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September This article needs more links to other articles to help integrate it into the encyclopedia. Studying the international context was almost entirely irrelevant in the pioneering inward looking era of European integration studies, when the bipolar system framed the small, functionalist, Catholic European Community EC.
However the process of deepening Treaties of , and enlarging the European Community in , and already entailed relevant international implications. Haas, J. Nye and others since the s have examined the regional cooperation from a comparatist perspective. The most important European contribution to global governance was the good example coming from the very heart of the continent: the reconciliation between Germany and France. The most important German philosopher of the 20 th century J. Habermas argues that it is impossible to overestimate the Franco-German reconciliation.
After , a new era opened for Europe in the global context.
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This explains the explosion of studies focused on the interplay between the EU and the rest of the world during the two last decades: the end of the USSR and of the reciprocal East-West nuclear threat, the Maastricht Treaty , and the enhanced role of EU interaction with globalization impact studies and International Political Economy IPE research about the EU imprint on the global environment.
Reciprocally, research is exploring the bottom-up imprint of the EU and regional entities on both the local and global system. The same applies for Asean, Mercosur and other regional groupings, whose main achievement is conflict prevention within previously hot regions. As such, regional entities are essentially compelled to adjust to the Westphalian behavior of old and new powers. The true problem herein is the kind of multipolarity that is about to emerge, given the heterogeneity of the already mentioned powers, combined with the survival of Japan and the politicization of multiple regional entities starting with the EU.
Kant two centuries ago and repeatedly evidenced throughout human history; and finally, 6 the hierarchical global system based on one democratic or authoritarian single superpower 4. Twenty years after the break down of the bipolar world, five main tendencies are emerging within the international system, although these tendencies are not yet consistent and stable scenarios. Each one presents both evidence and counter-evidence, and in some cases the models interplay and combine with each other.
Only the last scenario is consistent with the current regional groupings and their process of strengthening multilateral cooperation. This may appear a pessimistic forecast regarding the ability of regionalism to impact upon global governance, but the multiple contradictions and internal weakness of the four other scenarios could make the fifth scenario less unrealistic.
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These scenarios are:. A new post-Obama unipolar trend based on a new US-led hegemonic stability. Finally, a pluralist multilateral world could emerge, including varying and conflicting approaches to multilateral cooperation: instrumental multilateralism, mini-lateralism and a European kind of multilateralism. Could the multipolarity be framed by a post-hegemonic, multilevel, pluralist multilateral cooperation?
Table 1 and Table 2 clearly illustrate the significant defense budget and nuclear weapons imbalances among the 10 biggest global powers. The spending figures are in current US dollars. The 10 biggest spenders in are the same as in , although some rankings have changed. Table 2: Regarding deployed warheads All estimates are approximate North Korea conducted nuclear test explosions in October and May It is not publicly known whether it has built nuclear weapons.
Brazil is oscillating between regional cooperation and national ambitions; however, it is an example of a successful Non Proliferation Treaty over the last twenty years. What kind of rising power is China? The impact of economic and other complex interdependence, increasing since WW2 and including the role of the West within the wider global network must be recognized by realists: between and the number of intergovernmental organizations grew up from 37 to over These organizations are building a framework for communication, information, and dialog, with a spillover effect of spreading a rule-based governance of many global issues.
Kissinger declared that t he one between US and China is the most important international relationship of the 21st century. Additionally, several top meetings at global level including the G20 in Pittsburgh and the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen, both in show a relatively high record of convergence in global governance stance by the two nations. China would also risk looking like a junior partner of US echoing the F. The US agenda is consistently faced with the old trilemma: to pick either the option in favor of realism trade and economic cooperation ; the ideological Jimmy Carter approach in favor of defense of human rights; or even to the hard anti-China containment agenda revived by R.
Kagan-Mc Cain in These oscillations are essential background in understanding the US-China relationship in the coming decade.
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Furthermore, compared with the EU and Japan, the US shows signs of greater economic strength, with a relatively quicker recovery from the current global economic and financial crisis. Nye and even the US decline R. Keohane, F. Zacharia and I. Wallerstein among others. Is this literature obsolete? The concept of post-hegemonic world system appears increasingly relevant when considering four different schools of IR thought.
According to the liberal Ch. Kindleberger; R. The Canadian school A. Gramsci, R.
Cox and S. According to the neorealist school of IPE, notably R. Finally, G. The current decline of the universal appeal of such values provokes the weakening of US hegemony This can be summarized as follows:. In the political realm not only the think tanks near to the G. Bush administration stressed, over many years, the tendencies towards a proliferation of WMD, failing States, and informal terrorist networks. Cultural sociologists are drawing attention not only to emergent civilizational macro-cleavages 16 , but increasingly to sub-national and ethnocentric fragmentation of political entities, religious fundamentalisms etc.
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Bhagwati Bush Senior and B. Clinton of a universally beneficial economic globalization bringing convergence at world level. Hyperglobalists and new-medievalists during the s were wrong to argue for the end of the state, of any political regulation, and of cultural difference as a consequence of economic determinism and booming global economic ties. Bush era dramatically collapsed in Iraq.
The need to confront several tendencies towards fragmentation means the EU is facing numerous dilemmas: whether to consolidate military and technological supremacy, or look for comprehensive and collective security policies? Continue to champion the primacy of Western values and norms, or adjust to the emerging relativism?
Furthermore, how should the EU consider the relevance of the regional dimension of multiple issues and challenges: is regionalization part of the fragmentation, or conversely part of the solution towards new multilevel governance? Should the West and the EU within it only focus on strategic partnerships with individual great powers, or use apparent regional fragmentation and emergent regionalism as a resource in developing a more decentralized and legitimate global governance?
Conflict prevention, trade, economic and political cooperation, convergence towards the regional average, and a feeling of common belonging are driving forces in the increase of multidimensional regional cooperation in every continent. The second conclusion was that regional cooperation will follow alternative routes according to local geographic, historical, economic and political backgrounds, and to various endogenous factors.
Hettne do since ? For the very simple reason that the history of the 20 th century entails three alternative ideal type of regionalism: the imperialist regionalism set for example by Germany and Japan in their respective region during the period between the s and s; secondly, the regional cooperation regimes set during the decades of the US hegemonic stability after WW2; third a post-hegemonic new regionalism, emerged in every continent after the decline of the US and the break down of the URSS, mainly underpinned by bottom-up, endogenous, economic, social, cultural and political driving forces.
These include ensuring conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and post-conflict reconstruction; providing regional financial stability and welfare; limiting distributive problems, addressing the challenge of knowledge society; enhancing compliance to global rules e. The many contradictions, obstacles and problems barring the four aforementioned tendencies from prevailing within the current heterogeneous global system are making the chances of a fifth scenario more realistic than expected.