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The Liberal Order and the Chinese Public

By Andrew Small

In thinking about which powers will sustain – or threaten – the liberal order, China is typically written off as a spoiler. But as China’s public assumes greater influence over its foreign policy in the years ahead, this should not be taken for granted. Despite being portrayed as foaming-mouthed nationalists, Chinese public opinion has proved itself to be more liberal on some issues even than that of the Western powers.

Many, including on this blog, argue that in building a liberal coalition, energy is more usefully expended on the rising democratic powers than on the authoritarians’ best friend and chief exemplar. But over the long-term the Chinese public will also have a crucial role to play in determining which vision of international order wins out. Engaging, influencing, and simply taking account of it is an essential task.

The weight that public opinion plays in shaping Chinese foreign policy is already growing more significant. But it is most frequently invoked in cases where demands for a more assertive and less conciliatory stance towards the United States, Japan, Vietnam, India and others are its main characteristic. However challenging they find these pressures, Chinese officials have generally been happy to play up this strand in the opinions of their public, whether in arguing that they are “boxed in” when it comes to dealing with territorial disputes or simply to emphasize the dangers to the world of a more democratic Chinese political system.

Yet there are other views that Beijing has been less keen to emphasize. Humanitarian intervention, for instance, is usually one of the cleanest dividing lines between the liberal and the illiberal powers. While the Western camp has agonized over the legitimacy and scope of interventions over the years, it is a subject on which the Chinese government has given a pretty consistent answer – no. But it is far from clear that the Chinese people agree.

In a poll conducted in 2006 – at the peak of debates over Darfur – respondents were asked whether the UN Security Council “has the responsibility to authorize the use of military force to protect people from severe human rights violations, such as genocide,” even against the will of the government committing the abuses. Of the countries polled, by casino online far the highest levels of support came from China, on 76%, with only the U.S. public coming close.

More recently, following the Chinese-Russian joint veto in February against UN action on Syria, opinion on Chinese microblogs and informal online surveys ran substantially against Beijing’s stance. A Weibo poll asked users: “The Chinese representative vetoed the resolution on Syria proposed by the Arab League. Does this decision represent you?” Seventy-seven percent voted “No.” Chinese public opinion has also for a long time been skeptical of China’s one-sided North Korea policy, and many Chinese netizens argued forcefully for intervention in Myanmar during the Kokang crisis in 2009.

There is nothing intrinsically inconsistent about a public that would, inter alia, support a more assertive defense of Chinese territorial claims, is fed up with the Chinese indulgence of North Korea, would like to see the Chinese government do more – including militarily – to protect its citizens abroad, and does not believe that China should provide unequivocal backing to mass murderers. Chinese citizens have rising expectations of how China should exercise its role as a great power, and its more assertive and nationalistic voices are often those with more robust views on issues of intervention than government officials who hold on to more defensive norms of sovereignty. The total package is not necessarily a comfortable one to deal with, but it is certainly not the cynical, illiberal China that has been a familiar interlocutor for the West in the UN Security Council in recent years.

Of course, for now, whatever the state of Chinese public opinion on an issue such as massacres in Syria, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) interest in defending authoritarian friends and principles will still tend to dominate. But over the longer term, a more authentic reflection of the views of the Chinese public in its foreign policy is inevitable. While no one is betting on any rapid democratization, the events of this year – from Bo Xilai to Chen Guangcheng – are embryonic indicators of a political transformation that few expect will leave power structures in Beijing looking the same in 2030 as they do today.

Engaging with Chinese public opinion cannot wait for large-scale political change, however. Actions that the United States and other powers take in the coming years will have a profound effect in determining whether a Chinese polity emerges that is comfortable with its place in the world, accepting of the legitimacy of the structures of global order, and capable of giving rein to its more magnanimous and humanitarian instincts.

For the most part, this does not mean much more than taking active account of China’s views and interests while being cognizant that these are not always the same as the views and interests of the CCP. The Syria veto was a good example of an instance where the Chinese government was unable to convince its own people that Western – and Arab – initiatives were illegitimate, rather than its own regressive position.

The United States should be ready to occupy and emphasize this gap when possible rather than enabling the illiberal instincts of the CCP to be consistently portrayed as reflective of Chinese opinion as a whole. The task of building a framework with the existing and emerging democracies that can influence China’s strategic choices is certainly a vital one for the liberal order. But so is dealing effectively with the complex spectrum of voices in China itself.

