+1 (208) 254-6996 essayswallet@gmail.com

Based on readings in Rising Powers, Global Governance, and Global Ethics and related discussions, choose 1 of the countries or regions from the book into which your company might wish to expand. 

Develop a 1-to 2-page table using either Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or Excel that accurately compares your U.S.-based company’s ethics, based on classical ethical theory as well as its ethical stance on privacy, protection of intellectual property, and protection of PII to those within your country of choice. The column headings are “U.S.-based Company” and “Country of Choice.” The row headings are “Classical Ethical Theory,” “Privacy,” “Protection of Intellectual Property,” and “Protection of PII.”

Create a PowerPoint presentation containing 8 to 10 slides for your corporate Board of Directors logically depicting at least 3 ethical challenges you might anticipate along with a policy statement for each. Include research concerning the country’s stance on issues, such as privacy, protection of intellectual property, corruption index, major religions, or indigenous tribal groups in the speaker notes.

Include supportive graphics and appropriate backgrounds and styles. All references need to adhere to APA guidelines, and images should not be copied unless you obtain author permission or use copyright-free images.

Cite all references and format APA.

CYB/320: Global Cyber Ethics

Wk 4 – Apply: Country Presentation to the Board of Directors [due Day 7]

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

Assignment Content

Top of Form

Based on readings in Rising Powers, Global Governance, and Global Ethics and related discussions, choose 1 of the countries or regions from the book into which your company might wish to expand. 

Develop a 1-to 2-page table using either Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or Excel that accurately compares your U.S.-based company’s ethics, based on classical ethical theory as well as its ethical stance on privacy, protection of intellectual property, and protection of PII to those within your country of choice. The column headings are “U.S.-based Company” and “Country of Choice.” The row headings are “Classical Ethical Theory,” “Privacy,” “Protection of Intellectual Property,” and “Protection of PII.”

Create a PowerPoint presentation containing 8 to 10 slides for your corporate Board of Directors logically depicting at least 3 ethical challenges you might anticipate along with a policy statement for each. Include research concerning the country’s stance on issues, such as privacy, protection of intellectual property, corruption index, major religions, or indigenous tribal groups in the speaker notes.

Include supportive graphics and appropriate backgrounds and styles. All references need to adhere to APA guidelines, and images should not be copied unless you obtain author permission or use copyright-free images.

Cite all references and format APA.


8901-7 – Rising powers and regional organization in the Middle East.pdf

7 Rising powers and regional organization in the Middle East

Louise Fawcett

� Which powers might rise to regional leadership? � What is the state of regional organization? � Conclusion

The potential ordering properties of regional or global hegemons, of which rising powers may be considered a category, are widely acknowledged. So is their role in international organization. Not all regional organizations have been driven by hegemons and not all regional powers seek to enhance their power in this way; but in many cases they have played a role in their start-up, consolidation, or devel- opment. Regional organizations provide aspiring powers a platform to demonstrate muscle and provide a gateway to global power and influence, both normative and material.

Although the roles of regional powers have been gathering more attention—a reflection of their enhanced status in a post-bipolar inter- national system—the relationship between rising powers, a relatively new category of analysis, and regional organizations is under-researched.1

This is particularly true for the Middle East given the widely perceived absence of influential powers and the weaknesses of regional organiza- tions.2 The region has been loosely referred to as a site of rising powers or leaders like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Turkey. Indeed, the CIVETS include Egypt and Turkey, and MIST includes Turkey. However, in gen- eral, the rising power phenomenon is mostly identified outside the region, resting with countries like Brazil, China, India, or South Africa. Recent evidence from the region in the light of economic developments and the Arab Spring uprisings suggests some alternative scenarios that deserve exploration, particularly given the instability of the region and the high demand for leadership.

This chapter aims to explore the relationships between regional powers, regional organizations, and order in the Middle East. First, it

discusses the rising phenomenon as it relates to the region; then it considers Middle East regional organizations and their capabilities and how these have developed over time; third, it links the roles of regional powers to the activities of regional organization, offering a critical evaluation of their potential roles in regional and global governance and norms.

The intention is to show that, despite some evidence to the contrary, the hitherto limited capabilities of regional powers have impeded the development of cooperation and the promotion of regional order in the Middle East and, by extension, the ability of the region to contribute to wider global order. The aspirations of such powers have been blocked by regional rivalries, external intervention, and concerns about regime survival, all of which trump leadership initiatives. Although regional leadership may not be a sufficient condition for effective organization, the two are closely correlated and the absence of leadership is detri- mental to institutional and normative developments, and therefore regional order.

Which powers might rise to regional leadership?

Historically there have been various contenders for regional leadership in the Middle East and some have shared attributes with the rising power category: states that can potentially influence and reshape the global system and its norms.3 This observation thus qualifies the notion that “the concept of regional power is not useful for analyzing the Middle East.”4 As discussed below, there have been important episodes where regional powers have sought to influence regional, even global outcomes. From another perspective the very absence of regio- nal powers is, in itself, important. It is true, however, that in terms of durable leadership credentials, the contemporary region, despite its relative economic weight, looks weak.

Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Syria (perhaps also Israel) are all states that have aspired to regional leadership, although their ambitions, and even their idea of what constitutes their region, have diverged. Indeed, different conceptions of region may be part of the problem. At least three of these states—Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia—may today be considered as aspiring regional powers. Yet it also remains true that, in contrast to other regions, the Middle East has demonstrated an absence of consistent leadership patterns. The interest of states in leadership tends to be rhetorical and self-serving rather than reflective of any deep commitment to cooperation. Institu- tional design and policy reflect this. Under the present conditions of

134 Louise Fawcett

external interference, internal rivalry, and regime insecurity, which all inhibit autonomy of action, this pattern is likely to continue.

Egypt, for its size, location and history, has often been regarded as the natural leader of the Arab world, and at times displayed the char- acteristics of a hegemon, particularly during the charismatic presidency of Nasser (and briefly following the Arab uprisings when President Morsi sought to promote Egypt as a new regional fulcrum). Egypt under President Nasser (1956–1970), given its leading roles in regional politics and in the global Non-Aligned Movement, was an exemplary case of a potential rising power with the possibility to influence both regional and global norms.5 Yet, for all its ideological attraction, under the banner of anti-colonialism and Arab nationalism (as revealed in the Suez crisis and the formation of the United Arab Republic), its economic, military, and even cultural power was not robust enough, particularly when faced with the determined opposition of external, and some regional actors. Above all, the competitive international environment of the Cold War proved detrimental to the projection of rising power of the form sought by Egypt. Under President Sadat, the country moved away from reformism and closer to the prevailing norms of Western international society: embarking on economic liber- alization and engaging with the Arab–Israel peace process brokered by the United States in the late 1970s. This policy, however, resulted in a loss of legitimacy in the wider Arab world.6

As Egypt’s position declined, speeded by the signature of a bilateral treaty with Israel and comparative economic weakness, particularly in the light of the challenge from the new rentier states, states like Iraq and Syria made bids for regional dominance, using military and nationalist tools to some effect in regional conflicts and debates. Tell- ingly, despite their common Ba’athist ideology, both sought indepen- dently to establish regional leadership credentials: Iraq in the context of the Iran–Iraq War, in which it wooed the West, but also much of the Arab world, by demonstrating its anti-Iranian stance. In the Gulf War of 1991 Iraq reversed course, attempting to lead an anti-Western alliance by appealing to Arab support through its rhetoric of anti-imperialism. In the absence of Egyptian leadership, Syria too flexed its regional muscle, supporting radical and anti-Western policies, demonstrated in relations with Iran, dominance in Lebanon, and in its opposition to Israel.7 Regime change in Iraq in 2003 and closer relations with Iran, resulting in the so-called Shi’i axis, also placed Syria in a stronger regional position, at least until the start of the Syrian uprising. Neither state, however, enjoyed widespread regional legitimacy, nor did their power base significantly expand extra-regionally. Apart from

Rising powers in the Middle East 135

promoting the Nasserite idea of support for a broad Arab coalition— against the West, against Israel, or in the case of Iraq, against Iran— and with considerably less success than Nasser, few other leadership qualities or regional public goods were offered such as to make either state qualify for rising power status—an argument that may be extended to their roles in regional institutions as discussed below. It was not just that their foreign policies (despite some appeal to a rejectionist and radical constituency vis-à-vis the West and Israel) failed to attract a wide public; their domestic arrangements did not command legitimacy and were unattractive as models for the region and wider world.

Among the wealthy Arab Gulf monarchies, Saudi Arabia is another state with evident leadership credentials. Its independent history, rela- tive longevity, wealth and size support this claim. Its power base— resting on a union of the Al Saud tribe and the Wahhabi religious movement—is stable, supported by claims to religious legitimacy, extensive patronage networks, and the economic advantages conferred by significant oil reserves. Yet, despite its regional outreach through the provision of development aid and assistance, management of the hajj, initiatives within the wider pan-Islamic, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) framework, or the sub-regional Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) context, the Saudis have been historically cautious and modest in their leadership aspirations, above all avoiding foreign policy postures that might lose them friends at home and abroad.8 This was evident in their positioning on the oil embargo of the early 1970s, which, despite its immediate impact and challenge to prevailing inter- national norms, proved ephemeral. Saudi Arabia defected from the embargo—as did other core states—following pressure from Western consumers. Despite the accolades that the Arab Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) group received from the wider developing world—it was inspirational in the actions of the G77—the Saudis themselves suffered reputational damage, while the opportunity further to lead the Arab oil producers, and thereby produce significant changes to regional, even global order, was not taken. Saudi leaders then, as now, must tread delicately within the region, given their role as guardian of Islam’s most holy sites, and outside, where their power base, indeed the very survival of the monarchy has been, and remains, linked historically to the United States, without whose longstanding support the kingdom would arguably have been unstable.

