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AMITAV ACHARYA: Regional Security Arrangements in a Multipolar World? 1. Introduction: What role can regional institutions such as the European Union play in managing peace and security in today’s world? Unipolarity is challenged: breakdown in international cooperation over Iraq + rising anti- American feeling throughout the world no longer ensure world peace and stability under the American hegemony. 2. Towards a multipolar world: 2 main actors favor a return to multipolarity: 1. China: its incredible ascendance challenges the post Cold War international order. A return to multipolarity could therefore assert greater Chinese influence throughout the world. 2. France: declined to intervene in Iraq: reveals its refusal to endorse the Bush administration. It may be argued that France’s motivation comes from a “Euro- nationalist” feeling (the feeling that the EU should be more independent from the USA). 3. The role of regional arrangement: 1 distinction to make: multipolarity as a strategic pursuit and multipolarity as a normative quest (China and France). Three main differences to make between these two perceptions: 1. Strategic multipolarity is closely linked to the distribution of material power (level of power determined by military and economic resources), while normative mulitpolarity depends largely on one’s ideational resources (forceful adherence/advocacy of international law and institutions + strong sense of collective identity). 2. Strategic multipolarity inclines states to approach international order with strong preference for balance of power. States in normative multipolarity, by contrast, advocate the necessity of cooperative security, and seek to maintain international order through the vigorous exercise of what Joseph Nye has called “soft power”. 3.
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