Understanding the Emerging Strategic Rivalries in the Bay of Bengal: Actors and Associated Policies

a Delwar Hossain, b Sheikh Shams Morsalin, and c Md. Ali Siddiquee

a Professor, Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

b Associate Professor, Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

c Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Abstract

The Bay of Bengal (BoB), constituting a significant portion of the northeastern Indian Ocean, is considered to be the backbone of greater Indo-Pacific economic and communication systems. With the shifting power relations at the global and regional levels and subsequent emergence of competing state interests and policies around the greater Indian Ocean region, the Bay of Bengal is lately emerging as a new theatre of strategic rivalry. To understand the essence of this rivalry, it is imperative to recognize the key actors and their associated policies. Through systematic analysis of secondary literature, this paper primarily attempts to identify a number of regional (littoral) and extra-regional powers having direct and indirect interests in the Bay of Bengal region. The paper further discusses the associated policies of these actors which are linked to the Bay. Above all, the paper unfolds a clear understanding of the emerging strategic rivalry and its future dynamics.

Keywords: Bay of Bengal, Strategic Rivalry, Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS), Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt (BIG-B), Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP), Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR), The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (The QUAD), Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), Indo-Pacific Outlook (IPO).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.55875/JBGAV2N2A2

[Read Full Article as a Pdf]