It is true that after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the Arab Spring we have seen the rise of a more regionally assertive Saudi Arabia,9 as further discussed below. However, its leadership capabilities are con- tested and arguably under-utilized. Like other Gulf monarchies,

136 Louise Fawcett

survival and avoidance of sectarian fall out has been a primary response to the Arab uprisings.10 Qualified support for international intervention in Libya and Syria should be seen in this light rather than as the sign of a new normative turn towards R2P, as the counter- example of support for GCC intervention to quash uprisings in Bah- rain showed. Declining a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council (in October 2013) as a sign of frustration at UN and Western policy did not generate a wave of regional solidarity and Jordan quickly took Saudi Arabia’s place. Furthermore, even its predominance in the Arab Gulf sub-region is contested, as shown by differing stances taken by a state like Qatar—a small but highly significant power in its own right—in regard to positioning towards Iran or Egypt.11

Iran itself presents a different profile as aspiring regional leader. Iran has long been a powerful regional state, whether under the last Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi—when relations with the United States were particularly close12—or the Islamic Republic. Its region, however, lies on a different axis to much of the Arab world, embracing parts of Central and South Asia, and, through Shi’ism, it reaches a distinctive Islamic constituency. It is partly this reason, and Iran’s unique racial and cultural make up, that makes it neither an obvious, nor widely accepted regional leader. Despite the strengthening of Iran’s position since the early years of the revolution and conclusion of the Iran–Iraq War—reflected in its influence among more radical Islamic groups, its ongoing nuclear program, or in the growth of Shi’i influence since 2003—Iran does not command a significant regional following. It has soft power resources, manifested in Iran’s Islamic and Third World links (with Venezuela for example).13 It also provides public goods, including assistance to victims of natural disasters and wars, as well as educational and cultural activities in the region. Iran has also sup- ported groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. Such influence attempts may worry Israel, the Gulf States, and their Western allies, but they have arguably not made Iran a leader state. The more moderate Khatami presidency with its dialogue of civilizations approach could be seen as a partial exception (as could the current presidency of Rouhani), but rising power would not seem to be the right category to employ here, not least since Khatami was replaced by the conservative Ahmadinejad. Despite attempts at regional outreach, Iran’s domestic structure and politics, and frequently bellicose international posture, have not always been easy to reconcile with a wider regional, to say nothing of a global constituency.

The Turkish case has recently received more attention, as indicated by its presence in the two rising power groups above. For a long time it

Rising powers in the Middle East 137

was seen as a relative regional outlier with a more pro-European than Middle Eastern orientation. Its distinctive modern history, including being a founder member of the Baghdad Pact and membership of NATO, discredited it in the eyes of many Arabs. Yet, Turkey emerged from the regional shadows in the 1980s, as an impressive economic power and potential mediator in regional conflicts. It sought new for- eign policy alignments, reaching out to Middle Eastern regimes and publics as peace-broker, and later advocate of democratization and moderate Islamism after the victory of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2002. It has been spoken of as a bridge, or anchor state.14 As such, it has sought more important roles in regional and international organizations, not only through existing links to the North Atlantic and Western Europe, but also in Central Asia, the Middle East, and Islamic world, as shown by its closer involvement with the OIC.

An opportunity to test its regional stature was provided by the Arab uprisings, where Turkey sought to portray itself as an exemplary regional state and model of good governance.15 Showing leadership on the Tunisian and Egyptian question was relatively easy because less was invested. Despite vacillation over the Libyan intervention and removal of Gadhafi, Turkey was for a time viewed rather positively in the region as the state that had “best handled” the Arab Spring.16

Things became harder after the Syrian crisis when Turkey’s initial hes- itation over how to retreat from its previous friendship with President Assad suggested vulnerability and the limits of its normative power.17

Although it had aspirations to become an honest broker, and a power that the West hoped might balance out the dangers of regional extre- mism, it has not secured a deep regional following. It too remains domestically vulnerable (as Istanbul uprisings of 2013 and subsequent public protest over the curtailment of freedom of expression showed). By late 2013, some claimed that Turkey’s idealistic foreign policy had failed and Turkey had lost its chance to lead.18 This may be overstated, but there are good reasons to agree that, beyond its evident economic weight, Turkey will remain an aspiring hegemon.

An exception and outlier to the above is Israel. In some senses, Israel is an obvious regional great power in military and economic terms;19

yet it is one that has not aspired to leadership. Israel is regionally iso- lated, and aligns with the United States and Europe. Israel possesses the military capacity to influence outcomes and has frequently exer- cised it. Its domestic arrangements, although seen as discriminatory to Arabs, are more immediately attractive than those of many regional states. It has twice been involved in greater regional engagement:

138 Louise Fawcett

following the Camp David accords of 1979 and the Oslo process of the early 1990s, but in both cases the opportunity for regional leadership was not taken.20 Israel is not a regional hegemon in the sense of pro- viding leadership, public goods, or regional institutions. With its very existence still contested by regional radicals and its territory contested by UN resolutions, Israel’s support base is internal and extra-regional, linked to the very external influences that other regional powers chal- lenge. As a fierce and often hostile regional state, it can also act as veto-player to block other aspirants to leadership.

As noted, changes to the regional balance of power since the Arab Spring have elevated the prospects of some states while temporarily eliminating others. These changes are ongoing and their effects hard to measure. Clearly, the Arab Gulf monarchies, headed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar (not always in unison), with their control of important media outlets and evident economic weight, have assumed greater importance, leading new regional initiatives to contain unrest and pre- serve regional order. Turkey and Iran also display leadership creden- tials in attempts to reposition themselves to their own advantage amid the prevailing regional instability. But these are not coherent or durable leadership initiatives. None of these states are immune to internal, or indeed international, pressures—consider Iran’s earlier Green Revolu- tion and Turkey’s subsequent unrest. Leadership claims are thus reflective of the regional balance of power and attempts to manage this in favor of individual states. There is no obvious regional leader, and multiple and contradictory leadership claims prevent regional consensus on core issues.

Considering the above changes, it is noteworthy how an external power, the United States, as Jeffry Legro persuasively argues, has pro- vided many of the elements of leadership that have been lacking among regional powers. Notwithstanding a relative decline in United States influence and the increased significance of China and Russia in the region, this is surely the exemplary case where we cannot begin to discuss leadership and regional order “without reference to the role of the United States.”21 Prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, consider how every major peace initiative in the Arab‑Israeli conflict has been in large part initiated by the United States. The United States has simi- larly been involved at some level in every Gulf War. No other region, even Latin America, in the very shadow of the United States, has been so constrained in its leadership options.

In short, for the different reasons described above, none of the major regional states have succeeded in rising to durable leadership status or translating their power to effective collective action. If power in

Rising powers in the Middle East 139

International Relations is demonstrated in the ability to influence out- comes, or to persuade others to change their behavior, it is clear that most Middle Eastern states have failed to acquire it.22 This regional pattern may be extended to the wider global arena. Middle East states have a long history of interaction with, and at times hostility towards the West but have not hitherto seriously challenged the institutions of international society.23 This is not to say that individual states (or indeed non-state actors) do not have global influence in certain issue areas; but this remains aspirational or transient, and does not confer rising power status. The reasons, as elaborated here, include high and continuing levels of external interference, longstanding inter-regional tensions and rivalries, compounded by challenges to the very legitimacy of states. Above all, the contrary and persistent effect of external pene- tration cannot be ignored. Outside powers have repeatedly attempted to impose their order and leadership agendas on the Middle East. France and Britain did so before, and even after the Second World War; the United States and USSR during the ColdWar; and the United States, and to a lesser extent both Russia and China, since. Although these efforts have not, so far, resulted in regional stability, they have nonetheless obstructed aspiring leaders.

Despite the lack of a dominant regional power, the Middle East has seen attempts at hegemony: the case of Nasser’s Egypt, OPEC’s brief successes, and the recent actions of the Gulf states are all relevant here and illustrate the possible opportunities for rising powers. However, their relative weakness and lack of global reach does constitute a useful explanatory variable and link to current regional (dis)order. It also contributes to explaining the region’s failure to develop more effective institutions, another potential source of order and global impact, which is the subject of the next section.

What is the state of regional organization?

In this section I consider different regional organizations and their roles. Which are the relevant institutions in the Middle East framework and what is their sphere of activity? How do these institutions interact with assumptions about order, power, and questions of regional leadership? Like other regions of the world, the Middle East since 1945 has seen the growth and functional expansion of regional institutions.24 Although the region has not been short of regional initiatives, its record is com- paratively weak by most measures. Regional states, individually or collectively, have demonstrated little sustained interest in the design and maintenance of efficient institutions.25 Is institutional failure then a way of

140 Louise Fawcett

understanding the current disorder in the Middle East, and if so to which causes might such failure be ascribed?26 I focus on the main regional organization, the League of Arab States (LAS), but also consider other sub-regional and cross-regional organizations like the GCC and OIC.27

Regionalism in the Middle East, as in other parts of the world, may be crudely but usefully divided into two waves, covering the Cold War and post-Cold War periods. In the former period, both pan-Arab and more modest projects aimed at union and federation were tried alongside attempts at economic integration on the European model. In the latter, there were further efforts at economic and political and security cooperation. In this respect, the Middle East differs from other regions, not in terms of institutional start up and numbers, but in terms of the failure of institutions to evolve. Indeed, it might be argued that Middle East regionalism reached a plateau from which it has failed to advance and improve institutional capacity.28 Conflict has played a role here, as has regime type and the nature of the regional economy. Notable has been the proliferation of initiatives by external actors, mainly Europe and the United States, to promote regional cooperation in different contexts, even to redefine the region itself, as the Greater Middle East and Mediterranean concepts suggest.

