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  • Author: David Blagden
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The international system is returning to multipolarity—a situation of multiple Great Powers—drawing the post-Cold War 'unipolar moment' of comprehensive US political, economic and military dominance to an end. The rise of new Great Powers, namely the 'BRICs'—Brazil, Russia, India, and most importantly, China—and the return of multipolarity at the global level in turn carries security implications for western Europe. While peaceful political relations within the European Union have attained a remarkable level of strategic, institutional and normative embeddedness, there are five factors associated with a return of Great Power competition in the wider world that may negatively impact on the western European strategic environment: the resurgence of an increasingly belligerent Russia; the erosion of the US military commitment to Europe; the risk of international military crises with the potential to embroil European states; the elevated incentive for states to acquire nuclear weapons; and the vulnerability of economically vital European sea lines and supply chains. These five factors must, in turn, be reflected in European states' strategic behaviour. In particular, for the United Kingdom—one of western Europe's two principal military powers, and its only insular (offshore) power—the return of Great Power competition at the global level suggests that a return to offshore balancing would be a more appropriate choice than an ongoing commitment to direct military interventions of the kind that have characterized post-2001 British strategy.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Brazil
  • Author: Ramesh Thakur
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: India's nuclear breakout in 1998, foreshadowed as early as 1974, may have been understandable for reasons of global nuclear politics, a triangular regional equation between China, India and Pakistan, and domestic politics. Yet the utility of India's nuclear weapons remains questionable on many grounds. Nuclear deterrence is dubious in general and especially dubious in the subcontinent. Nuclear weapons are not usable as weapons of compellence or defence. They failed to stop the Pakistani incursion in Kargil in 1999 or the terrorist attack on Mumbai in 2008. They will not help India to shape the military calculations of likely enemies. And India's global status and profile will be determined far more crucially by its economic performance than nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, they do impose direct and opportunity costs economically, risk corrosion of democratic accountability, add to global concerns about nuclear terrorism, and have not helped the cause of global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. Because the consequences of a limited regional war involving India could be catastrophic for the world, others have both the right and a responsibility to engage with the issue. For all these reasons, a denuclearized world that includes the destruction of India's nuclear stockpile would favourably affect the balance of India's security and other interests, national and international interests, and material interests and value goals.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, China, India
  • Author: Brendan Taylor
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Japan has long been regarded as a central component of America's grand strategyin Asia. Scholars and practitioners assume this situation will persist in the face of China's rise and, indeed, that a more 'normal' Japan can and should take on anincreasingly central role in US-led strategies to manage this power transition. Thisarticle challenges those assumptions by arguing that they are, paradoxically, beingmade at a time when Japan's economic and strategic weight in Asian security isgradually diminishing. The article documents Japan's economic and demographicchallenges and their strategic ramifications. It considers what role Japan mightplay in an evolving security order where China and the US emerge as Asia's twodominant powers by a significant margin. Whether the US-China relationshipis ultimately one of strategic competition or accommodation, it is argued thatJapan's continued centrality in America's Asian grand strategy threatens to becomeincreasingly problematic. It is posited that the best hope for circumventing thisproblem and its potentially destabilizing consequences lies in the nurturing of anascent 'shadow condominium' comprising the US and China, with Japan as a'marginal weight' on the US side of that arrangement.
  • Topic: Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, America
  • Author: Evelyn Goh
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article argues that Japan matters crucially in the evolving East Asian security order because it is embedded both in the structural transition and the ongoing regional strategies to manage it. The post-Cold War East Asian order transition centres on the disintegration of the post-Second World War Great Power bargain that saw Japan subjecting itself to extraordinary strategic constraint under the US alliance, leaving the conundrum of how to negotiate a new bargain that would keep the peace between Japan and China. To manage the uncertainties of this transition, East Asian states have adopted a three-pronged strategy of: maintaining US military preponderance; socializing China as a responsible regional great power; and cultivating regionalism as the basis for a long-term East Asian security community. Japan provides essential public goods for each of these three elements: it keeps the US anchored in East Asia with its security treaty; it is the one major regional power that can and has helped to constrain the potential excesses of growing Chinese power while at the same time crucially engaging with and helping to socialize China; and its economic and political participation is critical for meaningful regionalism and regional integration. It does not need to be a fully fledged, 'normal' Great Power in order to carry out these roles. As the region tries to mediate the growing security dilemma among the three great powers, Japan's importance to regional security will only grow.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, East Asia
  • Author: Bernice Lee, Antony Froggatt
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: We are on the cusp of a new industrial revolution, one driven by energy and climate security concerns. Policy-makers and business leaders are beginning to calibrate decisions on trade, financing and production planning against this new reality. Central to making this vision work is enlightened thinking around the potential economic and political benefits–rather than the costs–of the transition to a low-carbon future.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Environment
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Mike Smith, Nicholas Khoo
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Second World War, US foreign policy towards the Asia-Pacific has been characterized by the assertion of American dominance. To this end, policy-makers in Washington have adopted a varied policy towards China. From 1950 to 1972, the US pursued a containment policy designed to thwart the revolutionary goals of Maoist foreign policy. Beginning with Nixon's rapprochement with Beijing in 1972, US policy was dramatically altered to meet the overriding goal of deterring the Soviet threat. The US and China actively cooperated to contain Soviet and Vietnamese influence in Northeast and Southeast Asia. The end of the Cold War, preceded shortly before by the Tiananmen massacre, saw another shift in the US position, whereby China was no longer looked upon with favour in Washington. Acting on his presidential campaign promises not to repeat George Bush Senior's policy of 'coddling dictators'in Beijing, President Clinton initially enacted a policy that explicitly linked China's human rights record to the renewal of most favoured- nation trade status with the US. When this linkage failed, a striking policy reversal occurred as the Clinton administration adopted an unrestrained engagement policy in which it eventually underplayed Sino-US differences in the spheres of trade, human rights, and strategic-military ties.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Washington, Beijing, Asia