Andrew Small is a Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

By Ryo Sahashi

Power shifts are inevitable. In the late 2020s, the Chinese economy is expected to surpass that of the United States in terms of nominal gross domestic product. If the current trend of a shrinking U.S. defense budget and steadily growing People’s Liberation Army continues, it is possible that China will catch up to the United States in military spending as well in the 2030s. It is also predicted that the level of trade dependence on China among countries in the region will increase. For example, it is predicted that Japan’s trade with China will increase from the current level of 20 percent of Japan’s total trade to more than 40 percent by 2030, according to the gravity model.

Today, in an era of power shifts, the liberal order underpinned by the United States as hegemonic power should be restructured. It is high time for China and India to be given higher roles and status in global institutions, including financial ones. To transform the structure of the international order would be very difficult without major war.  Perception cannot easily be changed for a new reality. However, the power diffusion we are witnessing is more fundamental than those following the wars of the French revolution or the world wars of the 20th century. A globalized world will not sustain itself without proper reform of global governance.

We should not give up our belief in rule-based liberal order. Peaceful resolution of conflicts, international norms on human rights, the role of international law, and other liberal projects should continuously be pursued. For such goals, firstly we should design a united complex of both advanced and rising economies, including China and India. We should not replace the U.S. hegemonic role with the leadership of two superpowers in the United States and China. A contest between them for global hegemony would create vicious circles of superpower competition and compromise, in which the interests of smaller states are sacrificed and the liberal order would not be applied to all players equally.

In other words, a G-2 world would lessen the unity of liberal international order and American partnerships — and encourage neighbors and trading partners to bandwagon with China, rendering it the regional hegemon in continental Asia. Rather, we have to create a flatter, not a more hierarchical, consortium — such as the G-20 — where major powers online casino deem it in their interests to gather, discuss, and share the burden.

Secondly, it is clear that China has the potential to behave aggressively, breaking rules and norms due to its unique values and political regime. We should not be deterministic. China and other autocracies could be transformed if proper guidance and pressure are given. For that purpose, it would be useful to create second united complex of advanced democratic economies — especially the United States, Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada and South Korea. Since their political values and life standards are shared, they ultimately can commit to sustain liberal international order.

Without this complex functioning well and setting standards for others to follow, China and other rising economies could be let off the hook to keep refusing responsibility in global governance on issues like climate change, economic liberalization and human rights. Soft power, including diplomatic skills and the power of visionary imagination, would be their big assets to create soft pressure on China to meet basic international norms. This is the reason why a study group in which I participated named our recent report Japan as the Rule-Promoting Power ( It is still uncertain which bodies of governance would take central roles under such an arrangement, but this second united complex of advanced democratic economies should be more important than regional groupings in any forum.

In addition, it should be underlined that the future of liberal international order is a function of the future of democracy. The United States, Europe and Japan confront the difficulty to stimulate seasoned domestic markets and sustain social welfare simultaneously. Democracy works better when it distributes the positive returns from  growth rather than dividing a non-expanding pie. Democratic politics today function too often as a cacophony of dissenting voices, failing to forge progress through consensus or reasonable actions. Autocracy historically works better to force people to sacrifice their interests and lives. It is ironic that autocratic states today experience economic success, but without a fair distribution of prosperity and safety nets to their citizens.

The task ahead for democracy is, firstly, to reform established political systems to create responsible, not populist, governance. Japan would be the best test case: its advanced democracy with the most rapidly aging society now suffers from a lack of social consensus and a defective parliamentary system. Without successful reform and growth of advanced democracies, the value of democracy would be called into question in the eyes of transitional economies where democratic process is still under development.

The rise of the rest is welcome — as long as it leads to better living standards and human dignity for the people residing in these countries. However, without a clear vision of the new world order, all humanity might be brought back to the classical era of great-power competition. We need to be wisely united. We should be confident in the values of liberalism and democracy – and be willing to defend them.

Ryo Sahashi is an Associate Professor of International Politics at Kanagawa University and research fellow of Japan Center for International Exchange

By Constanze Stelzenmüller

TOKYO/SINGAPORE—“Bull—!“: this was the blunt rejoinder of one Japanese policymaker in Tokyo to the question whether the “rise of the rest” marks the demise of the Western liberal order. Indeed, he has a point. As he and others are quick to note, while China or Russia may act as retardants or spoilers on some international issues (e.g. Syria), they generally stick to the rules in multilateral organizations such as the WTO. The rising powers have mostly declined to accept the notion that they ought to become responsible stakeholders in global governance—but neither have they succeeded in their efforts to establish alternative institutions, processes or norms.

