Global Power in a Shifting International Order: The West and the RestJun 01, 2021
Welcome, my name is Michael Copps. They call me president of LLC. I'm not sure that's entirely correct now just assuming the job of director. I'm not sure I'm one of the LSE family co-directors or co-directors. ideas that I put together many years ago with my good friend Arnie Weston, who is in the audience today. We've had a conference on American structural
power. We start with Jim O'Neill and end with Barry Buzan. That's not bad for the day I had a fantastic conference just talking about the issues of American structural
powerand what it means both economically, militarily, politically and institutionally, and I couldn't think of anyone better to, in a sense, wrap up the proceedings. of the day and that Joe Nye, josée says he is a living legend. and that's what you are joe a legend that lives on if you can keep the two together for a few more years you know we're making a merry world sometimes named 3rd most influential 6th but influential and 10th most influential i ask sc Hello world, that's not bad, there are reasons for that because Joe has been involved in so many problems over such a long period of time in such an intelligent and effective manner and with such great communication skills that he with Bob Cohen in the decade from 1970 sailed through the entire plot. about interdependence and complex interdependence in those inte
resting in that inte
resting decade called the 1970s that some of us can remember well but most of you can't because he went around wrote a book on issues of American decline and then Joe the guy came to the big power soft power, which was a term that he coined in 2004 and this is one of these academic ideas that he took off and I think most of you probably heard about that, which was a degree since you're all here this afternoon power smooth smart power what kind of power the power get the power to lead the power of the future Joe has done in orange come back he is a great communicator and we are looking forward to what he has at all LSC friend and a very old friend of mine very kind to say
globalpower and a changing
westand the rest no one better to talk to than Professor Joe Nye Harvard University welcome once again to the london school of economics thank you very much bic thats for that overly nice introduction i must say i must warn you when people call my house when my kids were growing up they say their doctor and i always said yes there but he is not the one helpful kind so caveat emptor has asked me to say something about
globalpower changing the
orderand the rest and the
westand there are a lot of people in this audience that i see here who know as much if not more about that than i do but let me give you any ideas. and then we can have some time with our questions and answers to really talk about it or have different points of view about it.
Let me start by defining terms. I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this, but for me, power is ability. and to affect others to get the results you want so if you think of power in that sense as that definition then it's basically three ways that you can affect others to get the results you want you can do through coercion through payment or through attraction. and persuasion, and in that sense we need to think about power in all these ways, certainly when I was studying power at Oxford or studying international relations years ago, maybe ancient history, as Mick says.
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global power in a shifting international order the west and the rest...
I remember listening to AJP Taylor's wonderful lectures from him and for Taylor a power. and power itself was the ability to prevail in war and I think it's still relevant but it's not all that power is or matters so if you think about Tayler's question addressed in his classic book, the struggle for dominance in Europe, a great power was a country that was more likely to prevail in a European war, but many people have said that in the current age, the information age, sometimes the history of who wins whose arm. and victories and maybe that ability to have a winning army and a winning story or the fact that the successful narrative is the secret to power, but in any case with that defining definition, let me just say that as we look at what's happening in the power in today's world. there really is, as I argued in my book, the future of power, two big ships going, one of which is a change, if you like, you can think of it as horizontal from one set of states to another set of states and this is sometimes calls the emergence of the rest which we're going to focus on but equally important and I'll get to this later in my talk there is a second power ship
shiftingfrom state to non-state actors or you can think of that as a vertical shift and in a way that is more complex or difficult to understand than the first change the horizontal change and at the end of my talk I will try to relate those two types of changes and indicate what that suggests for the future power now what does it mean IR theory tells us about the increase from the rest or power transitions long before I answer that question let me say that it is very conventional to talk about the power of the BRICS and in that same defining sense let me say that I think co In all deference to Jim O'Neill for coming up with a term that is very good for investors who wanted to make money in the stock markets as a political concept, BRICS is not really a very useful concept, the reason why it is not useful it's because you take a declining power, Russia, and combine it with rising powers, that of the others and leave out some other emerging powers like Indonesia, etc., so I don't think it did.
It's also fascinating to see that the Russians latched on to the concept, it's a clever acronym to start the first thrashing of the BRIC countries in Yekaterina make a lot of noise in 2009, so it's useful for those kinds of diplomatic purposes, but if we're really trying Instead of talking analytically about changes in the world, I think the term brick is not a useful concept for the way we do it, although it is now widely used and basically involves countries, some of which are our pluralistic democracies Great Britain Brazil India South Africa with countries that are relatively autocratic China and Russia, but I think the most important thing is that these countries have deep internal differences. and the Russian case really is different Russia and this is not an anti-Russian comma because I hope it's not true, yes I mean I hope they do something so that what I had to say now is a self-fulfilling fallacy but Russia is a country that it's basically a one crop economy with a serious demographic problem and a terrible health problem the average russian man dies at 60 there is no other developed country in the world where that is true now there are solutions in principle for that and when Medvedev he was president suggested some but they couldn't implement them so i think russia is a country that has very serious problems i hope they can cure them but to group them with say china and india etc just in brazil it just isn't analytically what we need, the other thing of course about the BRICS is that most of it is really about China and if you take the economy more and more half is China and China is an extraordinary case, maybe the chinese in three decades have lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and have done an extraordinary job of increasing the scale of their overall economy, that's why you don't want an analysis concept that loves russia with the problems it has with china and calling it something called BRICS, well enough for my definitions of power and the rest are not BRICS etc so I think the main thing we need to focus on for IR theory is what does it mean when you have a transition from type that we are seeing now if this horizontal change of power that I have spoken of and in particular allows me to focus on China, I mean that there are many countries involved in the transition?
