Regional Security Arrangements in a Multipolar World

Regional Security Arrangements in a Multipolar World -...

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Regional Security Arrangements in a Multipolar World?: The European Union in Global Perspective. By: Amitav Acharya Introduction Winston Churchill saw regional security arrangements as the basis of a multipolar world order which could ensure the balance of great power and prevent another global conflagration. The breakdown of international cooperation over Iraq, and the growing anti-Americanism around the world, creates doubts about the prospects for a stable and legitimate international order under American hegemony. Towards a Multipolar order There are two type of actors that are seeking a return to a multipolar international order: One is China, whose dramatic ascendancy poses the most serious challenge to the post-Cold War balance of power. France, which asserted its independence from the US by refusing to endorse the Bush administration’s plans to invade Iraq. BOTH see American hegemony as a grave threat to world order, challenging the possibility of both peace and justice. China’s desire for multipolarity is motivated to a greater degree by its perception of American dominance as a threat to its own regional power ambitions. France’s is framed within a “Euro-nationalism”, which calls for “the EU to become an independent actor in the world stage to counterbalance the US.” The Role of Regional Arrangements The Author proposes to make a distinction between multipolarity as a strategic pursuit and multipolarity as a normative quest. The difference between the two international orders are 3 fold: 1. Strategic multipolarity is closely linked to the distribution of material power. normatoive multipolarity depends largely on one’s ideational resources, such as a forceful adherence to, and advocacy of, international law and institutions, and a strong sense of collective identity (national or regional). 2. States operating within strategic multipolarity maintain a strong preference for balance of power approaches to international order. 3. A polar power within strategic multipolarity usually
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seeks out weaker partners (especially its neighbors) in order to develop a “sphere of influence” Asia The Experience of Europe and Asia in building regional institutions, despite being marked by differences, shows common barriers to building multipolarity through regional institutions. Regional multilateral security arrangements were practically non- existent during the Cold War in Asia. From a REALIST point of view: the purpose of the ARF was not to
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Regional Security Arrangements in a Multipolar World -...

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