Some of them continue to prod and probe their neighbors and competitors for weak spots and chinks in their protection; at the same time, they are palpably conscious of their own internal vulnerabilities, as well as of their increasing exposure to a volatile world economy. Most importantly, the Japanese bureaucrat said, the attempts of China and others at suasion or coercion only go so far; “they have no soft power.” The “rising rest” may try to lead (or push), but they have very few followers.

Nor is it remotely accurate to say that the West is in decline, or liberal democracy on its way out. On the contrary. All the historical evidence argues that Western-style democracies are better at weathering crises in the long run, because they are more flexible and resilient; whereas the fragile underpinnings of Russian and Chinese authoritarian power are currently on public display. Meanwhile, the Arab Spring has turned into a long, hot and potentially explosive summer, and the unprecedented protests against Vladimir Putin’s self-re-election may yet wither away in yet another interminable winter of Russian politics. All the same, the message at the heart of both events is one of progress: the protesters want not just All students must be 16 years of age and have their permit for 6 months before taking the behind the wheel driving school in bronx ny test to obtain their California license. safety and prosperity, but participation and accountable government as well—and are no longer too nbso online casino reviews terrified to say so.

So liberal democracy is neither dead nor in terminal decline; it remains the model of self-governance aspired to by people living under authoritarian rule all over the globe. Still, that does not mean the existing liberal international order is alive and well. There may be fewer wars and more voters in the world today than twenty or fifty years ago, but the polarization and dysfunctionality of many democracies in the West and elsewhere (including Japan) is hard to deny. There is a pervasive sense that while globalization and integration have made the work of policymakers ever more complex, the world-wide financial crisis has reduced the operating margins for formulating and implementing foreign and security policy to near-zero. It has rendered collective action almost impossible, except on the most urgent issues of crisis management.

A European writer cannot but acknowledge that this is dramatically true for the European Union. Unfortunately, it also holds for Europe’s member states, and even for strong member states like the UK, France, or Germany. Worse, these troubles are not merely cyclical, and we should not rely on the next economic upswing to sweep them away. They are structural; more precisely, they stem from a failure to adapt our systems to deal with the new challenges. Zbigniew Brzezinski and Charles Kupchan, among others, have extensively catalogued the fields in which Western democracies need to repair their machinery or improve their performance, from infrastructure to education to innovation, strategic planning, and foresight capabilities. Yet the real issue is even larger.

The fundamental challenge of collective action and sovereign power under conditions of ever-deeper global integration is the preservation of state legitimacy and effectiveness: meaning a functioning representative democracy which is able to act as the guardian of a decent society. It is neither alarmist nor “declinist” to suggest that all of us, including we Europeans, have work to do here. It is, in fact, the task by which our generation will be judged.

As we do so, it ought to make us optimistic that Asia’s citizens, rather than espousing the collectivist “Asian values” (decreed a decade ago as the only model suitable for the region by Singapore’s patriarch Lee Kuan Yew), are more and more demanding genuine participatory, rule-based and rights-regarding democracy from their rulers. At this weekend’s Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono compared his own country’s democratic reforms to the Arab Spring, noting that there too “things got worse before they got better”—but he made it very clear that Indonesians are “much better off today.” It was clear that this was also meant as an encouragement for other neighbors in the region—and not just Myanmar.

Constanze Stelzenmüller is a Berlin-based Senior Transatlantic Fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

(Washington, DC: The German Marshall Fund of the United States, 2010)


By Ashley Tellis

Simply stated, the success of the current wave of globalization, like the one that preceded it in the 19th century, is owed fundamentally to the existence of a hegemonic power. Since the end of the Second World War, American preponderance has underwritten many of the key components—from the dollar as a global reserve currency to the rules of the international order to the defense of the commons—which have made a successful open trading system possible.

Should the American economy weaken inexorably over time, there is every likelihood that the current successful phase of globalization, although often assumed to be a permanent reality, could atrophy and eventually collapse. Mercifully, such dangers are neither immediate nor inevitable because the U.S. economy, whatever its current troubles, is not enervated by any terminal illness.

In fact, by the canons of contemporary growth accounting, the United States is better positioned relative to most other countries to sustain over the long term the high levels of capital accumulation, labor-force growth, and technological innovation necessary to maintain economic strength because of its size and natural resources, its demographic profile and access to immigration, its wealth and material well-being, its open economic and political systems, and its social and institutional adaptability.

