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  • Author: Mark Beeson, Richard Higgott
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: Middle power theory is enjoying a modest renaissance. For all its possible limitations, middle power theory offers a potentially useful framework for thinking about the behavior of, and options open, to key states in the Asia-Pacific such as South Korea, Japan and Australia, states that are secondary rather than primary players. We argue that middle powers have the potential to successfully implement 'games of skill', especially at moments of international transition. Frequently, however, middle powers choose not to exercise their potential influence because of extant alliance commitments and the priority accorded to security questions. We sub-stantiate these claims through an examination of the Australian case. Australian policymakers have made much of the potential role middle powers might play, but they have frequently failed to develop an independent foreign policy position because of pre-existing alliance commitments. We suggest that if the 'middle power moment' is to amount to more than rhetoric, opportunities must be acted upon.
  • Topic: International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, Latin America, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Adrian H. Hearn
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: China's deepening engagement with Latin America has been accompanied by concerns about the Chinese government's regard for international conventions of economic governance. Critics claim that across Latin America and the Caribbean, Chinese aid and trade are characterised by excessive state intervention. This article argues that, for two reasons, the rationale for these misgivings is dissipating. First, since the onset of the global financial crisis, China has gained influence in multilateral institutions, prompting them toward greater acceptance of public spending in developing countries. Second, recent developments in Cuba show that China is actively encouraging the Western hemisphere's only communist country to liberalise its economy. China sits at the crossroads of these local and global developments, prompting Cuba toward rapprochement with international norms even as it works to reform them.
  • Topic: International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: China, Latin America