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  • Author: Daniel Flemes, Georg StrĂ¼ver, Hannes Ebert
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Rising powers have attracted tremendous interest in international politics and theory. Yet the ways in which secondary powers strategically respond to regional changes in the distribution of power have been largely neglected. This article seeks to fill this gap by presenting a systematic comparative analysis of the different types of and causes of contestation strategies undertaken by secondary powers. Empirically, it focuses on two contentious regional dyads in East and South Asia, exploring how structural, behavioral, and historical factors shape the way in which Japan and Pakistan respond, respectively, to China's and India's regional power politics. The paper concludes that the explanatory power of these factors depends on the particular context: in the case of Japan, China's militarily assertive regional role has invoked the most significant strategic shifts, while in the case of Pakistani contestation, shifts in polarity have had the largest impact on the strategic approach.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Development, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Japan, China, India
  • Author: Melanie Hanif
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Due to its geo-strategic location between the Central Asian, South Asian, and Middle Eastern security complexes, Afghanistan is often defined as an insulator state, and sometimes also as a connector. This in-between position has led to constant instability: ever since the creation of the Durrani Empire, the country has suffered from internal power struggles as well as outside interference. External attempts to control Afghanistan have nonetheless proven extremely difficult. This also holds true for the current conflict management efforts of the US-led coalition. But what could the alternatives be? This paper seeks to explore the prospect of regional security cooperation as a path towards stability for Afghanistan. Although the academic debate has thus far not considered Afghanistan as a primarily South Asian country, I will focus on the South Asian subsystem for three reasons: Firstly, current security matters in Afghanistan are highly connected to the situation in Pakistan. Secondly, with its accession to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Afghanistan has shown an interest in establishing stronger ties with South Asia. Thirdly, India as a rising regional power is the only country in the region that might possess the capabilities, the willingness, and the legitimacy for a long-term engagement in Afghan security.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Daniel Flemes
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: How can weaker states influence stronger ones? This article offers a case study of one recent exercise in coalition building among Southern middle powers, the 'India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum'. The analysis outlines five major points: first, it argues that the three emerging players can be defined as middle powers in order to frame their foreign policy behavior and options at the global level. Second, soft balancing is a suitable concept to explain IBSA's strategy in global institutions. Third, institutional foreign policy instruments are of pivotal significance in IBSA's soft balancing strategy. Fourth, the potential gains of IBSA's sector cooperation, particularly in trade, are limited due to a lack of complementarity of the three economies. And fifth, IBSA's perspectives and impact on the international system will depend on four variables: IBSA's ability to focus on distinct areas of cooperation, the consolidation of its common strategy of soft balancing, the institutionalization of IBSA, and its enlargement in order to obtain more weight in global bargains.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, South America