America’s chief weaknesses in this context are twofold: its problematic model of capital formation, which is as much a product of domestic choices as it is a consequence of larger international economic imbalances, and its dysfunctional national decision-making institutions, which although appearing to satisfy its founding fathers’ objective of preventing tyranny have engendered a paralyzing inability to think strategically and act coherently.

While the latter problem is something that must be overcome unilaterally, the former can be most effectively solved collaboratively, at least, if best online casino there is to be any orderly solution to the vexed problem of “global rebalancing.” Both the transatlantic and Asian partners of the United States, not to mention China, have great stakes in a successful transition, but this will require all parties to either share the pain collectively or else risk a convulsive dénouement that imperils both globalization and the emerging Asian century.

Even as the United States and its partners hopefully work toward cooperative exits from the increasingly unsustainable current global codependency—where the United States propels world economic growth through continued consumption utilizing resources loaned by others—Washington also needs to pay attention to renewing its military power. Such a requirement may appear odd at first sight, given that the U.S. military remains superior to all others by many metrics of comparison. Yet, on closer examination, American military strength is hobbled by serious challenges including budgetary constraints, unacceptable weapons cost growth, rising personnel costs, strained procurement and research and development budgets, difficult force structure dilemmas, and wily asymmetric threats, all of which—if left unaddressed—could undermine the current security environment that sustains globalization.

The best studies of the regional military balances in the Asia-Pacific, in fact, suggest an erosion of U.S. military superiority and, in particular, a diminishing capacity to protect the Asian allies in the face of rising Chinese power. The importance of arresting these adverse trends cannot be understated. They directly engage the question of whether the Asian miracle can be sustained over the secular period (with all the resulting benefits for American and transatlantic prosperity) and without any compromises in the security and autonomy of America’s regional allies and important neutrals (with all the concomitant gains for American and transatlantic interests).

Addressing these challenges requires the United States and its democratic partners in the East and the West to think about defense research and development, weapons procurement, and technology flows in new and more creative ways. It also requires greater agreement on issues relating to the legitimacy of the use of force. Above all else, however, it requires a greater European appreciation of how U.S. military superiority contributes to protecting a secure and stable Asian geopolitical order that ultimately redounds to the common advantage of both sides of the Atlantic and why that dominance, accordingly, must be preserved indefinitely.

The emerging Asian century undoubtedly represents a great opportunity for sustaining global prosperity. Yet because this era will be fundamentally different from the first iteration of the Asian miracle, in that allies and competitors are now inextricably entwined in a dense web of transactions which increase absolute gains but unevenly, the United States and its partners face many more challenges in maintaining a stable geopolitical order.

In such circumstances, the most effective strategy for Washington, as the leader of the transatlantic community, is not to retrench from its commitment to expanding the open economic system, but to maintain in good repair its own national power and its constituent military prowess in order to mitigate any tensions that may arise either regionally or globally between economic gains and international security.

Ashley Tellis is a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

By Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff

One of the dangers on the road to a polycentric world is the emergence of parallel institutions of global governance. The planned BRICS Development Bank is the most prominent example. The problem is: a development bank of this kind already exists. It is called the World Bank. The expressed purpose of a BRICS’ alternative lender is to be an alternative lender. It couldn’t be more “in your face”.

Originally, the term BRIC was proposed by then-Goldman Sachs Chief economist Jim O’Neill in 2001 to describe the main common characteristic of Brazil, Russia, India, and China: high growth rates. Expanded by an “S” for South Africa, an analytical concept turned into a political reality: since 2009 the BRICS leaders convene regular summits. There is nothing wrong with these meetings because they allow strategic rivals like Russia and China or China and India to operate in a cooperative environment.

But as opposed to the G-7 and G-8, these summits are not mere prep meetings for the G-20; and, over time, they have added their own infrastructure. A number of think tanks like Rio de Janeiro’s BRICS Policy Center have been founded. They build scholarly networks throughout the BRICS world, analyze the meetings and help to set their agenda. They get together during parallel “think tank summits” and thus they form the institutional underbelly of an otherwise odd combination of countries.

Some aid-weary Western policymakers have seen a development bank led and entirely funded by emerging economies as a dream come true and as a sign of growing stakeholdership of the BRICS. But they nbso misread the founders’ intentions and underestimate the implications. At a minimum the new bank will undermine the rules and norms for development that the OECD has nurtured over decades — because all of the BRICS have different standards of what constitutes aid. More realistically, what so far has been a soft institutionalization will turn into a systemic challenge to the liberal world order. The idea of globally accepted institutions will online casino evaporate if their monopoly is challenged.