Any consideration of Middle East regionalism must start with the pan-Arab question and the LAS.29 The LAS was one of the first formal regional organizations outside the Americas and one that played a role in discussions about the relationship between the United Nations and regional bodies. As such it was a highly statist organization, and this suited the agendas of many members. One could argue that the League has mostly sought to complement rather than overturn the prevailing norms of international society. Yet, it also embodied a more revisionist, pan-Arab idea in which Arabs rejected aspects of the colo- nial settlement and aspired to greater unity among the Arab territories of the former Ottoman Empire. The discourse of pan-Arabism has remained popular, as witnessed in regional wars and the Arab Spring. However, the tension between state centrism and the rhetoric of unity remained a complicating factor in the development of the institution. As Barnett comments: “if the institution of sovereignty instructed the newly independent Arab states to recognize each other’s borders and authority over its population, the institution of pan-Arabism sanctioned just the opposite.”30

The League enjoyed some successes in conflict mediation as envi- saged by its Charter.31 Its annex on Palestine, following the creation of Israel in 1948, was an important document, establishing a common position of non-recognition. The League’s first summit in 1964

Rising powers in the Middle East 141

welcomed the PLO. Subsequent summits showed a level of regional solidarity on core issues. Still, it remained a weak institution when mea- sured in terms of attempts to promote economic, political, or security cooperation.32 For example, efforts to emulate the EC model to create an Arab Common Market produced few lasting results, although this attempt was later revived. Such early failure, however, was unremarkable in a Third World context where state building took priority and the necessary demand‑supply conditions for integration did not exist. Amid multiple regional disputes, not least the protracted Arab–Israel conflict, the region’s security record was also disappointing. The League, which expanded from a core of six to include all 22 Arab countries, was a large and diverse institution, despite linguistic, geographic, and religious ties, making it hard to establish common policy frameworks. It excludes the three non-Arab powers of the region, Iran, Turkey, and Israel, all of whom carry veto-player capabilities.

Outside the League, other attempts at inter-state cooperation and federation were responses to the colonial legacy and the Cold War. The Baghdad Pact, later the Central Eastern Treaty Organization (CENTO), was an undisguised instrument of colonial influence and United States containment. Including the pro-Western states of Turkey and Iran, it earned the odium of most Arab states. In response there were coalitions of Arab states like the United Arab Republic (1958–61) and the Federation of Arab Republics (1971–73). Such unions, or the different military alliances constructed for the purpose of fighting regional wars, were, however, short-lived and did not survive in any institutionalized form.

Some new dynamics came into play with the creation, in 1969, of the OIC, reflecting an attempt to craft an Islamic version of the Arab League, embodying another pan- (and in this case cross-)regional idea, again with a strictly statist orientation. In addition, the formation of the United Arab Emirates (1971) as a federation of the small Gulf emirates and the GCC (1981), a response not to the Cold War, but to Gulf insecurity after Britain’s departure and the Iranian revolution of 1979, heralded more lasting forms of regional governance. In turn, the Islamic Republic of Iran, demonstrating its regional muscle, was instrumental in the founding and later expansion of the Economic Conference Organization (1985), placing its own economic and security interests on a different axis following failed attempts to win sympathy from, and spread revolution to, the wider Arab world.

With the exception of the GCC, none of the above formulas enjoyed significant success from either an ideological or material perspective. Wars, regime insecurity, external interference, and the complicating

142 Louise Fawcett

factor of oil rents, introduced new regional divides among regional haves and have-nots, blocking further moves at integration. Peacemaking efforts also proved highly controversial as the Arab League rejected the Camp David accords and banished Egypt, yet subsequently proved unable to broker any alternative Arab–Israel settlement. In some respects, again, this lack of progress was unremarkable from a compara- tive perspective. Outside Europe, regionalism had not taken off, giving rise to questions about the usefulness of that model when applied to newer and weaker states.33 Only with the end of the Cold War did this picture change as the multiple studies of new regionalism attest.34

However, the setting free of regions and the accompanying institutional and normative changes identified by scholars,35 did not occur in the Middle East. The region’s tensions and rivalries were not of the Cold War type; superpower overlay was not removed, regional states did not enjoy greater autonomy, nor did the incentive for regime change—an important push factor for regionalist efforts—significantly materialize. In this regard, the persistence of external intervention (as in the wars of 1991 and 2003), the absence of regional leadership, and weakness of regional organization went hand in hand.

There were some trickle-down effects of the new regionalism. The 1980s saw the establishment of the Arab Maghreb Union and the Arab Cooperation Council, although the latter soon collapsed with Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Yemeni unification and the Middle East Peace Process were also products of the Cold War’s ending. However the first post-Cold War decade ended without significant institutional progress. More remarkable perhaps was the high level of external involvement in efforts to remake Middle East politics, economics, and society. Even the very boundaries of the Middle East were the subject of continuing Western attempts at refashioning as suggested by concepts like the Euro-Mediterranean, or the Greater Middle East, both of which crossed over existing regional divides.36

Until the Arab Spring, the contemporary regional scene was extra- ordinary in demonstrating the relative absence of internal agency and norm production and a predominance of external initiatives. Although there is, arguably, a discernible Asian Way and African Way of regionalism, incorporating distinctive ideas and policies, there is no Middle Eastern way. This observation would no doubt be objected to by some regional states. There are regular high-level meetings among Arab foreign ministers under the auspices of the Arab League. The League has revived earlier common market proposals via the Greater Arab Free Trade Area project. It has endorsed a 2002 Saudi peace plan in respect of Palestine‑Israel relations. Turkey now has League

Rising powers in the Middle East 143

observer status. The GCC, in turn, has moved towards a customs union and plans a more effective security structure making it a more serious economic and political actor on the regional and even the global stage.37 The OIC offers a platform for the discussion of issues of common concern to Islamic states and incorporates Iran and Turkey, both active members. However, effective regional organization is still lacking as reflected in three indicative security areas: non-proliferation, anti-terrorist measures, and peace-operations. In respect of the latter, it is notable that despite high levels of regional conflict Middle Eastern, as opposed to UN peace operations, in contrast to a region like Africa, are virtually non-existent.38 Rather than new projects, the region has seen continuing initiatives by Western powers, notably the European Union and the United States to promote alternative visions of regional order, of which democracy promotion is one, hitherto not particularly successful, example.39

In sum, despite new opportunities since the end of the Cold War the regionalist experiments in the Middle East have failed significantly to contribute to conflict management and cooperation, and thus to guide regional transformation or promote regional order. This is in contrast to other world regions. Until the Arab Spring, the single perhaps most important development in the region to have taken place was the externally facilitated Middle East Peace Process initiated by the Oslo Accords in 1993.40 In this process, as in former peace processes, the League was conspicuously absent. Its failure was followed by a period of greater instability in which regional actors and institutions struggled to adjust to new realities and sustain a united stand on economic, political, or security issues, when confronted with the continuing crises in Iraq, Leba- non, Israel‑Palestine relations, and finally the Arab Spring uprisings. The 2003 Iraq invasion was opposed by all Arab states except Kuwait; yet despite its impact no major new institutional initiative emerged. Rather it was the United States and Western institutions that continued to operate an effective security hierarchy in the region.41

Events since 2003, particularly following the Arab Spring, have adjusted this picture, generating expectations about a wave of new regionalism in the Middle East.42 Following the short Israel‑Lebanon War of 2006, the LAS, which had registered successes in earlier Leba- nese settlements, was supportive of UN resolutions and helped to broker the subsequent Doha agreement of 2008.43 In the Arab upris- ings, the LAS, GCC, and OIC all showed new activism in the wake of widespread social unrest and repressive regime responses, particularly in Libya and Syria. The Arab Spring had profound implications for regional order, posing a huge challenge for an institution like the Arab

144 Louise Fawcett

League. Under the leadership of emerging regional leaders like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the League took an uncharacteristically strong stand over the Libyan crisis, suspending Libyan membership, support- ing UN resolutions and international intervention contributing to the fall of Libya’s long-term president, Gadhafi. It played mediating roles in the crisis in Yemen where the former president stood down, and in Syria, where early League attempts at mediation and collaboration with the United Nations led to a suspension of Syria’s membership and support for regime change. League members provided support to Syrian rebel groups and the Arab League in 2012 formally recognized the major Syrian opposition bloc, the Syrian National Council. This apparent embrace by the Arab League, alongside that of other regional organizations like the GCC and OIC, of UN resolution 1973 on Libya and the implicit endorsement thereby of the R2P principle, led to widespread speculation about the revival of the League and the possi- bility of its playing a more activist role in a regional and wider multi- lateral security framework.44 In particular the notion that Middle Eastern states might be taking the initiative to mediate regional conflicts seemed to gain ground.

If the changed regional climate following Arab Spring events has led to new activism by the League and sub-regional institutions like the GCC, the enthusiasm expressed about the League’s new roles needs to be qualified. What were the motivations for action and what do these reveal about the possibilities and limits of its cooperative potential? Does this represent a new normative turn in terms of contemporary Arab views of and participation in international society or is this more geopolitics as usual? On this point, there are certainly pressures, exter- nal and internal, on the League to function more effectively as a security institution within a wider multilateral framework. These, however, have been driven by core regional states, like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and outside powers, notably the United States, meaning that it may be premature to believe that the organization is set on a more liberal path or poised to undertake new security roles in the short term.45 On the other hand, it might be argued that the League, like ASEAN for example, which adopted a Charter in 2008, is gradually incorporating new international norms and practices. In this regard an earlier relevant development was the adoption, in 1994, of an Arab Charter on Human Rights (an amended version of which entered into force in 2008), although less than half of the League’s members are signatories and aspects of the charter remain inconsistent with the international human rights regime.46 It may, however, signal the advent of further normative changes.