But let me focus particularly on China, then China's role, and then the relationship with the US. What tools do we have in international relations theory? Well, we often use the term hegemony and we have two versions of hegemony theories, one is the Hegemonic Transition Theory. the other is the theory of hegemonic stability, well, a theory of hegemonic transition, suppose you could say that Robert Gilpin's work is a there's a good example of this, it goes back to two cities of the famous lucidity and explanation of the origins of the Peloponnesian War that was caused. because of the rise and the power of athens and the fear that it created in sparta and there has been an intention to say that when you have a hegemonic transition of this type where a rising power creates fear in an established power it is likely to lead to conflict and To give you an example, even people often cite World War I, the emerging power of Germany, and the fear it created in Britain, which is actually a pretty simplified view of the origins of World War I, but they are often few the editorialists and others, but if you look at the world today, there are a number of people who say that the growing power of China will create fear in the US, which will lead to conflict and I guess among our colleagues who think of this John Mearsheimer, who would be closest to someone who has expressed, as always, John expresses things extremely clearly, whether they're right or wrong, it's always clear and John has said and his words are that China is not it can rise up peacefully so there's a prediction there it's pretty clear and it's based on if you want a theory of hegemonic transition of the kind that Robert Gilpin outlined 30 or 40 years ago now so a tool that we have to understand this shift of global power and the West and the rest is hegemonic transition theory the other is ironically almost the opposite hegemonic stability theory and this is often associated with Charles Kindleberger the famous MIT economist and basically what Kindleberger said is that a hegemony is needed, there must be a state that can act in the role of hegemony to be able to provide public goods for the world and when hegemonic transition is disputed when there is no hegemonic stability, then those public goods will not be provided and Tarn Kindleberger used to use the example of Great Britain and the United States written average weakened since World War I United States strengthened since World War I Britain could no longer provide the public goods free trade a stable monetary system and so on that it had provided when it was pre-eminent, but the Americans hadn't grown, the Americans weren't ready to take on that responsiveness, so essentially the big problem with collective goods, as everyone knows, is the free rider problem, why pay for anything? if you can ride the bus for free and Americans were Free Riders, then when you kindle hamburgered you, the problems of the 1930s were a problem of hegemonic stability, the absence of a hegemony and t The fact that the country that had become the most powerful had not grown up, so to speak, was not prepared to take on this role, led to the conditions of the Great Depression which, of course, led to the disastrous political consequences of Hitler, etc. in a story that everyone knows well, so we have this this tool are these two tools related to hegemonic transition hegemonic stability that we use in our theory but one of the problems I have with them is that it's never really clear how we define the term what it's a hegemon from fellow and trending bobko hain if you look at his book after hegemony which was basically arguing that maybe kindleberger wasn't exactly right, that maybe you could have public goods provided by institutions which i agree with Co, you expect that, but even in your book on after a Jevon you will find that if one place in the book talks about hegemony is a country with preponderant resources somewhere else a hegemony is a country able to keep the rules well I mean good country, weighted resources can make rules, but actually those are quite different definitions, one is a definition in terms of power resources, the other is a definition in terms of power behavior and those are not always the same, for example if you look at the United States and you say that when in the 20th century the United States was the most preponderant in energy resources, it would probably be of 19 45 to 1960 then everyone else was weakened by WWII the US made the US stronger if you knew some people asked me 40 to 50 percent of world product in 1945 who was the only country in possession of nuclear weapons and so on so clearly by a measure of power resources this was the peak of hegemony in terms of make the rules or get what you want behavior the usa in that period of his ultimate behavior couldn't stop communism from coming to china couldn't stop stalin from getting nukes couldn't stop fidel castro from coming to power just off our coast so here we were at l at the peak of our powerhegemonic by a measure for Germany and in terms of behavioral outcomes we weren't doing very well it's not like these were trivial issues these were major issues so we have to be very careful when talking about hegemony to ask ourselves are we defining in terms of resources in terms of behavior because they are often not exactly the same thing.
The other point is that when people make predictions based on these theories of hegemonic stability or hegemonic transition they sometimes neglect the role of human agency or leadership. I published a book called Political Leadership and the Making of the American Era and what I did in this book was go back and look at the 20th century and ask the question that presided over it. The important items were imported by the feeders, so one way to think about it is in the early 20th century, the United States is the second great power. By the end of the 20th century, the United States is the world's only superpower.
Some people would say that was inevitable. if you have a continental economy of scale in two oceans and weak neighbors are going to pass, everything is structural if that is true, does it matter then who was president? Maybe presidents don't matter at all, so what I did in this book was go back and look at the periods of expansion of American power in the 20th century and look at the presidents who were crucial in the decisions. what they did and then and they asked you if you made a counterfactual story and you said let's assume this person was not president and the next most likely person was president instead of knowing what their preferences are and what decisions they would make if the outcome had been different so if looking back, you know Willie, if McKinley hadn't been assassinated, there never would have been a Teddy Roosevelt president, the Republican establishment hated Roosevelt, they viewed him as a cowboy if Teddy Roosevelt hadn't run for a third term in 2012, which he once promised not to, but he did and split the republican vote so that William Howard Taft was defeated and Woodrow Wilson could enter as president with a minority vote, he never would have.
