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  • Author: Harold James
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The geography of power is at present being dramatically transformed, notably by the rapid economic rise of China. What makes international order legitimate in a world in which political and economic foundations are rapidly shifting? This article examines analogies and lessons from a previous transition, from a world order centered on Britain, to a US dominated global order. The article looks at two interpretations of the transition, one by E. H. Carr, the other by Charles Kindleberger. China is beginning to behave in the way expected of a Kindleberger hegemon, but also sees the possibilities of asserting power in a world that in the aftermath of 2008 looks much more like the chaotic and crisis-ridden interwar period as interpreted by E. H. Carr. The challenge for the management of the new international order will lie in the ability of China to embrace the universalistic vision that underpinned previous eras of stability, in the nineteenth century and in the late twentieth century.
  • Topic: Economics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, China