Rising powers in the Middle East 145

However, other reforms and additions to the League which have long been mooted, including the establishment of an Arab Court of Justice, have failed to materialize.47 So if there is evidence of normative change, we should be cautious. Serious obstacles remain in the path of further developments in regional organization. Significantly, the Arab League, while containing some elements of a regional security regime, has failed permanently to secure peaceful relations between its mem- bers or to serve as an effective vehicle for the promotion of a wider regional security order including non-Arab states. Some regard League actions as mere damage limitation, reflecting the unrivalled power of the GCC monarchies and the triumph of geopolitics.48

Just as during the Cold War, regional conditions remain broadly hostile to the development of regionalism and regional initiatives. Then, an arrangement like the Baghdad Pact merely encouraged local resistance and counter alliances. Today, direct and continuing Western regional involvement has proved to be highly divisive, impeding the conditions for regime change and institutional growth and generating confused and contradictory reactions to Western inspired projects. Rather than generating a rallying effect, Middle East crises remain subject to superpower overlay. There is little talk of Middle Eastern solu- tions to Middle Eastern problems. In one sense, the Middle East is still a region within what Peter Katzenstein has aptly called the “American imperium,” and this reality conditions regional outcomes.49 This is not to ignore the role of the EU, or the recent growth of Russian or Chinese involvement in the region. In the Syrian crisis, Russia was a game changer in averting intervention, but no other outside power comes close to the United States in terms of regional influence.


The above two sections considered the possibilities and limitations of regional states and institutions in the fashioning of regional order in the Middle East. What are the linkages between the two, or to what degree has regional order depended on leader states and the creation of effective institutions? Regional leadership of the kind that might be supplied by rising powers could evidently be key to the development of regional organization and to normative spillovers. This has arguably been the case in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, where states have sought to adapt to or contest international norms in regional institu- tions; for example, in respect of financial crisis or humanitarian inter- vention. The fact that leadership and regional institutions are weak in

146 Louise Fawcett

the Middle East suggests a correlation between rising powers and order: their absence does matter.50

If we analyze this correlation, drawing on the two sections above, we find that periods of relative activism in regional organization were related to the leadership and perceived legitimacy of regional powers. Attempts at such leadership include the Nasser period, during which the Arab League undoubtedly carried more weight under Egyptian leadership. Its demise after 1979 was a serious blow and subsequent efforts by Iraq and Syria to assert their hegemony (notably in Kuwait and Lebanon) failed. Similarly, the coordination of the oil embargo by leading Arab states, notably Saudi Arabia, from 1973–4, was also critical in the success of that short-lived regime.

Since the Iraq Wars of 1991 and 2003, low points for Middle East regionalism which revealed the absence of coherent regional initiatives and reliance on external actors, there have been shifts in the regional balance of power to favor the stable oil-rich Gulf monarchies led by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The GCC group, which since 2013 has been discussing a security pact to reinforce cooperation, is partly responsible for the new consensus. That Gulf leadership has been significant in driving the League itself, also points to a possible harmony between sub-regional and pan-Arab groupings. The Arab Spring has also seen a tentative understanding between these stronger regional players and Western powers in respect of the desired regional order. But the picture is a fragile and contested one. Gulf leadership has been made possible by the relative weakness of other states and even within the GCC there is disagreement between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. New norms, for example, that of support for humanitarian intervention, have been inconsistently applied and regime stability prioritized. Whether this understanding can survive and contribute to a new regional order embracing new post-Arab Spring regimes remains an open question. GCC intervention in Bahrain points away from this conclusion, as does the unraveling of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, which both suggest regional fragmentation rather than unity.

This chapter has sought to highlight different ways of thinking about how regional actors can impact on order and norms at the local and global level. Lurking behind these ideas is the question as to whether or not regional states, aspiring rising powers, are leaders, followers, or outliers as regards prevailing international norms. The analysis here suggests that in the post-independence period there was greater asser- tiveness by Middle Eastern states in a Third World, Cold War setting, as the Arab nationalist and OPEC moments showed. Arabs then attempted to influence the prevailing norms of international society,

Rising powers in the Middle East 147

acting as entrepreneurs. The OPEC action, although short lived, was widely viewed as an important signpost for developing countries seek- ing to assert themselves in a hostile international system. After the 1970s however, and particularly since the ColdWar ended, the emergence of new powers and regional institutions, have either led to short-lived acts of defiance (as in Iraq’s attempt to annex Kuwait) or convergence with international norms as suggested by the experience of the Gulf states and major regional organizations during the Libyan uprising and Arab Spring events. There are two caveats. On the one hand, attempts to impose distinctive Arab norms, visible for example in opposition to Western intervention in 2003, over the Palestine‑Israel questions, or the Saudi refusal to take up its Security Council seat, show some of the old assertiveness. Perhaps the defense of Arab Gulf monarchies against the current disorder is another such norm. On the other hand, core states, like Iran, alongside a host of new societal actors (like the radical groups in Iraq and Syria seeking to establish an Islamic state) continue to chal- lenge some of the foundational norms and institutions of international society.51

In the Middle East, regional powers and new patterns and practices of regional governance have left their mark, from the very foundations of the Arab League which closely coincided with that of the United Nations, through the Nasserite period, to the recent activities of the Gulf States. Expectations of any radical change in regional governance and norms should be moderated, however. These would require regime change, a downgrading of regional tensions, institutional reform and a gradual decoupling of external actors from regional affairs. Only then might it be possible to discern the emergence of a more stable and influential regional regime, although whether it will tend towards con- vergence with the West or become part of a more radical global south is open to question. Former Secretary General Amr Moussa’s descrip- tion of the League and the UN as “historical twins” was factually correct in terms of their establishment, but the Arab League has yet to prove itself as a durable and reliable partner in any more effective multilateral system.52

Notes 1 Dirk Nabers, “Power, Leadership and Hegemony in International Politics,”

in Regional Leadership in the Global System, Daniel Flemes, ed. (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010), 51.

2 Ian Lustick, “The Absence of Middle Eastern Great Powers: Political Backwardness in Historical Perspective,” International Organization 51, no. 4 (1997): 653–683.

148 Louise Fawcett

3 Daniel Flemes and Andrew Cooper “Foreign Policy Strategies of Emerging Powers in a Multipolar World,” Third World Quarterly 34, no. 6 (2013): 943–962.

4 Martin Beck, “Israel: Regional Politics in a Highly Fragmented Region,” in Regional Leadership, Daniel Flemes, ed., 147.

5 Ian Lustick, “The Absence of Middle Eastern Great Powers,” 667–670. 6 Raymond Baker, Sadat and After. The Struggle for Egypt’s Political Soul

(Harvard, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1990), xii. 7 Patrick Seale, Asad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East (Berkeley:

University of California Press, 1989). 8 F. Gregory Gause III, Saudi Arabia in the New Middle East (Washington,

DC: Council on Foreign Relations, 2011). 9 Louise Fawcett, “The Iran War ten years on: assessing the fall-out,” Inter-

national Affairs 89, no. 2 (2013): 333–334. 10 Crystal A. Ennis and Bessma Momani, “Shaping the Middle East in the

Midst of the Arab Uprisings: Turkish and Saudi Foreign Policy Strategies,” Third World Quarterly 34, no. 6 (2013), 1127–1144.

11 Steven Wright, “Qatar,” in Power and Politics in the Persian Gulf Mon- archies, Christopher M. Davidson, ed. (London: Hurst and Co., 2011), 113–134.

12 Roham Alvandi, Nixon, Kissinger and the Shah (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).

13 Anoush Ehteshami and Mahjoob Zweiri, Iran’s Foreign Policy from Kha- tami to Ahmadinejad (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2008), p. xiv.

14 Philip Robins, “Turkey’s Double Gravity predicament: The foreign policy of a newly activist power,” International Affairs 89, no. 2 (2013): 381–383.

15 Ennis and Momani, “Shaping the Middle East,” 1128–1130. 16 Shibley Telhami, “The 2011 Arab Public Opinion Poll,” Brookings Insti-

tution, www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2011/11/21-arab-public-opinion -telhami.

17 Philip Robins, “Turkey and R2P,” in The International Politics of Human Rights, Monica Serrano and Thomas G. Weiss, eds (London: Routledge, 2014), 200–204.

18 Ennis and Momani, “Turkish and Saudi Foreign Policy,” 1137. 19 Beck, “Israel,” 136. 20 Avi Shlaim, “The Rise and Fall of the Oslo Peace Process,” in International

Relations of the Middle East, Louise Fawcett, ed. (Oxford: Oxford Uni- versity Press, 2013), 13.

21 Jeffrey Legro, “The Omni-power: the United States and regional orders,” in Regional Powers and Regional Orders, Nadine Godehardt and Dirk Nabers eds. (London: Routledge, 2011), 175–192.

22 Joseph Nye, “US Power and Strategy after Iraq,” Foreign Affairs 82, no. 4 (2003): 67.

23 Fred Halliday, “The Middle East and Conceptions of ‘International Society,’” in International Society and the Middle East, Barry Buzan and Ana Gonzalez-Pelaez, eds (London: Palgrave, 2009), 1.

24 Louise Fawcett, “Alliances and Regionalism in the Middle East,” in Inter- national Relations of the Middle East, Louise Fawcett, ed.

25 Paul Aarts, “The Middle East: A Region without Regionalism or the end of Exceptionalism?”, Third World Quarterly 20, no. 5 (1999): 911–925.

Rising powers in the Middle East 149http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2011/11/21-arab-public-opinion-telhamihttp://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2011/11/21-arab-public-opinion-telhami

26 Michael Barnett and Etel Solingen, “Designed to Fail or Failure of Design? The origins and legacy of the Arab League,” in Crafting Coop- eration. Regional International Institutions in Comparative Perspective, Amitav Acharya and Alastair Iain Johnston, eds (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

27 Louise Fawcett, “The League of Arab States,” in Handbook of Governance and Security, James Sperling, ed. (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2014).

28 Karl Deutsch et al., Political Community in the North Atlantic Area (Prin- ceton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1957).

29 Ahmed M. Gomaa, The Foundations of the League of Arab States (London: Longman, 1977).

30 Michael Barnett, “Institutions, roles, and disorder: the case of the Arab state system,” International Studies Quarterly 37 (1993), 283.

31 Marco Pinfari, “Nothing but failure? The Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council as mediators in international conflicts,” CSRC Working Paper 45 (London: London School of Economics, 2009).

