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Asia's New Multilateralism

Asia's New Multilateralism: Cooperation, Competition, and the Search for Community

Michael J. Green
Bates Gill
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 400
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  • Book Info
    Asia's New Multilateralism
    Book Description:

    Traditionally, stability in Asia has relied on America's bilateral alliances with Japan, Australia, and the Republic of Korea. Yet in recent years, emergent and more active multilateral forums-such as the Six-Party Talks on North Korea and the East Asia Summit-have taken precedence, engendering both cooperation and competition while reflecting the local concerns of the region.

    Some are concerned that this process is moving toward less-inclusive, bloc-based "talking shops" and that the future direction and success of these arrangements, along with their implications for global and regional security and prosperity, remain unclear. The fifteen contributors to this volume, all leading scholars in the field, provide national perspectives on regional institutional architecture and their functional challenges. They illuminate areas of cooperation that will move the region toward substantive collaboration, convergence of norms, and strengthened domestic institutions. They also highlight the degree to which institution building in Asia-a region composed of liberal democracies, authoritarian regimes, and anachronistic dictatorships-has become an arena for competition among major powers and conflicting norms, and assess the future shape of Asian security architecture.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-51341-8
    Subjects: Political Science, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  5. 1. Unbundling Asia’s New Multilateralism
    (pp. 1-30)
    Bates Gill and Michael J. Green

    The sweeping arc of Asia—from the Indian Ocean to the Bering Straits and from Tashkent to Tasmania—stands out as the world’s most dynamic region. Unprecedented economic and political forces powerfully shift the region’s relationships large and small, from the rise of China and India to the emergence of new democracies. New transnational challenges—financial crises, environmental disasters, infectious disease outbreaks, the impact of globalization, terrorist networks—defy old notions of sovereignty. At the same time, traditional rivalries and emergent confrontations between regional powers raise the specter of past conflicts.

    Whether Asia’s future is characterized by cooperation or confrontation...

  6. PART I National Strategies for Regionalism

    • 2. Evolving U.S. Views on Asia’s Future Institutional Architecture
      (pp. 33-54)
      Ralph A. Cossa

      The views held by the United States toward the ongoing development of a future institutional architecture for Asia are still evolving. They ultimately will be determined by the outcome of several simultaneous debates both in the United States and in Asia. First, there is the debate between Asia-Pacific (or trans-Pacific) regionalism and Asian regionalism and how (or if) the two can coexist. A second debate involves the future role of Washington’s traditional alliance-oriented strategy in Asia and how it coincides or conflicts with Asian multilateralism. A third debate concerns institutionalized versus ad hoc multilateralism, and it plays out both throughout...

    • 3. Chinese Perspectives on Building an East Asian Community in the Twenty-first Century
      (pp. 55-77)
      Wu Xinbo

      The closing years of the twentieth century and the opening ones of the twenty-first have witnessed a significant development in the history of Asia. A region long plagued by war, chaos, division, and mutual suspicion began moving toward integration. To be sure, Asian integration is a nascent undertaking, and its future is unclear. Different countries in the region have quite different visions and expectations, and outcomes will result at least in part from currently unforeseen interactions of various players with various preferences. China, as a major power with growing political and economic influence in the region, will certainly have a...

    • 4. Regional Multilateralism in Asia and the Korean Question
      (pp. 78-102)
      Lim Wonhyuk

      The partition of Asia along ideological lines after World War II brought great suffering to the Korean people. The nation was divided along the thirty-eighth parallel in 1945 and became the battleground for an internationalized civil war from 1950 to 1953, pitting South Korea and the United States against North Korea and China, with the Soviet Union in the background. Although the Cold War has since ended, the Korean question remains unresolved.

      Will a reunified nation-state become a reality for the Korean people? This question has internal, inter-Korean, and international dimensions: What kind of political and economic system should a...

    • 5. Japan’s Perspective on Asian Regionalism
      (pp. 103-127)
      Akiko Fukushima

      From the Meiji Restoration to the present, Japan has used both bilateralism and multilateralism to pursue its foreign-policy goals. Although Japan was part of the in effective system of Asian multilateral treaties in the years between the world wars and tried to construct its own “East Asian Coprosperity Sphere” during World War II, the primary instinct for Japanese strategists throughout modern history has been to focus on bilateral alliances with the perceived hegemonic power of the day: Great Britain from 1902 to 1922, Germany (and Italy) from 1940 to 1945, and the United States since 1952. However, since the end...

    • 6. India and the Asian Security Architecture
      (pp. 128-153)
      C. Raja Mohan

      Multilateralism, whether regional or global, has always had a powerful appeal in the Indian foreign-policy discourse. The near century-long Indian national movement, built as it was on liberal ideas, was strongly devoted to the notion of internationalism. As India approached its in dependence after the end of World War II, it was commonplace for the Indian elite to argue that power politics was passé and to emphasize the importance of building collective security. Linked to this approach was the Indian enthusiasm for global and regional multilateral institutions as effective instruments for dealing with the postwar challenges of security and development....

