions into a litmus test for relations between a big power and its smaller neighbors. It lays down some theoretical arguments based on the concept of power asymmetry, developed by Brantly Womack. Asymmetry, Womack says, “inevitably creates differences in risk perception, attention and interactive behavior between states, and … can lead to a vicious circle of systemic misperception.” The paper then tries to address the following question: How do Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam as relatively smaller or weaker states manage their respective claims in relation to great power China? Malaysia’s strategy may be described as one of accommodation and enmeshment, whereas Vietnam is engaged in a complex mix of internal balancing, internationalization and assurance-seeking. For the Philippines, the strategy is one that relies on institutionalism and external soft balancing.
Baviera, Aileen. 2013. “Territorial and Maritime Jurisdiction Disputes in East Asia: Comparing Bilateral and Multilateral Approaches” . William T. Tow and Brendan Taylor, eds. Bilateralism, Multilateralism and Asia-Pacific Security: Contending Cooperation (pp. 100-114). London: Routledge.
Abstract: The chapter explores various bilateral and multilateral security approaches to territorial and maritime jurisdiction disputes in the South China Sea and East China Sea, having in mind the conflation of these disputes with broader maritime safety and security concerns, and the influence of China's rise on regional security.
Baviera, Aileen. 2014. "An ASEAN Perspective on the South China Sea: China-ASEAN Collision or China-US Hegemonic Competition?". Pavin Chachavalpongpun, ed. Entering Uncharted Waters? ASEAN and the South China Sea (pp. 88-111) Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
Abstract: The South China Sea disputes can be described as the confluence of 3 problematiques: as a contest for sovereignty and control over maritime zones and their resources, as a microcosm of the security dilemmas in China-ASEAN relations, and as the locus of strategic navigational routes vulnerable to various types of threats. China plays a pivotal role in all three aspects, respectively as the most expansive claimant, as the most ambitious and modernizing military power, and as a potential challenger to US naval primacy in the region. The paper examines how the disputes are at risk of becoming embroiled in the brewing strategic competition between China and the United States.

Substantive Focus:
Defense and Security SECONDARY
International Relations PRIMARY

Theoretical Focus:
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation SECONDARY
Policy Analysis and Evaluation PRIMARY