32 Michael C. Hudson, Middle East Dilemma: The Politics and Economics of Arab Integration (London: IB Tauris, 1999), 10–11.

33 Louise Fawcett, “Regionalism from an historical perspective,” in Global Politics of Regionalism, Mary Farrell, Bjorn Hettne, and Luk Langenhove, eds (London: Pluto Press, 2004).

34 Peter Robson “The New Regionalism and Developing Countries,” Journal of Common Market Studies 31, no. 3 (1993): 329–348.

35 Etel Solingen, Regional Orders at Century’s Dawn. Global and Domestic Influences on Grand Strategy (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1998).

36 Fawcett, “Alliances and Regionalism,” 199. 37 Matteo Legrenzi, The GCC and International Relations of the Gulf

(London: IB Tauris, 2011). 38 www.unmissions.org/. 39 Larbi Sadiki, Rethinking Arab Democratization: Elections without Democ-

racy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009). 40 Bahgat Korany and Ali E. Hillal Dessouki, The Foreign Policies of Arab

States (Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 2009). 41 David A. Lake, Hierarchy in International Relations (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell

University Press, 2009). 42 Fawcett, “Alliances and Regionalism,” 201. 43 Farah Dakhlallah, “The Arab League in Lebanon 2005–2008,” Cambridge

Review of International Studies 25 (2012): 53–74. 44 Prince El Hassan bin Talal and Rolf Shwarz, “The Responsibility to Pro-

tect and the Arab World. An Emerging International Norm?” Con- temporary Security Policy 34 (2013): 1–15.

45 Louise Fawcett, “Alliances and Regionalism,” 334. 46 Mervat Rishmawi, “The Arab Charter on Human Rights and the League

of Arab States,” Human Rights Law Review 10 (2010): 169–178. 47 Michelle Burgis, Boundaries of discourse in the International Court of Jus-

tice: Mapping arguments in Arab territorial disputes (Boston, Mass.: Mar- tinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2009), 91–92.

48 Bassel F. Salloukh, “The Arab Spring and Geopolitics,” The International Spectator 48, no. 2 (2013), 32–46.

150 Louise Fawcetthttp://www.unmissions.org/

49 Peter Katzenstein, A World of Regions. Asia and Europe in the American Imperium (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2005).

50 Louise Fawcett, “Regional Leadership? Understanding Power and Trans- formation in the Middle East,” in Regional Powers and Regional Order, Nadine Godehardt and Dirk Nabers, eds (Abingdon: Routledge, 2011), 155–172.

51 Buzan and Gonzalez-Pelaez, International Society and the Middle East. 52 Amre Moussa, “The UN and the League of Arab States,” in The UN and

the Regions: Third World Report on Regional Integration, Philippe De Lombaerde, Francis Baert, and Tânia Felíci, eds (New York: Springer, 2012), 107; Jochen Prantl, ed., Effective Multilateralism (London: Palgrave, 2013).

Rising powers in the Middle East 151


8901-6 – China in East Asia – Confusion on the Horizon.pdf

6 China in East Asia Confusion on the horizon?

Catherine Jones and Shaun Breslin

� China and the region � Locating the region � China and Southeast Asia � China and North Korea � China and Northeast Asia � Conclusion

The academic debate as to whether China has a grand strategy rum- bles on.1 However, despite continuing disagreements and the rise of a new element to this debate concerning China’s assertiveness,2 discus- sion has begun to coalesce around a few key points: (1) China’s approach varies according to both the audience and the speaker;3 (2) China’s normative contribution is an absence of an ideologically derived normative position.4 Instead, it has some core interests that may guide key decisions;5 (3) China’s foreign policy tends to be incremental, gradual, practical, and responsive.6

This debate concerns the region China inhabits as much as—or per- haps even more than—the global context. Predictions about the emer- gence of a Chinese world order have greater resonance for, and therefore tap into the fears of, China’s neighbors more than they do the world at large. As a result, this chapter takes the coalescence that has emerged regarding China as a global player as the basis for discussion of China in the East Asian region. But in doing so it points to the potential problems that are appearing for the continuation of this approach. As we will show, at present China is speaking to a number of different regional audiences without clear coherence between the different messages it is trying to present to each one: in Southeast Asia we see China taking a multilateral turn; in relation to the democratic states in Northeast Asia, bilateral and autonomously confident actions are adopted; whereas in the case of North Korea, there seem to be a

number of voices feeding into the situation resulting in contradictory actions and approaches. In consequence, China appears to be reacting to events rather than pursuing a coherent strategy in its regional engagements.

A key thrust in Chinese policy since themid-1990s has been to present the country as a reconciliatory as well as responsible regional power. This is done through rhetoric (for example, repeatedly assuring others that it will never seek hegemony) and action (for example, by increasingly engaging with regional and global multilateral institutions). But China has been perceived to have adopted an increasingly assertive stance in the region, particularly since the global financial crisis. As a result, the more positive images of China that took a number of years to establish have been rather quickly overturned in some parts of East Asia.

For strategic studies scholars, it is exactly such a mixed presentation of a country and lack of a clear grand strategy—what it stands for, what it wants, and how it plans to get it—that increases the risk of misperception and therefore the danger of conflict.7 Meanwhile, Con- structivist approaches also point to the way in which China is per- ceived and understood as a great power, and how it is consequently predicted to behave in the future, being more important in generating policy responses from others than actual and existing material changes to China’s behavior.8 Somewhat ironically then, these two groups of scholars—not usually seen to hold the same fears—share concerns about the persistence of China’s reactive foreign policy. Adding to this problem is that some actors within the policy arena are increasingly confident in the posture they represent to the outside world, but con- tinue to react to events rather than being seen to have a clear plan that enables a determination of the structure and context of interactions, thus, intensifying the tensions that are present. As a result, rather than gradually responding to international problems with reserve, China has (in response to a number of triggers) jumped to more notable and significant activities.

The bottom line is that China may have changed its foreign policy by adopting a more decisive and active response to the actions of others; but, at the same time there is an altered level of concern from other regional players which is also of significance. In addition, the lack of a clear normative agenda to China’s external policymaking, one that might enable other states to predict how they will react in a given situation, could be said to increase concerns and tensions in the region.

In reaching this conclusion, this chapter discusses China in East Asia with reference to three groupings in the region, namely: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and North Korea. North Korea is separated

116 Catherine Jones and Shaun Breslin

from Northeast Asia as it presents distinctive and divergent problems and in many ways does not fit with China’s diplomacy towards South Korea and Japan on other issues. In each section we discuss the dif- ferent actors and approaches that are apparent in China’s regional engagements in order to present an overall view of the highly charged confusion that pervades these issues. What we find is the absence of a clear image of China in the regional order as well as a lack of coherence in China’s approaches to sub-regional groupings.

China and the region

As noted above, there is a substantial body of literature on China’s approach to international order. Within this literature, a point of broad agreement is that China has a non-normative approach. By this we mean that there has been a clear state-led effort to present an idea of China as being different from other great powers (past and present). These other powers have attempted to impose their own ideational and organization preferences on weaker states and to establish a global order that builds in power asymmetries and biases in their favor. As a global power, China will not only refrain from doing the same, but also attempt to work on behalf of other developing and rising powers to democratize the global order and undermine the power of the West. The official promotion of this supposedly anti-normative global agenda thus becomes, in a strange way, a normative agenda in its own right.

In assessing the literature on China’s regional role and strategy, we can identify an evolving narrative that suggests a three stage process: China’s approach has moved from being skeptical and conservative in its relations with the region,9 towards active engagement in the regio- nal multilateral forums,10 and on to the current lack of consistency that seems to lead to a perception (at least) that China is becoming more assertive.11 Although this narrative is presented here as a linear evolu- tion of China’s regional engagement, we argue that these three different approaches actually operate simultaneously over time, and across dif- ferent actors and different situations. Rather, than seeking simplicity and discrete historical epochs, it is the contradictions and complexities that need to be highlighted in order to provide a useful analysis for understanding China’s regional engagements.

If the two enduring elements of these discussions are put side by side—China’s non-normative approach and the perception of a more assertive regional stance—then it is possible to tentatively suggest that China has remained responsive to regional challenges and situations but has—in the public arena—become less guarded and more active in

China in East Asia 117

responding to them. Yet, these active responses still lack an internal coherence, and there is a question over whether China, or actors within China’s foreign policy machinery, are creating this more active percep- tion; or whether, because China is globally more visible, any response is likely to be perceived and portrayed as being more assertive. Is it China that has changed or is China being placed under closer scrutiny by observers with preconceived and fixed ideas about how China will behave as a great power?

The perceived danger then arises because misjudgments, mispercep- tions, and miscalculations are more likely. Put another way, the con- struction of the other may be as likely to be a misconstruction. As responses become more active and decisive there is less room for tra- ditional face-saving activities to take place, but there is also an absence of clear logic and an ability to predict what those responses will be. Even across core interests there are inconsistencies in actions because of the range of actors involved. It is important to remember that core interests do not prescribe the actions that are necessary in order to protect these interests but rather indicate the final extent that China is willing to reach in their protection.

Locating the region

Identifying the region that China is either a part of or engaging with (or both), is not a simple task. When it comes to Southeast Asia, its membership of ASEAN provides a clear starting point—although even here there is the question of which states dominate the organization and whose interests matter most.12 Not least as a response to the growing influence of China in this region, and potentially on an ASEAN plus three understanding of its horizons, Japanese elites have favored a broader conception of the region that includes the Aus- tralasian states and India to provide a counterweight to China. This understanding was most clearly manifest in the original proposals for an East Asia Summit, before the inclusion of Russia and the United States in 2011 expanded its membership and diluted its ability to evolve into a coherent and effective institution of regional governance. A similar preference for an understanding of the region defined in terms of the Indo-Pacific has also gained salience in Australia. This not only places Australia firmly as part of the region rather than as an outsider, but also gives Australia a privileged position as the gateway to the region for other Western powers (most notably the United States). An even broader concept of the region is found in the notion of the Asia Pacific, which, in the form of APEC, has not only

118 Catherine Jones and Shaun Breslin

established a key role for the United States, but also for the promotion of (Western) neoliberal forms of economic governance.13

The result has been a “noodle bowl”14 of regional institutions with different memberships and competencies often predicated on different understandings of what the region is, could be or should be, which in turn is usually predicated on how different state elites perceive the best way of securing their own interests (and blocking those of others). This is before we bring in the importance of bilateral relations, which still remain the most significant loci of activity when it comes to competing territorial claims and questions of sovereignty in particular.15

China and Southeast Asia

China’s relations with Southeast Asian states (specifically the ASEAN states of Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, and Brunei) have evolved over the past two decades. In this evolution and extension, contradictions and tensions in understanding China’s foreign policies have increased, adding to the complexity of comprehending China’s approach to the region. Broadly speaking, China’s regional engagements straddle two approaches: multilateral and bilateral.