British analyst Martin Wolf has noted that “there’s no reason whatsoever to expect [the BRICS] to agree on anything substantive in the world, except that the existing dominating powers should cede some of their influence and power.” It is true: the BRICS do not agree on climate policy, trade policy, UN Security Council reform, global rebalancing, or much else.

However, as Mark Leonard observes, “post-colonial superpowers” like Brazil and India see globalization as a process that is “creating sovereignty on a scale seen never before.” A logical consequence is to want to sit at the table of power or, alternatively, to build their own table of power. That these countries do not agree on the specifics may be a temporary phenomenon.

Nothing suggests so far that the BRICS have alternative ideas about order. They don’t even seem to look for them. Some of them, China in particular but also increasingly India, have chosen to join some existing sets of international norms. But what they all crave and grow impatient about is shared leadership. The Western powers better learn fast how to do that.

Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff is Senior Director for Strategy and Director of the Eurofutures Project at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Has Strengthened

By Lanxin Xiang

With the prospect of China’s GDP surpassing the United States’ in less than 20 years, a great debate has started in the West. But it is in the rhetorical framework first promoted by Edward Gibbon and Oswald Spengler and later revived by Arnold Toynbee and Paul Kennedy. Discourse on “rise and fall” is an Anglo-American penchant, as the concern is over whether or not China will integrate into the existing (i.e., West-dominated) liberal world order or seek to destroy it. Paul Kennedy in The Rise and Fall of Great Powers argued that the Chinese leadership “seems to be evolving a grand strategy altogether more coherent and forward-looking than that which prevails in Moscow, Washington, or Tokyo, not to mention western Europe.”

Kennedy’s insight at the early stage of the Chinese reform period was impressive, and it proves more enduring than the views of authors who are enjoying the advantage of observing China’s reform with hindsight. In the 1990s, predictions of China’s collapse abounded; titles such as “The Coming Collapse of China” became instant best-sellers, but none of these predictions has come to pass. Why? Because their teleological fantasy that all regimes will become liberal democracies proves to be wrong.

After the “China collapse” fashion wave in publications, the “China superior” fashion is taking over. Many intellectuals in the West, the Leftists in particular, have launched a feisty defence of the Chinese economic and even political system.  The Chinese are rather bemused to see a stream of hilarious titles such as “When China Rules the World,” “The Beijing Consensus,” or “Why Chinese Communists make better capitalists than the Westerners do.”

Neither approach seems relevant to Chinese realities. The truth is, China is not on the path of “rise,” but of restoration. China has seen the movie before: huge trade surplus and reserves. As late as the 1830s, Chinese GDP comprised 32% of the global total and the Chinese had sucked in most world silver reserves. The real challenge posed by China to the world is not what it does, but what it does not do during its restoration process.

China will not want wholesale Westernization, and it will not abide by some existing “rules of the game” originated from the West. But it is absurd to assume that the Chinese will establish a new “model” to replace the Western one. The Chinese never have urges to become missionaries and model-building is not part of the culture. A model requires either ontology or teleology. But the Chinese concern is neither. The key expression in nbso online casino reviews Chinese tradition is “where is the way? (or Tao)”, but never the Cartesian ontological “What it is.” In other words, politics is by nature a contingent act, and one should not harbor any ambition for influencing the future — however “scientific” the prediction may seem.

The “Rise and Fall” rhetoric aims at discovering a universal pattern of behavior of the great powers, but China is not a typical one. China will not challenge the liberal order for ideological reasons, because of the belief that an order could only be brought down by its own faults. No doubt the liberal order has weakened. This does not mean the Chinese system has been strengthened as a result.

The paradox is that the Communist Party of China has engineered one of the greatest social and economic reforms in human history; but the population has become restless and angry about the regime itself. It is Confucian political logic, not Western democratic theory, that has undermined the party’s legitimacy. At the present stage, the failure in “rule by virtue” threatens the party’s Mandate of Heaven. China’s future will be determined by internal factors – as will that of the liberal order. If the West understands this, it will interact with China more effectively than following the “Rise and Fall” logic.

Lanxin Xiang is Fudan Chair of International Affairs at Fudan University in Shanghai and Professor of International History and Politics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

By Joshua Walker

Today the Eurozone crisis continues to threaten the concept of the “West” as people all around the world watch European economies pass the bottleneck. Crisis in Europe reinforces the idea of the “Fall of the West”– yet Turkey, a historic member of the West, is included in the discussions about the “Rise of the Rest.” Turkey’s strategic location is one explanation for why Turkey is seen as a part of “the Rest” as well as the “West,” yet the paradoxes inherent in this Muslim-majority, capitalist, secular democracy are precisely why Turkey is critical beyond its geography at the crossroads of civilization.

