The Changing Architecture of Politics in the Asia-Pacific: Another (lost) Middle Power Moment?

  • Accession Number
    87964
  • Title
    The Changing Architecture of Politics in the Asia-Pacific: Another (lost) Middle Power Moment?
  • Material Type
    Book
  • Language
    English
  • Author
    Beeson, M.
  • Page
    22 leaves
  • Year
    2013
  • Subjects
    ASEAN, international politics, institutional framework, diplomacy, geopolitics, Asia and the Pacific, China
Deals with the concept of middle power. Puts the growing middle power literature in perspective by reviewing the international history of the post-World War II era. Examines whether middle power diplomacy has actually had an impact on international affairs. Links this theoretical oscillation to specific historical contexts with a focus on several quintessential middle powers, notably Australia and Canada. Argues that for all the potential that middle powers may possess in theory, in practice great powers engaging in great power politics continue to call the shots. Notes that these possibilities are most evident in the Asia-Pacific region, including ASEAN. Looks at the Asia-Pacific region as a laboratory for middle power experimentation. Argues that the Asian middle powers do not practice the middle power diplomacy that they often rhetorically espouse. Points out that many of the region's potential middle powers have voluntarily limited their options by reinforcing alliance structures and relationships that might have been expected to become progressively less salient in a post-Cold War era. Contends that whatever the strategic rationale may be for such alliances, they necessarily foreclose the possibility of genuinely independent coalitions of like-minded, similarly-credentialed middle powers developing novel responses to regional or even global policy challenges. Emphasizes that it is not possible to simply read off a relationship between middle power moments and larger geopolitical shifts in the international system. Argues that some structural conditions are more conducive to middle power diplomacy than others, but none are decisive.

   

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