Woodrow Wilson has been a president and if Franklin Roosevelt hadn't decided to change his vice president in 1944 and replace Harry Truman with Henry Wallace there would never have been a Harry a president Harry Truman and so on so what I do is a counterfactual story and go back in history and ask what difference the leaders made and the conclusion I came to is that about half of the leaders didn't matter, but about half made some decisions that were absolutely crucial to the results and therefore the people who are Predicting power shifts in hegemony or preponderance of resources only in structure, what most structural realists like to do, is to lose the role of human agency and I think one of the problems What we have in RI is that we often get so enamored with our structural model that 'I have maintained that agency is important and there are some decisions those of the agency that are of crucial importance.
I mean, let me give you one as an example in 1955, the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the United States. d The states recommended to Dwight Eisenhower that he use nukes, tactical nukes, whatever that meant against China because otherwise it would be impossible to defend chemo and Matsu, which are just off the coast of China. Eisenhower's comment was oh my gosh, we can't use those. things about Asian kids again ten years from now quite extraordinary comment on a moral sentiment if you will or a moral choice imagine he hadn't been Eisenhower but Douglas MacArthur another WWII hero who had become president instead of Eisenhower which is not a crazy idea because MacArthur Guan could become president MacArthur would have used nuclear weapons what would the world be like today if instead of a 70 year taboo against the use of nuclear weapons if we had nuclear weapons used every 10 years as weapons normal tactics or less than 10 years to be a very different world which is a case of human agency making a big difference and just measuring resources a And thinking in structural terms doesn't quite get it.
It always amuses me that, according to Walter Isaacson in his biography of Henry Kissinger. Kissinger when he taught at Harvard believed that international relations were structural, he replied, but after serving in the government. changed his position so where he stands on this question of structure and agency obviously where he stands depends on where he sits but I guess my point is that the theories we use on IR hegemonic transition or edge monic stability they measure them particularly in terms of the preponderance of resources and the structural terms don't really capture all that we need to know to make a good international relations theory and describe this changing international order, the west and the rest, so I think we should be very careful to bring if you want the first image back on the paper of the individuals, as I said about half of the presidents mistreated another half, didn't it turn out that they weren't really the ones you or at least expected the issue but that is believed to be not the topic of tonight, but there is also a problem with the narratives that it uses to explain the context of the change that is occurring and one of the dominant narratives that's used now is the decline of the West or the decline of the United States, I mean decline is a very powerful metaphor and you know we were raised with the decline and fall of the Roman Empire in mind and you know you have the wonderful work of Paul Kennedy, the rise and fall of the Great Powers, and so when one looks at this power shift that's happening in the horizontal power shift that I described today, it's very tempting to say, well , you know it's the American decline and so decline is a trope, a very popular topic that is used again and again by editorialists or speakers on TV or even some academics and I think it's a pretty misleading decline.
I think it doesn't really help us understand what the nature of US power is and where the US is in the world if you go back to Paul Kennedy's book Rise and Fall the Great Powers which, by the way, is the book that I responded to when I wrote to lead back in 1990. Paul was of the view that there was a cycle and that the United States was in a position in the cycle that was similar to, say, Philip the second Spain or guardian Britain, etc. ., and used the term imperial over extension and intuitively satisfies the sense that it means as a country expands it becomes in quotes the more be hegemonic, whatever that means, as it expands it commits more and more resources to your external position, both military and aid and propping up the allies and the rest of this, so that as you dedicate more and more resources of this, you starve your own internal economy and eventually get To Joseph Chamberlain, imperially overc argado, he wouldn't like you to know that he started worrying about this and late 19th century britain, so paul talks about imperial overload and the argument is that americans suffer from i imperial overload the problem is that it's actually a pretty good model to explain one of the superpowers the soviet union but not the other let me give you the reason why the soviet union got to a point where almost a quarter of its gross domestic product was spent on maintaining their empire or their military position, which is a huge burden meanwhile, the Soviet economy nationwide was not coping with the so-called third industrial revolution, the development of the information age and information technology , so imperial overload is a pretty good explanation of what happened to the Soviet Union it's not a very good explanation of what happened to the United States today. s America spends about five percent of its gross domestic product on its external burdens to include both military and diplomats and all at the height of the Cold War the US spent 10 percent so if the imperial overload it is the model of what is happening to american power, excuse me, the curves are going in the wrong direction, the theory and the data don't fit, that doesn't stop people from theorizing, but it seems to me that if we are careful from the point of view Analytically, we're not going to apply imperial overextension to what's happening to the United States, so I think the decline metaphor in that version isn't very helpful in that sense, it's not very helpful in that sense either. that the metaphor of decline has an implicit idea of something that is a life cycle that we can know what the life cycle of a country is power a great power anything we can know the life cycle of an individual human being is very rare may any of us know to live past 120 defend we usually have influence in our eighties or sixty ten so i can look you in the eye and assure you i have been rejected you can check my date of birth may be a very strong proposition, but if you ask me, what is the prospect of America being in decline because it has gone through a natural life cycle that none of us know of and it is not impossible to know the great example of this? it was Horace Walpole in the 18th century who said who Britain is after the loss of the North American colonies, we are now reduced to a miserable island like Sardinia which was on the eve of Britain's greatest century which was fueled by the Industrial Revolution so we don't We don't know what the life cycle of a country is and even if we thought we did you don't know what the length of the periods in the cycle are so if you look at the Roman Empire we do know retrospectively about the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, but it's worth remembering that it took me three centuries to go from the heyday to the final collapse, so we don't know where the United States is in terms of a life cycle, so we use a term like decline, we should be careful not to let the metaphor shape how we project the future, I mean, even if Americans decline one day, I don't know, next year or a century from now, I don't have I have no idea and I don't think most of the people who write about it do either.