A key ally of the United States, long-standing member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and a candidate for membership in the European Union (EU), Turkey has strong ties to the West and to the East in a volatile but strategic region of the world. Ironically, only in the last decade has modern Turkey assumed the confidence and trappings of a geopolitically pivotal player. At no time since their days at the helm of the Ottoman Empire have the Turks been as actively involved as they are in the Middle East today. In return, the Middle East seems receptive to Turkish activism in the region. As a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council from 2008-2010, a G-20 founding member since 2008, and holder of the post of Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) since 2005, Turkey’s global rise is unprecedented. Turkey’s newly discovered role in global politics and its subsequent foreign policy has its benefits, but also challenges that need to be assessed.

No longer confined to being simply an American geostrategic “barrier,” “bridge,” or “bulwark,” Turkey represents an exemplary model of a Muslim-majority, secular, and democratic nation within its dynamic geopolitical neighborhood. The nation’s broadened awareness and appreciation for the positive role that it can casino online play in Europe, the Middle East, Russia, Central Asia, and beyond has caused Turkish leaders to realize the country’s full potential as a versatile and increasingly powerful international actor. This newfound activism and confidence in Turkey’s own regional policies has directly impacted Turkey’s relationship with its traditional allies in the West and has significant implications for policymakers.

The “new” Turkey of the 21st century has far more tools at its disposal to push its agenda as a leading regional power. The tremendous success of Turkey’s private sector has opened a world of possibility not known to any previous generation of Turks. The spread of Turkish businesses, construction, hospitals, hotels, and schools throughout its neighborhood is part and parcel of its regional leverage. Having sought the role of regional mediator over the last decade, Turkey’s litmus test of leadership comes in its own neighborhood — beginning with how Ankara deals with authoritarian regimes like Assad’s in Syria, which still enjoys support from Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran. Ankara is not alone, however, since Washington shares almost all of Turkey’s long-term strategic interests when it comes to its immediate neighborhood.

Particularly in light of the events in the Middle East, where both Turkey and the West want to see stability, there are a host of possible areas for cooperation. Ankara’s emphasis on the importance of economic interdependency in the globalizing world, and the need to build strong linkages with all regional states regardless of former Cold War mentalities or hostile Western policies towards these neighbors, can be a guiding principle if taken as complimentary with and not competitive with the West. Ankara’s new foreign policy envisions a Turkey that would transform itself into a global actor — rather than a regional or junior partner to the West.

Turkey’s emergence in the 21st century has been in the making for the last century, but most significantly the last decade. Balancing Ankara’s historically close relationships with the West, both in its “strategic alliance” with Washington and its ongoing process with Brussels, amidst the realities of its neighborhood is no simple task.  Key to this is managing the interdependency between a democratizing and often polarized domestic political scene and Ankara’s ambitious foreign policy vision.

The changes in Turkish foreign policy cannot be attributed to a single factor; rather, a number of domestic and international considerations have propelled this phenomenon. Turkey has the economic and political potential to be a trans-regional actor that promotes peace, prosperity, and stability — or an inwardly focused state whose domestic turbulence inflames problems abroad. Therefore, understanding Turkey on its own terms, and assessing its potential impact globally and regionally as it determines its own future between the “rest” and the West, is of critical importance.

Joshua W. Walker is a Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

By Daniel Twining

At the end of this year, the U.S. National Intelligence Council will release Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds, its latest report forecasting the future of an international system being remade by the ascendance of emerging powers and the erosion of the Western liberal order.  As with most exercises in strategic forecasting after the global financial crisis, the draft report’s focus on an emergent multipolarity and the “rise of the rest” obscures the continuing strengths and staying power of American leadership in the international system.  In fact, some of the key drivers of strategic change in the period through 2030 – including demography, access to energy resources, and leadership in innovation – actually reinforce rather than undermine American resilience in a changing world.