Since the early 1990s, as China’s presence in Southeast Asia steadily increased,16 China has normalized relations with each of the states in the region (the last being Vietnam in 1991), developed economic relations (the height of which was the creation of a China–ASEAN Free trade area), and become increasingly involved in multilateral forums.17 This has been described by some authors as China taking a “multilateral turn”18

in order to reassure the region that it will not seek regional hegemony. It is also seen as a reflection in China that its own economic fortunes have become inextricably intertwined with those of its neighbors—an issue that became abundantly clear during the Asian financial crisis of 1997, resulting in a renewed focus in China on the importance of assuring its own economic security through greater regional cooperation.

In this approach, and deviating from major expectations for rising or great powers and regional engagement,19 a key characteristic of China’s engagement has been the extent to which it has done so with ASEAN states on their terms. To date China has become enmeshed in a number of ASEAN-centered forums including ASEAN plus three (ASEAN plus China, Japan, and South Korea), the ASEAN Regional Forum, and the ASEAN–China Free Trade Agreement. These forums are noteworthy as it is argued that they have “ASEAN in the driving seat.”20 Even when proposals and suggestions emanate from China,

China in East Asia 119

these proposals do not get off the ground without significant ASEAN support. In the past this has resulted in China having to make concessions to ensure that its proposals are accepted.

In moving to look at the range of China’s foreign policy actors involved in ASEAN relations, these extend far beyond the Foreign Ministry to include the Ministries of Commerce and Finance, Trans- port, Science and Technology and the Leadership.21 In addition to focusing on the diplomatic side and the power relations between states, it is important to recognize that commercial interests and actors are important. These business actors have been both a positive and nega- tive force in the creation of a free trade area. For example, in the dis- cussions surrounding the implementation of the China–ASEAN free trade agreement (CAFTA or ACFTA), ASEAN states were concerned their markets would be swamped by Chinese goods and companies. As a result, the Chinese government had to play an instrumental role in reassuring states.22

Considering that ASEAN is a collection of weakly coordinated small and medium powers, it is perhaps surprising that China is willing to continue to develop its engagement with this organization. It is even more surprising that China has chosen to make so many concessions to ASEAN. But, this approach may be more easily understood by con- sidering the other that Chinese action is identified against. The alter- native is the United States hub and spokes approach of the Cold War and the subsequent United States inspired APEC. The United States is also the major proponent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which, if successful, would divide the region and send a crack through the framework of ASEAN. Thus, China’s engagement in the region offers an opportunity not only to be seen as distinct and different from the United States, but also for China to be seen to be operating on a more level playing field with smaller powers (thus suggesting that it will not dominate the region).

In contrast to this multilateral compliant image of China in South- east Asia there is another very different narrative that focuses on China’s bilateralism in maritime disputes. Commentators on these dis- putes argue that their ongoing nature demonstrates that China is not fully embedded in these regional institutions, and therefore indicates the limits to which China’s rise can be mitigated through regional arrangements.23 In dealing with these disputes China has been seen to prefer bilateral engagement over multilateral institutions (either global or regional).

In the South China Sea there are overlapping claims from China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Indonesia, to a

120 Catherine Jones and Shaun Breslin

number of islands and corresponding surrounding areas and resources. These disputed territories have led to a number of tense and volatile situations between the claimants. In the past decade there have been disputes over the Scarborough Shoal, the Spratly Islands, and the Paracel Islands. In seeking to resolve these disputes, it is noted by some commentators, that ASEAN has not played a significant role;24 how- ever, there is an argument to be made that as these disputes do not involve all ASEAN states, it is not the most relevant body to deal with these disputes. So rather than using the ASEAN forums, the Phi- lippines has sought resolution through the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea II.25 In stark contrast to China’s “multilateral turn” outlined above, China has not acknowledged the authority of this approach and instead has consistently sought to deal with each of the claimants bilaterally. To add to this confusion, China is a signatory to the Code of Conduct of the parties which was an ASEAN document and is so far the only multilateral agreement that China has endorsed on this issue.26 So, in these disputes we see three images: China preferring bilateralism; China signing an unenforceable regional multilateral code; and China disputing the authority of broader international forums for dispute resolution.

In these bilateral relations, it is evident that the main players within China influencing their position in each case are different. In bilateral issues that concern sovereignty and territory, especially where the security of the state is concerned, the politburo and military are both key actors. Whereas, in the multilateral forums in the region a wider collection of actors are present, including the Ministry of Commerce and State Owned Enterprises. In consequence, as noted increasingly in works on Chinese foreign policy, the approaches and aims of China’s actions in its engagement in this region are not necessarily consistent or coherent across different issues, contexts, or between different actors.

China and North Korea

On the surface the relationship and exchanges between China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are simple and obvious. This relationship is commonly presented as these two states being “as close as lips and teeth” and enduring because it has been a “militant friendship sealed in blood.”27 Yet, in one flippant but indi- cative commentary in China, North Korea was stated as being “a hundred times more of a headache than the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands.”28 Indeed after the testing of nuclear materials in 2006, China was vehement in its condemnation of North Korea’s actions. Moreover

China in East Asia 121

in subsequent tests of missiles and nuclear materials China has vocally condemned the DPRK in statements by the Foreign Ministry29 and in the UNSC.30 In consequence, in this relationship we have (at least) two conflicting images which make understanding or predicting China’s overall approach problematic.

These apparent contradictions, however, begin to make sense by adopting a more fine grained analysis of this relationship. This section demonstrates that it is possible to discern and then disaggregate a number of different actors and issues in which China and North Korea engage with each other, and in each of these interactions both the audience and the actors are different. This approach then contributes to comprehending the complexity of the engagements that are present in this relationship.

The most common and striking images of North Korea, and public assumptions of the relationship with China, erupt at times of nuclear or missile tests that have prompted UN Security Council actions. The first of these was in 2006 which resulted in the imposition of sanctions in resolution 1718.31 Subsequently these sanctions have been extended in further UNSC resolutions.32 In an attempt to make these sanctions more effective, in 2009 a Panel of Experts was instituted to investigate and report to the Sanctions Committee. China has voted in favor of all of these resolutions and has a member on the Panel of Experts. Ostensibly, on the global stage—where China is increasingly challenged to act as a responsible power—this suggests that China’s relationship with DPRK is shifting and it is becoming increasingly critical and concerned with its weapons developments. In this interaction, the statements of criticism come from the Foreign Ministry or from the representative on the Security Council.

In looking in more detail at the enforcement of sanctions against North Korea, the image of China becomes increasingly distorted and confused. For example, in implementation of these resolutions, China made it evident that it does not support the “practice of inspecting cargo to and from the DPRK.”33 Furthermore, in the Panel of Experts reports of 2012 and 2013 there are incidents noted that highlight the semi-permeable nature of flows of goods between these countries. In their investigations, the Panel found that China (including Taiwan and Hong Kong) is the most frequently used final port of call for goods heading to the DPRK, including goods that seem to contravene the sanctions.34

At the very least this brings into question either the determination or ability (or both) of China to fully implement these resolutions and stop the shipment of prohibited goods (or goods that could violate the spirit

122 Catherine Jones and Shaun Breslin

of resolutions). But on this stage, and at this moment in the story, the implementation activities of China are viewed by a narrow audience. Although the Panel of Experts reports are openly accessible, they are not generally picked up for casual reading by a wide general audience. As Committee meetings are generally closed, and the Panel members are not free to discuss their activities, any activities by individual members within these forums that either promote or stymie the effectiveness of these sanctions are difficult to pin-point, thus outcome documents and reports assume great importance, but must be used with some care. In these documents there are a number of detailed incidents where see- mingly sanctioned goods have been able to enter North Korea, although these reports also painstakingly suggest that for the most part it is the spirit rather than the letter of the sanctions that may actually have been violated.35 An interesting aside to this narrative can be found in the briefings of the Chair of the Committee to the Security Council. Here, it is noted that China is “continuing to advocate for a cautious approach, seemingly arguing that any further Council or Com- mittee action would only increase tensions and lead to an escalation of the situation [of a potential fourth nuclear test].”36 Later in this docu- ment, China is noted for using bilateral meetings to try and prevent a fourth nuclear test and that any form of UN action may undermine this approach.

In summary, with regards to sanctions against North Korea there are a number of different actors and audiences that are important in the presentation of China’s position. As a result, the degree to which China supports the regime in Pyongyang or the sanctions regime becomes very confusing. On the one hand, in public forums like the Security Council or after nuclear or missile tests when the world is watching China’s actions, China has clearly made statements that con- demn Pyongyang. Yet, behind the scenes in the Committee or the Panel concerned with the implementation of sanctions against the regime in Pyongyang, China’s crucial role in implementation remains obscured; although there are suggestions in the documents that China has not fully implemented these sanctions to ensure a halt to North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Thus, we can see at least two images of China here, represented by two different groupings within China’s foreign policy apparatus. On the one hand, we see public displays of China acting as a responsible power according to the West’s definition. On the other hand, we also see some evidence to suggest that this responsible activity is not fully followed through in private arenas.