Now one question you might ask is is the United States experiencing an absolute decline in its American power, an absolute decline and there you can say you know what we know about certain features you always have a lot of problems early on, but if you look at The American economy today you know in terms of the world's top universities the number of Nobel laureates the amount of R&D you know you can do across a whole series of measures of creativity that's going on in the American economy and if you compare that to, say ancient Rome, which had no productivity and was torn apart by internal warfare, it's really a very different situation, so an absolute decline model as a blow it is very useful to me, more interesting would be the relative decline and that is where c Go to this ascent of the rest if you think of this as a sit uation where the Americans are here and for now we'll use China but China was here and as China closes that gap you can describe it as the rise of the rest or you can divulge it or you can describe that narrowing gap as a relative decline even though the US doesn't change assume it doesn't change so you know you can use relative decline terminology or you can use remainder increase terminology I think it's more useful to use the term remainder increase and ratio is that even if the rest closed the gap with the United States it doesn't necessarily mean they will pass although it is that a closing gap could be seen as a relative decline not necessarily show that I outperform now people can look at me and say oh my gosh how can you saying that when everyone knows that China will have a bigger economy than the US within a decade and the answer is that there is too much of what I call cheap talk about IP b? due to a population size of GDP let's assume that's the only measure of economic power and that's the only measure of power and they're just not the case when China's GDP exceeds the US's. power parity or rates of Instead, it doesn't matter too much from the point that I'm going to say, it doesn't mean that China will have an economy equivalent to the US in terms of sophistication, which you might want to measure by income per capita and when China passes over to the US.
This per capita income will be about the level of the US in 1930 so there is a big gap, one measure China will have economic power by the size of its economy which is one measure of population size by another extent though china will still be pretty poor and much less sophisticated as an economy so just in measuring economic power the fact that china will have a higher GDP in don't tell me how many years you want to choose from doesn't prove that china will have more economic power and much less that it has more general power, for example if you look at the military from the heart China is increasingits capacity, it's been increasing its military budget by that 10% a year or more and it has higher capacity and once had the idea that it will have the capacity to challenge the United States as a global military power within the next 10 30 years from now it's not very likely and then if you look at soft power, the third dimension, I'll talk about economic power and military power, soft power for the third power, this ability to attract other s China is investing very much on increasing its soft power and the two Jintao said at the 17th Party Congress in 2007 that China should increase its soft power and has been spending billions of dollars on this very interesting new book by David Shumwall on China as a global power which has a great chapter showing how China is making these efforts to increase its soft power.
One of the problems with China and soft power is that they are unwilling to realize that much of a country's soft power is not produced by the government. but by civil society and as long as China closely regulates civil society it's tying up their ability to generate soft power so to give you an example I use the speech I gave to Peking University if you look at 2010 when it had the shanghai expo which is a wonderful expo if you ever visited it you couldn't get out of it without appreciating chinese culture it was a wonderful thing china did after generating soft power through its successful olympics and the world expo in shanghai Shanghai locked in the bow and let the world see an empty chair on stage in Oslo called stepping on its own message in the advertising world, but in other words, until China is able to unleash the society and that's going to be very difficult to do if the nature of control by the Communist Party remains as it is China will not be able to match the US and soft power will only be able to generate a lot of streaming s by the government is not the form of credibility you need during the soft hour so if we go back to basics I argue that it is because China's GDP is even greater than the US China has surpassed the US Excuse me, no, in one measure, if you want to call it GE theism, China will be bigger than us, but in GDP per capita, another measure of each increasing power in military power and soft power, no, not China it will catch up with the US for quite a long time and in case you doubt my word, I had an occasion last year to meet with the premier of China and his comment is that it will take at least 30 years for us to catch up with the United States.
United States, but in one case, this is not to argue that China hasn't done an extraordinary job, as I said before, it's to argue that people are using this rise of China and the idea that China is outpacing the US to predict a hegemonic transition that will be violent I think they are basically wrong Two if China were like Germany challenging Britain in 1914 then it could generate a degree of fear that could lead to the kind of cycle Thucydides originally described, but if China is in fact going to be well behind the US in question decades, then there's no reason for Americans to be so afraid, we don't have to overreact when Britain was trying to understand what was going on with German foreign policy.
Germany had already surpassed Britain in 1900 in manufacturing power, what is it? 1906 when Air Crowe writes his famous memo saying how the hell we understand German politics, you know, stirring up the whole world in these strange ways and therefore we have to answer to German capability because we can't understand German intentions that was a situation where fear had a powerful effect if China is, as I say, 30 years behind the US even 10 years 20 years behind the US it's not like Britain and Germany in 1919 14 , Americans don't have to respond with that kind of fearful response, so if Hegemonic Transition Theory depends on the rise of X's power, the fear it creates, and why, then it's not clear to me that the rise of X's power China actually believes that Mearsheimer likes fear in the United States in any case, so I think the problem of hegemonic transition has been overstated in terms of predicting the conflict of China's rise and the effects it will have.