China may have the largest economy in 2030, given a population four times larger than that of the United States.  But even if China manages the daunting economic and political transitions that lie before it, the country will still not enjoy the basket of strengths the United States will continue to possess.  In 2030, these will include:

  • A geographical position in which the United States, uniquely among the great powers, is not threatened by any serious challenger in its neighborhood;
  • An abundance of natural resources: the United States has the most arable land of any country on earth, is rich in natural resources, and promises to emerge as a largely self-sufficient energy superpower thanks to both offshore oil and shale gas deposits;
  • A domestic economy that is best understood as North American in scale, given integrated capital, labor, and energy markets, and whose prowess in innovation, manufacturing, technology, and services may prove surprisingly resilient as emerging economies bump into developmental bottlenecks;
  • An economy which is more intimately tied to the economies of Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the Persian Gulf than any of these centers of economic and financial power are to each other (taking into account not only trade but capital flows, international use of the dollar, and the role of the U.S. Treasury bond market as a haven for global savings);
  • An ethnically diverse, pluralistic society open to immigration, favorable demographics, a superior higher education system, and a culture of opportunity that should continue to attract talent from around the world in ways that maintain the United States’ innovation edge;
  • A large lead in comprehensive national power across casino the economic-military-technological-natural resources spectrum that will be difficult for rising powers to match, even if countries like China ultimately do surpass the United States in individual components of national power like gross domestic product or military spending;
  • A continuing ability to produce “followership”, without which there can be no leadership.  As the scholar David Kang notes, while many countries grudgingly admire China’s economic accomplishments, neither China nor any other potential U.S. rival has demonstrated the ability to produce the ranks of followers the United States takes for granted with its far-ranging set of global alliances and partnerships;
  • The central role in a liberal international order originally built around American power, interests, and beliefs, with substantial components of that order increasingly embraced by other established powers and rising powers like India. As journalist Pramit Pal Chaudhuri notes, “India wants to modify the present world order [to secure greater status within it] but never to overthrow it.”

Despite all the hype over their ascent, “the rest” are not a unified geopolitical bloc – they are riven by rivalries which will make competition among emerging powers more intense than that between the developed and developing worlds.  And even as power diffuses across the international system, it will also diffuse within societies as a middle class explosion in China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, and elsewhere transforms politics within them, potentially reinforcing rather than undermining Western interests.

Finally, raw calculations of relative economic power mislead analysts to believe that the ascent of emerging powers is necessarily a zero-sum loss for the West.  In fact, the entrance of billions of new consumers into the world economy has enormously benefited the United States and Europe – through cheaper imports, growing markets for trade and investment, and a greater stake for aspiring economies in sustaining an open international economy.

Strategically, the West is arguably in a better – not worse – position as the capabilities and strategic horizons of emerging powers expand in ways that potentially empower them to help provide global public goods.  Washington certainly has high hopes for partnership with emerging giants like India and Brazil – to the point that European strategist Mark Leonard worries that the U.S. tilt toward these “post-colonial superpowers” undermines the transatlantic alliance.

In short, despite the fad for declinism, the United States is positioned to remain the pacesetter among the great powers through 2030 – if its leaders can get the country’s fiscal house in order.  America certainly has its problems.  But whose problems would Americans rather have – China’s?

By Claudio Lilienfeld

In the age of the Internet, key questions abound about how emerging powers such as India and China will affect and reflect the global rise in information availability and flows, and what impact that will have on commerce, politics, and culture. Most presume the battle lines are being drawn along the lines of democracy versus authority, but the reality is much more complicated.

All countries globally grapple with balancing the benefits of the Internet (vital commerce, inclusive economic opportunity, cultural vibrancy, and political expression) with global and local challenges (national security, privacy, protecting the vulnerable, and respecting cultural norms). The biggest question is whether the “rest” will favor the principles of openness as the best guarantors of national interest, seeing them as universal rather than simply as an imposition of the West.

One critical factor in the direction countries take will be whether they recognize and choose to harness the enormous economic benefits of open platforms and the free flow of information. New data are emerging regularly that casino spiele show that when countries commit to unfettered movement of information across the nbso online casino reviews Internet — except where necessary to achieve a legitimate, limited government objective – they are supporting increased exports, domestic jobs and innovation, and contributing to the strength of the entire global economic trading system.

A recent McKinsey report found that the Internet accounted for 3.4 percent of GDP in 13 countries examined.  And virtually every entity globally – business, government, university, cultural institution, or NGO – relies on the Internet to power its business, work, research, and communications, or aspires to do so.

Ultimately, global trends, including economic and geopolitical power shifts reflecting the “rise of the rest,” are poised to ride on the back of an open Internet — which can serve both as a catalyst and a vehicle for propelling these shifts.

Claudio Lilienfeld is Senior Policy Manager for the Asia-Pacific at Google.