One final place of interaction that should be acknowledged in the discussions between China and the DPRK is in the borderlands and

China in East Asia 123

final ports of call;37 that is the places of implementation. As briefly indicated above, these play an important role in the implementation of sanctions, but the reality that actors in these places have their own interests and procedures is almost always overlooked. An excellent study on China–DPRK border relations from SAIS highlights the dif- ferent level of importance that cross-border trade has for the Chinese province compared with the rest of China and the heightened concerns of their province concerning any potential collapse of the DPRK.38

Their research and analysis indicates that although North Korean trade is of negligible importance to China’s national economy, it is of significance to the provincial economy.39 As a result of this trade dynamic, Freeman and Thompson argue that “in many sectors, ‘China’ means firms from Jilin.”40 In addition, these border areas are more vulnerable to flows of refugees from DPRK and as a result the government in the province has greater need to maintain the border. In consequence, the return of defectors back to the DPRK despite humanitarian concerns is of great importance to the provinces in China that they enter or traverse, notwithstanding the implications this may have for the image of Beijing as a responsible power.41 At the same time there is the potential to see disharmony between activities in the public and private arenas. We also see an image of China as being fragmented and potentially unable to fully enforce these sanctions; either because of a lack of control of individual companies, or the importance of the Chinese provincial government.

Adding to these contradictory images of China’s DPRK relations is the regional picture incorporating a multilateral dimension in the form of the 6-Party Talks (6PT). In this situation China is credited with host- ing and brokering the talks and, after the failure of the last set of talks, with trying to bring North Korea back to the table. Furthermore, China has affirmed (in different forums and via different actors) the importance and appropriateness of the 6PT as the means to achieve a peaceful resolution to the North Korean issue.42

This last image of China suggests one thing about China’s approach to North Korea: that its short-term goal is the resumption of the 6PT. But, as noted above, this objective doesn’t prescribe or proscribe the types of international behavior or statements that are appropriate to achieve this possible objective. Nor does it specify the long-term goal: what outcomes are sought from the 6PT?

In relation to North Korea then, there are a number of different voices that contribute to how China deals with its neighbor, as well as incongruities between actions that are in the public domain and those that remain private. As a consequence of these differences there are also

124 Catherine Jones and Shaun Breslin

a number of questions that need to be raised concerning China’s interests regarding North Korea and whether these interests can be considered to be consistent across the range of actors involved. For example, the interests of the provincial government on the border and the central government in the short term, particularly regarding commercial con- siderations, appear to diverge. Whether this divergence is likely to remain in the long term may depend not only on the commercial interests at play, but also the security considerations regarding refugees.

China and Northeast Asia

In 2013 and 2014 security relations between China and Japan hit the headlines with China’s declaration of an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over a significant section of the East China Sea.43 The Chinese initiative, and Japan’s defiant response to it, resulted in ten- sions between the two countries reaching their lowest point for many decades. Much less noticed (outside the region at least) Japan–South Korea relations have also been seriously tested. For a year the elected leaders of South Korea and Japan did not meet bilaterally, and it took the intervention of the United States to try to force better relations between these two states. At the crux of these disputes are a number of islands in the East China Sea. Although, these islands historically have fallen within the territories of each of the claimant states, because of the vagaries of international agreements (in particular the 1951 San Francisco Treaty to which the People’s Republic of China was not a sig- natory)44 and the manner of international engagements since the end of the Second World War, disputes surrounding the current ownership of these islands are assuming increasing significance.

In this context, it is rather prosaic to suggest that China, Japan, and South Korea have complicated relations. The more interesting point in this medley of hostilities is that the security concerns of these relations relate back to different views of history and also conflicting inter- pretations of international agreements. More significantly, in these competing narratives it is not China that is the perceived sole provo- cateur, but (at least by South Korea) concern is also expressed regard- ing Japan. In particular, there are a number of press releases by the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) that express con- cerns over Japan’s stance towards the Dokdo/Takashima islands as well as visits to the Yasukuni Shrine by members of the Japanese govern- ment.45 Moreover, comments by each country’s political elite have served to highlight the increasing tensions between these states. The most notable of these comments was made by Prime Minister Abe to a

China in East Asia 125

group of journalists on the side of the Davos World Economic forum in January 2014, who reportedly compared China and Japan with Britain and Germany prior to the First World War. However, the translation of these remarks is disputed by the Japanese ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).46 In addition to these elite level statements, there have also been comments made in defense papers and by the foreign ministries. One such example is the 2013 Japanese Defense White Paper, which made an explicit claim that territories disputed between Japan and South Korea are an “inherent part of Japanese territory.”47

Furthermore, adding to these public formal exchanges there have been public information flows from the foreign ministries that present each claimant’s case for authority and sovereignty over these islands.48

There have also been actions in the East China Sea, including the buying of islands by Japan and the extended use of the People’s Lib- eration Army Navy in patrolling the area. All of these tension points are accompanied by contradictory rumors as to which side acted aggressively and which in a more reconciliatory manner.

In addition to these high-level territorial disputes, there have also been legal challenges. China has authorized the legal pursuit of dama- ges for Chinese sent to work in Japan during the Second World War against Japanese companies.49 Moreover, at the individual level, at points of intense disagreement Japanese companies have been boy- cotted or vandalized. All of these images of China, Japan, and (to a lesser extent) South Korea’s engagements with each other suggest increasingly confident, even aggressive exchanges that seem to permeate through many speakers in each of the states concerned.

In contrast to this bleak security picture in Northeast Asia, eco- nomic relations between these states are very dynamic. Trade between China and Japan has increased steadily in the past two decades. At the time of writing, China was Japan’s largest trading partner.50 This picture posits a number of questions regarding the importance of economic ties and whether they can mitigate security concerns. According to some leading scholars and commentators, the economic risks are too great to allow hostilities to seriously impact on trade. As a result, economics should act as a glass ceiling to increasing hostilities.51 In looking in more detail at this argument it becomes increasingly compelling.

Nonetheless, it is not just the material security concerns that need to be mitigated but also the contingent identity issues that are at stake. Japan, China, and South Korea all have political leaderships that are concerned with reputation and national identity.52 For each of the states involved, domestic legitimacy and national identity are

126 Catherine Jones and Shaun Breslin

increasingly based on sovereignty and territorial claims as well as economic success.


This chapter set out with a very modest goal: to establish the com- plexity of relations between China and East Asia. In doing so it has asserted that debates over whether China has a grand strategy, in East Asia or elsewhere, neutralize and hide this complexity in ways that obscure the most interesting questions about how China engages with its neighbors. The argument does not suggest that China is unique in displaying this level of international intricacy and contradiction. After all, most states around the world arguably act inconsistently according to perceived changes in their interest or domestic politics. Nonetheless, this is compounded in China’s case by its non-normative approach to foreign policy engagements. As has been demonstrated across these three groups of relations, China presents different faces to different audiences. The potentially troubling element here is in the increasingly rapid response to new situations, which contributes to the construction of these events as demonstrative of China’s increasing assertiveness. In some situations, for example in South East Asia, this undermines over a decade of commitment to multilateralism and responsibility.

Yet it is perhaps worth pondering whether a lack of a normative agenda, or a clear grand strategy, actually reduces the risk of hostilities rather than promoting them. Moving away from any theoretical pre- diction of the risks of misperception, there is the natural logic that if you have a strategy and normative agenda you actually have a plan that you may seek to fulfill. This brings with it the danger that, know- ing your plan, other powers may pursue counter-measures—leading to conflict.

In returning to the three elements of discussions on Chinese foreign policy set out in this chapter, the region offers a petri-dish to explore how these elements may evolve. The non-normative approach of China contributes to a lack of trust between China and its neighbors. More significantly the expression of China’s core interests, its red lines on which it will not compromise, focuses attention on areas of East Asia, but does not offer clarity as to the actions that China will see as a threat to these interests, nor does it set out the responses that China will adopt. Emphasizing the importance of these interests, which include Taiwan and various disputed territories, coupled with an incremental approach to responding to foreign policy issues, creates an increasing impression of uncertainty. Finally, although it is readily acknowledged that China

China in East Asia 127

utilizes different domestic actors in different settings to speak to dif- ferent audiences, it has been less readily noted that in some instances these actors may also have different (if not divergent) interests.

The problems created by these multilayered, multifaceted, and mul- tifunctional engagements in East Asia suggest—or even demand—the development of a less bifurcated discussion of individual events. There is a need to pause and consider a greater context as well as ponder the diversity of actors and forms of governance in operation. Doing so may shed more light on current situations than a focus on immediate responses or reactions which might tend to obscure the bigger picture.

Notes 1 Shaun Breslin, “China and the Global Order: Signaling Threat or Friend-

ship?” International Affairs 89, no. 3 (2013): 615–634; Jisi Wang, “China’s Search for a Grand Strategy,” Foreign Affairs 90, no. 2 (2011): 68–79; Feng Zhang, “Rethinking China’s Grand Strategy: Beijing’s Evolving National Interests and Strategic Ideas in the Reform Era,” International Politics 49 (2012): 318–45.

2 Thomas J. Christensen, “The Advantages of an Assertive China: Responding to Beijing’s Abrasive Diplomacy,” Foreign Affairs 90, no. 2 (2011): 54–67; Kai He and Huiyan Feng, “Debating China’s Assertiveness: Taking China’s Power and Interests seriously,” International Politics 49, (2012): 633–644; Andrew Scobell and Scott W. Harold, “An ‘Assertive’ China? Insights from Interviews,” Asian Security 9, no. 2 (2013): 111–131.