It will be in the US but let me wrap this up in the next five minutes because I say I should close at 7:20 going back to the issue of hegemonic stability and the problem of public goods and the problems that this second shift that I described creates. the vertical shift from state to non-state actors and what we see there is there has been an extraordinary information revolution it's not the first time the world has seen an information revolution in Gutenberg you saw this before but if y u look Moore's Law, the ability to double the number of transistors on a chip every 18 months or so, has led to an extraordinary shift in reducing the costs of computing power, such that, say, between 1970 and 2000 , the last quarter or so of In the 20th century, the cost of computing decreased a thousand times, that's very abstract and sometimes I use an example to illustrate if the cost of a car would have decreased as quickly as the c Given the computing power, I would buy a car today for around £15 at any time. the price of something or technology goes down that drastically the barriers to entry go down so people who were priced out of the market in the 70s can now participate in say in the 1970s if you wanted to have the ability to make a call telephone from London to Beijing to Johannesburg to Brasilia and to Washington simultaneously, it could do it technologically, it could do it, it was very, very expensive and therefore price rationed to things like governments or multinationals. national corporations today, any of you can do it for free on skype, so a barrier to participation has been thrown up, a major barrier has fallen, or to give you another example, back in the 1970s when I was working in the Carter Administration, one of the great secrets we have. was that we could take a picture of anywhere on earth with 1 meter resolution and we spent billions of dollars today any of you can go to Google Earth and get a better image for free so the price is out of the market does not mean that governments are suddenly obsolete, on the contrary, what it does mean is that there are many more actors capable of crowding the stage and non-state actors can now do things that were previously reserved only for governments and that leads to a situation where there are many new transnational problems created by non-state actors crossing borders outside the control of governments and those are problems where, in fact, collective action is going to be needed to deal with these collective ills or if you want their alternative for collective goods, I sometimes use this metaphor of a three-dimensional chessboard in which the top chessboard of military power is the world. it is still unipolar, there is no other power capable of projecting military power globally, but in the middle chessboard of economic relations between states, the world is multipolar and has been for a couple of decades, this is the field in which, when Europe acts as an entity, it's actually bigger than the US, but on the bottom chessboard of transnational relationships things that happen outside of governments' control, whether it's financial transactions that exceed the budgets of some countries, climate change, pandemics or terrorism, these types of problems, these transnational problems are often generated by non-state actors and states can only deal with the ability to organize collective activity, there is no way that Any one state can deal with this hegemon alone or not, so we have to think about the second aspect that I described.
Charlie Kindle's hamburger hegemonic stability theory. I'm less concerned as I suggested about the hegemonic transition leading to a battle between the US and China, there could be a battle between us, people make mistakes of mystical formations, I mean it's not totally out of the question, but that I am less concerned than the question of how we are dealing with the shift of power to non-state actors and if we are, will I be able to organize myself to create the institutional structures, whether formal institutions or informal networks, to deal with the collective goods problems that are generated? because of this vertical shift of power which to me is an issue that actually worries me more than I am concerned about Gilpin Mearsheimer's traditional transition of power back and forth, so while we're dealing with the issue that makes it mean the global power that changes the international order, I think we want to remember that power has a zero-sum dimension in which you act on others and that continues e still relevant, since maintaining a balance of power in, say, the South China Sea or the East China Sea, it's still very important that it tends to be zero Sun, but there's also power with others, as well as power over others, and that's where collective action comes in or another way of saying it to go back to my original definition if power is the ability to affect others to get the results you want. and many of the problems that we are faced with, such as international financial stability, climate change, pandemics, transnational terrorism, our problems that we cannot handle alone, then we can only be successful if others are also successful only if we have power with others not just power over others and one of the big challenges in dealing with the issue that we are thinking about about the changes that are taking place is whether we are ready to think clearly about this power with and about v.
Vertical Responses to Vertical Change and Horizontal Change Not long ago, the National Intelligence Council that I once headed issued a report on what they thought the world would be like in 2030 and what they said was that the US is not going to recover. primacy or hegemony if that term was used that it had in the 20th century but it is going to be the leading state it is going to be a premise interpare what is different with the rise of the rest is that we are going to have to pay more attention to the stops and the The US is going to have to learn to work with others better than it does now if it's going to deal with things that are very important to our citizens and to others in terms of being global public goods, so for me the challenge The question we face in responding to this is how we are to adjust our thinking about global power and a changing international order so that we do not get caught up in traditional metaphors of decline or stretching period or threats surging.
China's rising power gene and so on and you can also think about the question of whether V will be able to create both the formal and informal institutions to deal with the public goods problems that this vertical shift is creating for us. Back to me, that's really the nitty-gritty of the question, so thank you very much. much for your time it's a damp it was fantastic and a fantastic conclusion to my day and a fantastic opening to what I think will be a great discussion and I'm going to start Joe you're right factually you're right and Our conclusions are solidly optimistic and liberal.