By Andrew Phillips

Secretary of State Clinton’s recognition of the dawning ‘Indo-Pacific’ age and the U.S. Navy’s recalibration of its ‘two ocean’ focus (from a Pacific/Atlantic to an Indo-Pacific focus) together signify Washington’s growing appreciation of the Indian Ocean Region’s (IOR’s) rising strategic importance.  As the region commands greater attention from Washington down to 2030 and beyond, America may be tempted to pursue regional order-building practices comparable to those that earlier enabled it to integrate first its defeated Axis enemies and then later the Asian ‘tiger economies’ and (to a lesser extent) China into a global liberal order.  Nevertheless, the scope for doing so will be radically constrained in the IOR — not merely by America’s declining relative power, but also by the region’s distinct historical legacies, which differ fundamentally from those that have shaped America’s grand strategy elsewhere.

In both Western Europe and East Asia, the liberal international order has for decades been locally anchored through long-term alliance systems centered around U.S. partnerships with key regional powers (Germany and Japan respectively).  Conversely, in the IOR, regional enthusiasm for non-alignment retarded the development of an effective IOR collective security system in the immediate post-war decades. Undeniably, the Cold War and later the ‘war on terror’ spawned fragile alliances of convenience linking America to various regional partners, most notably Pakistan.

But American power within the IOR remains blunted to this day by the absence of a local client of comparable strategic weight to either Germany or Japan. This absence has in turn stymied the emergence of alliance systems comparable to those that have dampened local security rivalries elsewhere. The result has been to deny the IOR – home to 11 of the world’s 20 most fragile states – the geopolitical stability it needs to fully integrate into the global liberal order.

Comprising 36 littoral and 14 adjacent hinterland states (collective population: 2.6 billion) and now rapidly emerging as both an epicenter of nbso online casino reviews both global trade and great power rivalry, the IOR’s successful integration into the liberal order constitutes a vital U.S. interest. The region’s distinctive historical legacies and contemporary material limits on U.S. power nevertheless preclude a simple replication of the practices that have undergirded liberal order-building efforts in Europe and East Asia since 1945. Instead, three imperatives must guide U.S. order-building in the IOR in an increasingly post-unipolar and post-Western world:

Cultivate Partners, Not Clients: As the world’s first and third most populous democracies, India and Indonesia (the latter also the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country) could potentially play a decisive role in consolidating a post-Western but still recognizably liberal global order in the 21st  century. The United States should therefore continue to pro-actively nurture their peaceful rise and seek out opportunities for bilateral and trilateral cooperation. At the same time, Washington must recognize that the legacy of non-alignment remains particularly firmly entrenched in New Delhi and Jakarta, and that aspirations to form a democratic entente to offset growing Chinese influence will almost certainly be disappointed.  A shared commitment to democracy will surely lubricate increased cooperation between the U.S., India and Indonesia. But any partnership between them will increasingly be one of equals, more negotiated, more ad hoc and less reliable as a foundation for regional order than the institutionalised patron-client ties with ‘pivot’ states that long underwrote U.S. grand strategy in Europe and East Asia.

Preserve and Extend Existing Friendships: Washington’s relationships with established allies including Japan and Australia (the last constituting a pivotal connector linking the Pacific and Indian Ocean theaters) must be recognized and more fully utilized as indispensably versatile assets for consolidating regional stability, not merely in the Asia-Pacific but also in the IOR.  On this point, the success of the Tsunami Core Group (comprising Australia, the U.S., Japan and also India) in coordinating humanitarian assistance and disaster relief following the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami provides especially compelling evidence that existing ‘hub and spokes’ alliances can be leveraged to reach out to major local powers in the IOR for the purpose of strengthening regional order.

Encourage ‘Bottom-Up’ Regional Order-Building: The host of governance challenges now afflicting the IOR, ranging from transnational terrorism and piracy through to state failure, has already stimulated ‘bottom-up’ order-building through the formation of various sub-regional ad hoc ‘coalitions of the willing’ (e.g., the various multinational anti-piracy taskforces now deployed off the Horn of Africa). Given the region’s historical failure to develop coherent institutions for regional cooperation from the ‘top down,’ Washington should prioritize supporting and participating in these more modest initiatives wherever possible. This is not simply because of their intrinsic functional value in addressing regional challenges. Rather, it is also because in the absence of a decades-long history of institutionalized U.S. power and partnership with local ‘pivot states,’ encouraging informal and issue-specific practices of security cooperation may offer one of the few immediately viable means of stabilizing a region that will be increasingly critical for the maintenance of global order in the nascent post-Western century.

Andrew Phillips is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Strategy in the School of Political Science at the University of Queensland and the author of War, Religion and Empire – The Transformation of International Orders (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011).