    • 7. Australia’s Pragmatic Approach to Asian Regionalism
      (pp. 154-171)
      Greg Sheridan

      Australia is a unique nation in that its culture, history, geography, security environment, economic partnerships, and key security alliances all tend to push it in different directions rather than reinforcing each other. In international and security matters, many nations, in particular European nations, are concerned primarily with their nearest neighbors, even if the relationship is not always amicable. By contrast, Australia is a more truly globalized nation. Its history, since European settlement in 1788, is predominantly European. Its institutions are British, with a conscious admixture of American influences. Its closest neighbors are small South Pacific Melanesian and Polynesian states. Its...

    • 8. The Strong in the World of the Weak: SOUTHEAST ASIA IN ASIA’S REGIONAL ARCHITECTURE
      (pp. 172-190)
      Amitav Acharya

      Southeast Asian countries, despite living in the shadow of their more powerful neighbors India, China, and Japan, have exerted a major influence on the development of Asian regional approaches to regional architectures. Not only is Southeast Asia the birthplace of Asia’s first viable multilateral organization concerned with security, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), but other parts of Asia and the wider region as a whole have adopted the principles and mode of regional interaction developed in Southeast Asia. This influence is an important paradox for both theorists and practitioners of international relations. It is also a convenient point...

  7. PART II The Functional Challenges

    • 9. Emerging Economic Architecture in Asia: OPENING OR INSULATING THE REGION?
      (pp. 193-242)
      Amy Searight

      Economic regionalism in Asia has surged in recent years. Nearly a decade after the Asian financial crisis brought several regional economies to their knees, Asian countries have rebounded with vibrant and stable growth, while dramatically deepening mutual economic ties. Regional production networks have expanded and diversified, spurred in large part by China’s rapid economic rise. Intraregional flows of trade and investment have increased steadily. These growing economic linkages have been accompanied by rising aspirations for regional political cooperation, and governments have responded by creating new institutional architectures, ranging from informal governmental networks to legalistic and binding agreements, in order to...

      (pp. 243-278)
      William Cole and Erik G. Jensen

      Beginning with the People Power movement in the Philippines and the establishment of democracy in South Korea in the mid-1980s, the past two decades have seen a wave of democratization movements sweeping across most of Asia and the rest of the world. In the early 1980s, there were about only 40 democracies; today there are 125. This dramatic political transformation parallels and to a certain extent overshadows the equally important but less headline-grabbing process of restructuring, capacity building, and decentralization that has also taken place in governing institutions in most countries. Both democratization and broader governance reform have been occurring...

    • 11. Defense Issues and Asia’s Future Security Architecture
      (pp. 279-305)
      Michael E. O’Hanlon

      This chapter explores several specific and immediate security challenges in Asia and considers existing as well as improved mechanisms for addressing them. Few subjects are more important. As former U.S. assistant secretary of defense Joseph Nye underscored during the Clinton administration, security is like oxygen—easy to take for granted until it is lost. East Asia is a region that has a Stalinist regime building nuclear weapons in the North, elements of jihadist extremism in the South, and a rapidly rising major power in the form of China. Given these historic developments, together with the region’s raw economic power and...

    • 12. Nontraditional Security and Multilateralism in Asia: RESHAPING THE CONTOURS OF REGIONAL SECURITY ARCHITECTURE
      (pp. 306-328)
      Mely Caballero-Anthony

      Over the past decade, the dynamics that define the strategic regional environment in Asia have changed dramatically. The hope of a more stable and peaceful environment after the end of the Cold War was short-lived. Instead, Asia confronts both traditional and new security challenges emerging from a host of transnational threats. Of late, there is growing recognition that new security challenges are proving to be more severe and are more likely to inflict more harm to a greater number of people than conventional threats such as interstate wars and conflicts.

      These newly emerging challenges are also known as nontraditional security...

    • 13. Challenges to Building an Effective Asia-Pacific Security Architecture
      (pp. 329-350)
      Brendan Taylor and William T. Tow

      As the previous chapters in this volume so clearly demonstrate, “security architecture” has emerged as the latest concept for describing emerging frameworks in regional security politics. However, as they also demonstrate, widespread agreement about just what constitutes a security architecture and how it can be best applied remains elusive despite its popular application to ongoing discussions about contemporary security. The stakes in coming to agreement are critical because the alternative to a stable and enduring Asia-Pacific security order are a far less prosperous and far more dangerous regional outlook.

      Analysts focusing on security architectures have identified some key conditions for...

    (pp. 351-356)
    (pp. 357-362)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 363-384)