The way politicians in Washington and Beijing are thinking these days is my concern. We could do well together, but I'm concerned that whatever you say in objective terms, the power of what you know isn't changing in the way you talk about China, which is much weaker than it appears to be, blah blah, blah america shouldn't be afraid and china shouldn't be pressing hard on the ground it seems a bit more problematic now is this mr perception is understanding or whatever every time i go to a conference now john mearsheimer he never looks so happy i mean he continues as i told you so you know why i was arguing this against the great Basinski a few years ago about the inevitable. conflicts of transition of power, so I agree with his analysis, the question is if mr. leadership in Beijing listening to you or someone else and all the people in Washington really starting to think that there is a decline in the US and China is on the rise and I reply that the tilt towards Asia, the pivot towards Asia, is at least interpreted in some circles as a response to what is perceived as the rise of China and is triggering that security dilemma that it is trying to solve. avoid let's start with that and then open up to the rest of us yeah well your points are very good to make in the sense that you know that's why as I said in this book just structural explanations are not proper business of human agency. and people who make the wrong decision or have misperceptions or miscalculate and write off things that structurally shouldn't happen, in fact you could argue that this is counterfactual, that World War I really isn't just a structural issue, it also involves certain accounts in the miscalculations the leaders made i mean basically i think the germans felt it was better to have the war before the railways were builtwhich allowed the russians to bring their troops to the front ier the Schlieffen Plan with them are obsolete anyway, the point is that people make calculations and miscalculations, so you could imagine for example when in the China Sea Oriental, a worried situation, the local Chinese ship captain does something that is not designed by the people of Beijing, but faces the people in Beijing. in a tough situation to back off and lose face or take a solid alternative, he says, so that's not a funny example in 2010, you may remember there was a Chinese fishing boat that hit a Japanese Coast Guard ship and it wasn't something under orders. from Beijing it turns out the fishing captain was drunk but once it happened it was impossible for the leadership in Beijing to say 'oh forget it' and it ended up leading China to embargo rare minerals exported to Japan and a turn in Japanese opinion strongly in the Chinese at a time when Japanese opinion was actually something more than Billington's theory, some politicians in Japan had made some efforts to improve relations with China, so as one of my Japanese friends said, the China's behavior in respondents strongly to this was an own goal, although it really hurt China more than it helped, but from the point of view, a Chinese leader says: Am I going to be criticized in the blogosphere and in the bureaucracy? by being weak and giving in to the Japanese not so you can get I mean I didn't mean by my description to give a Pollyanna view of the world but and that's again the recent purchase In this new book I put a lot emphasis on the interaction between structure and agency.
What I am saying is that it is structural. I don't see the need for this, so if we can persuade people that's the case, but it's not like Britain in 1914 or whatever. so maybe I don't have the stories of misperceptions and miscalculations for the surprises and so I'm not predicting I'm just writing the structural circulatory ability okay let's lose the let's say I wish it was the people yeah com e in we go we go right in the middle here to profess it equally I want to bring I'm just going to pick two people I know the fastest and then I don't know I know danny we start professor danny crowes a part of the economy here okay okay thank you very much , teacher.
I'm intrigued by your restatement of a Gemini stability theory in your description of a horizontal power shift to a vertical power shift and part of the idea here of course is that by moving to vertical power. change of dimension, we make it much clearer what are the global public goods that hegemony should attempt, but I wonder if they are one of the real problems with hegemony stability theory as a way of understanding that IRs are relatively few and distant. among those issues where we can agree on what is the global public good it is true that no one wants pandemics it is true that we do not want more international terrorism but in terms of something like international financial stability, our opinions differ greatly on the measures that are they need to restore global international financial stability to have hegemonic power that is justified through hegemony instability theory seems to be problematic well I think that's a very good point and I also think if you look at the answer to the financial crisis of 2008, which was largely made in America, the failure of MidAmerican what The interesting thing is that the way that the Obama administration responded was a way that it started to attract other states, so the use of the creation and use of the G20, but also the discussion on the realignment of quotas in the IMF are basically forms, I mean.
Americans are slowly learning I would say this is an example of his learning that John Ikenberry uses here tonight and he has written very well on this which I If there is something about the opening of American hegemony, an opening in the sense of willingness to share power and help others. A part of the set. Some of the rules. in a simplistic way and say that we are Britain and we are all good, then I think that would not be very optimistic, but the idea that Americans can learn to share more power is totally not. I mean there are a lot of limits to the way they do things I think it's a source of some optimism so I think your point is well understood directly very universe Mike downturn you I was going to ask what do you think in a changing international order the national structure of the west and the rest could make a difference in their soft power capabilities as we have seen recently there has been a highly publicized hunger strike in Guantanamo Bay where over 100 people are on hunger strike but if they are hun dreds the chinese prisoners go on hunger strike in the middle of the forest they make a sound and obviously there are constraints on the budget if the relative balance is changing and the west must release the budget and develop more scrutiny than the ranks that potentially affect the soft power capabilities and also, if I may another question, China has been very successful in soft power in West Africa, especially mind and in other parts of the developing world so do you think the west still has a chance to keep any software and we have great in US soft power I think Guantanamo damaged it so I mean I think that there are things and if you really look at before the invasion of Iraq, you could gauge the attractiveness of the United States. 30 points per country in all Western European countries and dropped even more than that in Muslim countries, so it can seed actions Americans take to reduce American soft power.
But at the same time, a lot of American soft power comes from non-state civil society actors, so the fact that people can protest against American policies but still want to go to American universities is something that indicates the diversity. nature of the sources of American soft power. I hate the Chinese they're the ones who haven't gotten to that point with the unleashing of civil society so the Chinese got a certain amount of soft power from the success of their economy it's a model that appeals to others that's In your West African case, they also get a certain amount of soft power from their culture, it's a very Chinese traditional culture, very attractive, so these Confucius Institutes can create attraction, but when they lock you in, Weiwei or Leo will bow down.
You're just not going to race in Paris or London, you might not do too bad in Lagos or in the car, I don't know, but in terms of the countries, which are probably the biggest in terms of p oor, I think the The Chinese are going to say they can have some degree of soft power which is important I'm not belittling that but it's not clear if it's going to be greater than American or British soft power when you put it on the larger scale so actually I don't care much about Chinese activities in Africa I'm serious Africans can mind their own thinking and I don't think the fact that there's a pull to the Chinese situation sometimes abetted by Chinese aid you know I think which to me is not a huge concern that is not a permanent factor so i think there is a i think americans should be more careful how they herd their soft power was a good case but are we going to lose a battle of white power do with china in africa or elsewhere?
