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  • Author: Marc Lanteigne, Aglaya Snetkov
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: The global issue of humanitarian intervention has become more pronounced and complicated in recent years due to increasingly diverging views on addressing security crises between the West on one side and Russia and China on the other. Despite their support for the principles of 'Responsibility to Protect' (R2P), both Russia and China are wary of Western intervention in internal conflicts after the Cold War and have become increasingly critical of Western-led armed intervention in humanitarian conflicts. Unease in Beijing and Moscow over the multilateral intervention in the 2011 Libyan conflict and their ongoing opposition to Western policies in the Syrian Civil War since 2011 would seem to point to ever more coincidence in their negative views of American and Western intervention policies. A conventional wisdom has thus emerged that there is something akin to a Sino–Russian 'bloc', with near-identical policies of discouraging armed intervention within state borders under the aegis of humanitarian intervention or the R2P doctrine, signed in 2005 (2005 World Summit). However, closer examination of Russian and Chinese positions on the Libyan and Syrian conflicts, drawing on normative and identity perspectives, reveals significant differences in how both states address intervention in civil conflicts involving human rights emergencies. Indeed, the Libyan and Syrian cases suggest that the distance between the two states on 'acceptable' policies toward international intervention in civil conflicts may actually be increasing. While Russia has assumed the role of the 'loud dissenter' in global dialogs on humanitarian intervention, China has opted for the position of a 'cautious partner'.
  • Topic: Cold War, Governance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Syria
  • Author: Evelyn Goh
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This article argues that in the post-Cold War strategic transition in East Asia, ASEAN has helped to create a minimalist normative bargain among the great powers in the region. The regional norms propagated through the 'ASEAN way', emphasizing sovereignty, non-intervention, consensus, inclusion, and informality were extremely important in the initial stages of bringing the great powers – especially China and the United States – to the table in the immediate post-Cold War period. During this time, ASEAN helped to institutionalize power relations legitimizing the role of the great powers as well as the 'voice' of smaller states in regional security management. But the process of institutionalizing great power relations contains further steps, and what ASEAN has achieved is well short of the kind of sustained cooperation on the part of the great powers that is so necessary to the creation of a new stable regional society of states. Moreover, ASEAN has provided the great powers with a minimalist normative position from which to resist the more difficult processes of negotiating common understanding on key strategic norms. At the same time, ASEAN's model of 'comfortable' regionalism allows the great powers to treat regional institutions as instruments of so-called 'soft' balancing, more than as sites for negotiating and institutionalizing regional 'rules of the game' that would contribute to a sustainable modus vivendi among the great powers. As such, ASEAN's role is limited in, and limiting of, the great power bargain that must underpin the negotiation of the new regional order. This is a task that the regional great powers (the United States, China, and Japan) must themselves undertake.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, East Asia