I don't believe it. Alright. I'm going to take this here. I'm going to take three, make them shorten it, quick, good. ind thanks yes mr. Caballero, you mentioned very briefly the role of digital diplomacy or this online space that a lot of people say is an extension of the public sphere for the same reasons that you said it comes down to the cost of entry and that a lot of people can do. but at the same time you mentioned that generating a broadcast by the government doesn't give you credibility, so I wonder if you can comment on all these digital diplomacy efforts, for example, by the UK, by the US, by non-state actors and at the same time, when you have media organizations, for example, like Al Jazeera, that are also taking advantage of the online and media space to project their own variations of soft power, it's not sexual and there's something, yes , please, sir, yes, that's great, no. good question i want as many people as possible for kevin thats whats good thank you very much for the interesting talk my name is jim blowhole from overseas development institute my elaboration is similar to professor qua s and its about global public goods and if the legitimacy of being cashman is about one's ability and willingness to provide sustainable global public goods to the rest of the world, how do you think the formation of the BRIC economy is going to make a contribution? to that especially economically stop me thank you thank you very much in green hello my name is Sarah just a quick question about the importance of democracy and creating soft power or at least dispossessing a soft power and asking yourself if the final sacrifice of the Chinese administration of China. there will be a transition to democracy before China can really wield any kind of soft power in the world great yeah well on the first question about changes in communication technology, the existence of the internet, the blogosphere, the Twitterosphere, etc. things are much more complicated and it's very interesting if you're trying to do public diplomacy as a government and you're doing it just for br oadcasting the big danger is that in an information age where there are such a plethora of information sources resources scarce attention and the focus is on credibility and the government broadcast is not always very credible a rare exception to this i think is the bbc and one of the reasons why the bbc maintains credibility is because it is capable of biting the hand that feeds her now that there is self-criticism is from her country is a way of maintaining credibility so it's not that the government broadcast can't generate any soft car I think Britain proves it can but if you ask with the efforts of China, but I'm using the example of China, but I don't want to say that you can do it for other countries as well if you take these big spending on CCTV and it becomes CNN or take if you take for that matter be zeroes out if you consider the voice of the Masters then you have no credibility and don't build soft power so if you're doing some smart public diplomacy nowadays I really want to find out how the Twittersphere is used in the blogosphere to get a lot of voices from citizens to citizens.
The problem is that because it is very uncomfortable for ministers in Parliament who say wait a minute, you are saying a foreign service official. Her Majesty's Government criticized Guantánamo, you know that publicly on the Twittersphere and if you don't allow that, you don't get the credibility, so there's the problem, how do you organize public diplomacy today? It has to go beyond broadcasting, but once we go beyond broadcasting, you have all the issues of democratic accountability and it's not an easy issue now on the issue of global public goods and can the BRICS contribute to the goods global audiences. public goods yes can India yes Brazil yes in kind I guess Russia could if it wanted to invoke the resources for it but as an entity the BRICS announced an investment bank to be a rival develop a bank to be a rival I guess to the World Bank, but it doesn't seem to have taken off and in principle I guess you could say that the BRICS as an organization could contribute to global public goods that we haven't already seen on the issue of democracy and China if China becomes democratic , so the constraint that I saw or described on Chinese soft power would presumably go away if it was democratic, it would unleash its civil society and an unleashed Chinese civil society would be like a Liberated British, French, American, German civil society, some good things and some things bad ones make you think of American civil society, there are some aspects that are attractive, there are some that are treated about culture American, but China would be like others and it wouldn't be I have the problem that I described which is the fact that you can't, you can't let it go, no, I was giving a speech in Shanghai and a student stood up at the University of Fudan and said: how do we increase the Chinese soft p?
Ower and I said to relax it didn't help me much What did he say and he said is it ok? He was quiet yes yes the back of it from st. Jude again and I'll pick up some more, okay, yeah, thank you very much, um, I had a question about picking up on Fess Cox's question, actually, about whether human agency will find fulfillment in the relatively positive that we present. was really around. I mean it seems to me like the US is following the only credible strategy that the race was testing and engaging and covering at the same time, but striking the right balance so clearly that the trick and what I haven't seen is an articulation of what a peaceful accommodation of China as a regional power actually looks like inAsia-Pacific what commitments will be required on each side and will you cite both sides who are willing to make them do you have an opinion on what they might consider that?
Okay, commitments in the region, yes, one of the front bodies, so I profess and my name is for each one. later I just want to take it away from China for a second and go back to your point about the monstah act as you mentioned now sharing the stage with the States and take the specific example maybe or a growing trend particularly in the MENA region whereby you have non-actors states that in reality, have now transitioned and have become state actors, so many of the United States, as interlocutors in the countries after the Arab revolution, were previously oppressed by the same regimes in the United States. for many decades he deliberately stayed in power and how he felt he knew those particular cases could play out specifically, we've had to do it with reference to the US encouraging these nascent states to understand representative government in the way that The US, Europe and most of the West get it and they called it liberal democracy ok yeah I'm the first how can you imagine the deal with China?
A certain amount of deal is already taking place. It means that Americans are complaining bitterly about China's undervalued currency, and basically, if you look at the situation, about 90 percent of that problem is solved now, you may get objections from economists. I mean to solve it in part through some adjustments in the exchange rate. Part B by inflation. but certainly the US and China have had strategic economic dialogue going back several years and in that process you know in the end you don't say geez we just agreed on everything which is weird in the press conference but if you look at the question net of whether China's exchange rate is still severely undervalued that it's hurting US industry I know my colleagues say I'm an economist so I'm a better people to judge I'm talking about 8090 percent of the problems but I solved them in the last few years, so there's an example of hosting, but one area where I think we should put more effort into is energy. and the climate China builds a new coal plant every week CO2 is a collective bad the global public bad and if we could help China develop its shale gas capabilities by helping to ease any export restrictions on technologies related to Hydraulic fracturing and Horizontal drilling could cut China's intake admissions, sorry, emissions in half without slowing its growth rate. off, so I think energy and climate would be one area that I would put quite a bit of emphasis on another area of adaptation on the issue of non-state actors in the Middle East.
It's interesting. If you look at the experience of Tahrir Square, what was called the Arab Spring two years ago, you had a generation of people who were empowered by new technology to overcome collective action problems who could actually communicate with each other came together and They, as we saw, produced a situation where the Mubarak regime had to respond to an event where she left office, as it turned out that they didn't have the ability through Facebook or Twitter or whatever to organize political parties. . that could win in the election so if you ask did it produce a democracy it produced something different than it was before but I think the jury is still out on what will happen in terms of democracy but it is if you ask how should the US What's interesting to me is that Obama made a bet and when he was communicating with Mubarak he bet on the Tower Square generation and some people said a big mistake for example the Saudis they said this is a terrible thing to do and Obama basically made a bet that long term history was going to be on the side of the Tower Square generation we don't know if he made the right bet or not I mean it's too early to tell , but it's interesting that instead of following the traditional policies that like you described of siding with the autocrat stable because you know the autocrat stable took a different thing and I hope it works out.
I went to the balcony who's there who's got the first one there and one there and then there's a lady in the middle you know so I just accept this that can bring us together I apologize I've been trying to bring as many people as possible possible so yes please yes ok hi teacher and just a quick question. Russia brings up the topic of Russia in the context of global power shift where do you see Russia how can it use its soft power wisely and what can Russia do to achieve a positive image yes it's ok I believe and I'm sorry I'm so biased I'm terrible gentlemen , please, yes, so yes, I would like to go back to China and I would like to know if you say that the hegemonic translation of the theory should not be taken too seriously on the grounds that China still has a long way to go. going to match the United States in terms of its capabilities, how do you explain China's so-called new 1008 certificates?
I mean how do you explain the fact or how would you explain the Chinese intentions when it comes to the Senkaku Islands for example thank you? ok last question for the evening yes please yes my question is about local elected officials on the global stage. I think we see more of them because it's easier to be on the global stage. Do you consider that local elected officials on the global stage are not state actors or st ate actors and then what are the implications for state sovereignty and the balance of power in Russia. I think after the elections in Russia and Vladimir Putin won the elections, but he basically lost in the streets.
There was a generation that protested against him. and he basically resorted to nationalism to build domestic political support to delegitimize the protesters and I think that has been very damaging through Russian soft power. I mean, lock up these young Riot girls who made the song in the Cathedral, prosecuting people for the protests and so on. go ahead this is your russian soft power and i think it's a shame i mean if russia wanted to increase its soft power think of the glories of traditional russian culture, music, literature, paintings i mean there are many things that are attractive about Russia, but it is a pity to see that appealing to nationalist and xenophobic ways to maintain their internal political support has happened like this. about a foreign policy blog well why china and i sure don't have some power in some of my thoughts are explained in more detail there but i would like to see russia change its policy music i think it has many admirable characteristics of Admiral parachutist in China and the new assertiveness I think it happened after the year 2008 China grew at 10% per year USA was in a severe recession, there are many Chinese who thought that this showed that USA was in decline and China was growing and I think the new assertiveness was a miscalculation and I think it turned out to be quite costly for China actually if you look at China's relations with Japan, Korea, India and Korea and South Korea, India, Vietnam and several other countries, got much worse after this new assertiveness, so it was an expensive bet for China that the US was in decline that it was on the rise and the Chinese are beginning to realize that top leaders co begin to realize this in late 2011 a diving state councilor writes an essay saying maybe we should go back to dong Zhou Qing's advice take the time from him but I think before going back to that.
In his position, considerable damage had been done if you take the last question about local elected officials to mean that they are state actors, but they can also play a very important transnational role. he 1970s in Bob Kane and I coined this phrase transgovernmental relations away from parts of governments, not necessarily the top level of governments, but the lower bureaucracy, the lower elected officials can form coalitions across the state and can affect relations between states, in the sense that when you have let's say local government officials who go to conferences have different ways of communicating with each other in the blogosphere and whatever you become what we call government actors trans, the trans governing coalition, I think many of the problems that we face in terms of these problems created by the information revolution that what I call the vertical power ship will require transnational and transgovernmental coalitions to try to produce the networks that they will be helpful in solving them yes ok first of all i apologize so now the number of ma we are gone and I couldn't bring everyone so I try to bring as many but I apologize it's always good I think it's always a good idea to always end on a high note with a lot of hands up and none at all This has been a great day for us at as far as ideas It's been a great day discussing America Craig Calhoun said our new principal this morning we need to take America even more seriously what you're going to do in school and I think this is at least one of the contributions so that thanks for your many good questions but more importantly thanks for Joe Knight Joe is doing a lot of things but the one thing he's not doing right now he may have noticed he's slowing down so we can come together not to decline.
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