3 For an outline of China’s foreign policy actors see: Linda Jakobson and Dean Knox, New foreign policy actors in China, SIPRI Policy Paper, no. 26 (Stockholm, 2010). For discussions of China’s foreign policy see: Thomas J. Christensen, “More actors, Less Coordination? New Challenges for the Leaders of a Rising China,” in China’s Foreign Policy: Who makes it, and how is it made? Gilbert Rozman, ed. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013); Alastair Iain Johnston, “Chapter 3: International Structures and Chinese Foreign Policy,” in China and the World: Chinese Foreign Policy Faces the New Millennium, Samuel S. Kim, ed. (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1998); Michael D. Swaine, “Chinese Leadership and Elite Responses to the U.S. Pacific Pivot,” China Leadership Monitor 38.

4 One key feature of these discussions centers on whether China has what Andrew Hurrell has described as a “project and purpose” for global order, Andrew Hurrell, “Hegemony, Liberalism and Global Order: What Space for Would-Be Great Powers?” International Affairs 82 no. 1 (2006): 2. See also Gregory Chin and Ramesh Thakur, “Will China Change the Rules of Global Order,” The Washington Quarterly 33, no. 4 (October 2010): 119– 138; Barry Buzan “The Inaugural Kenneth N. Waltz Annual Lecture A World Order Without Superpowers: Decentred Globalism,” International Relations 25, no. 3 (2011): 1–12.

5 This phrase was first seen to be used in a statement by Dai Bingguo on 28 July 2009. The statement and a translation are available in “Dai Bingguo:

128 Catherine Jones and Shaun Breslin

The Core Interests of the People’s Republic of China,” China Digital Times, http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2009/08/dai-bingguo-%E6%88%B4%E7%A7%8 9%E5%9B%BD-the-core-interests-of-the-prc/. See also Michael D. Swaine, “China’s assertive behaviour Part One: On ‘Core Interests,’” http://carne gieendowment.org/files/Swaine_CLM_34_1114101.pdf.

6 Ivan Campbell, Thomas Wheeler, Larry Attree, Dell Marie Butler, and Bernardo Mariani, China and Conflict-affected States: Between Principle and Pragmatism(London: Saferworld, 2012).

7 Colin S. Gray, Another Bloody Century (London: Weidenfeld and Nicol- son, 2005), 168–211. In addition, Aaron Friedberg argues that scholars asserting that China’s elites are becoming socialized to global norms (and are therefore becoming more predictable), are “self-congratulatory” even going on to suggest they may be “self-delusional”, Aaron Friedberg, A Contest for Supremacy: China, America, and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2011). Underpinning these predictions are problems of misperception that are perceived to be a sig- nificant cause of conflict/competition. See, Jack Levy, “Misperception and the Causes of War: Theoretical Linkages and Analytical Problems,” World Politics 36, no. 1 (1983): 76–99.

8 Alistair Iain Johnston, Social States: China in International Institutions, 1980–2000 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2007).

9 According to Ian Storey, in 1967, 10 days after the Bangkok declaration that created ASEAN, China spelled out its “disdain for the new organiza- tion,” Ian Storey, Southeast Asia and the Rise of China (London: Routle- dge, 2011), 26; Shaun Breslin, “Understanding China’s Regional Rise: Interpretations, Identities and Implications,” International Affairs 85, no. 4 (2009): 817–835; Lai Foon Wong, “China-ASEAN and Japan-ASEAN Relations during the Post-Cold War Era,” Chinese Journal of International Politics 1 (2007): 373–404.

10 Alice Ba, “China and ASEAN: Renavigating relations for a 21st Century Asia,” Asian Survey 43, no. 4 (2003): 349–647; Breslin, “Understanding China’s Regional Rise”; Wong, “China-ASEAN and Japan-ASEAN”; Ian Storey, Southeast Asia and the Rise of China; Guogang Wu and Helen Lansdowne, China turns to Multilateralism: Foreign Policy and Regional Security (London, Routledge: 2008).

11 Incidents including disputes over the Scarborough Shoal, Paracel, and Spratly Islands have encouraged some regional states to seek greater engagement with the United States—for example, Vietnam’s joint military exercises with the US in the South China Sea.

12 See Ralf Emmers, “Indonesia’s Role in ASEAN: A case of incomplete and sectorial leadership,” The Pacific Review 27, no. 4 (2014): 543–562.

13 For a more detailed discussion see: Il Hyun Cho and Seo-Hyun Park, “Domestic legitimacy politics and varieties of regionalism in East Asia,” Review of International Studies 40, no. 3 (2014): 583–606.

14 This phrase is commonly used in reference to Asia’s institutions; see Seng Tan “Introduction,” in Do Institutions Matter? Regional Institutions and Regionalism in East Asia, See Seng Tan, ed. (Singapore: RSIS, 2008), 2.

15 Jim Thomas, Zack Cooper and Iskander Rehman, Gateway to the Indo- Pacific: Australian Defense Strategy and the Future of the Australia-US

China in East Asia 129http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2009/08/dai-bingguo-%E6%88%B4%E7%A7%89%E5%9B%BD-the-core-interests-of-the-prc/http://carnegieendowment.org/files/Swaine_CLM_34_1114101.pdfhttp://carnegieendowment.org/files/Swaine_CLM_34_1114101.pdfhttp://chinadigitaltimes.net/2009/08/dai-bingguo-%E6%88%B4%E7%A7%89%E5%9B%BD-the-core-interests-of-the-prc/

Alliance (Washington, DC: Centre for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, 2013).

16 According to Lai Foon Wong, China-ASEAN leadership exchanges have more than doubled in the years 1990–2005, Wong, “China-ASEAN and Japan-ASEAN,” 378.

17 China was the first outside power to sign the Treaty of Amity and Coop- eration in 1991; it became a consultative partner in the same year and finally a full dialogue partner in 1996. In 1997 the first China-ASEAN summit was held.

18 Wu and Lansdowne, China turns to Multilateralism. 19 Andrew Hurrell, “One World? Many Worlds? The Place of Regions in the

Study of International Society,” International Affairs 83, no. 1 (2007): 103. 20 The extent and nature to which ASEAN does control the region remains

disputed. See Lee Jones, “Still in the driver’s seat, but for how long? ASEAN’s capacity for leadership in East-Asian International Relations,” Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs 29, no. 3 (2010): 95–113.

21 Wong, “China-ASEAN and Japan-ASEAN,” 379. Since this publication this web of connections has increased.

22 Such as, the staggered entry of ASEAN members and the start of the “Early Harvest Programme” see Raul L. Cordenillo, “The Economic Ben- efits to ASEAN of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA),” Studies Unit Bureau for Economic Integration ASEAN Secretariat, 18 January 2005, www.asean.org/news/item/the-economic-benefits-to-asean-of-the-asean-china- free-trade-area-acfta-1-by-raul-l-cordenillo-2.

23 Some commentators have suggested that ASEAN embraced China in regional frameworks, see Alice Ba, “China and ASEAN: Renavigating relations for a 21st Century Asia,” Asian Survey 43, no. 4 (2003): 622–647. Others have remained skeptical of the role ASEAN can play in mitigating the dangers of China’s rise, see Hugh White, “ASEAN won’t help US manage China,” CogitASIA, 3 August 2012, http://cogitasia.com/asea n-wont-help-us-to-manage-china/.

24 In the 2012 East Asia Summit the problem of the South China Sea dispute was raised at the regional security forum and was widely cited as being the reason for an absence of joint statement after the meeting. Since then it has been difficult to hold an ASEAN meeting that concerns the dispute and also produce a statement from the forum.

25 Christopher Ward, “South China Sea on the Rocks: Philippines arbitration request,” East Asia Forum, 21 April 2014, www.eastasiaforum.org/2014/ 04/21/south-china-sea-on-the-rocks-the-philippines-arbitration-request/.

26 ASEAN, Declaration on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, signed 4 November 2002, www.asean.org/asean/external-relations/china/ item/declaration-on-the-conduct-of-parties-in-the-south-china-sea.

27 These phrases are commonly used in discussions of China and North Korea see: Chen Ping, “China’s (North) Korea Policy: Misperception and Reality (an independent Chinese perspective on Sino-Korean Relations),” in China’s Foreign Policy: Who Makes it, and how is it made? Gilbert Rozman ed. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 252–274, 256; Carla Freeman and Drew Thompson, China on the Edge: China’s Border Pro- vinces and Chinese Security Policy (Baltimore, Md.: The Centre for the National Interest and John Hopkins SAIS, 2011).

130 Catherine Jones and Shaun Breslinhttp://www.asean.org/news/item/the-economic-benefits-to-asean-of-the-asean-china-free-trade-area-acfta-1-by-raul-l-cordenillo-2http://www.asean.org/news/item/the-economic-benefits-to-asean-of-the-asean-china-free-trade-area-acfta-1-by-raul-l-cordenillo-2http://cogitasia.com/asean-wont-help-us-to-manage-china/http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2014/04/21/south-china-sea-on-the-rocks-the-philippines-arbitration-request/http://www.asean.org/asean/external-relations/china/item/declaration-on-the-conduct-of-parties-in-the-south-china-seahttp://cogitasia.com/asean-wont-help-us-to-manage-china/http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2014/04/21/south-china-sea-on-the-rocks-the-philippines-arbitration-request/http://www.asean.org/asean/external-relations/china/item/declaration-on-the-conduct-of-parties-in-the-south-china-sea

28 “So, speaking for China, the North Korean problem is a headache a hun- dred times greater than the Diaoyu Islands dispute,” “因此�对于中国来 说�朝核威胁其实是比钓鱼岛争端头疼百倍,” “Yinci, duiyu zohongguo lai shou, chaohe weixie qishi shi bi diaoyudao touteng bai bei” from Sanjun, “朝鲜核试验后�中国一个集团军调往鸭绿江” 19 February 2013, www.sa njun.com/zhongguo/20130219/3547.html.

29 FMPRC Statement 9 October 2006; also “China resolutely opposes DPRK nuclear test,” Xinhua, 9 October 2006, http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/ 2006-10/09/content_5180203.htm.

30 Security Council verbatim record S.PV5551, October 2006. 31 Security Council resolution 1718, 14 October 2006. 32 Security Council resolution 1874, 12 June 2009; Security Council resolution

2087, 22 January 2013; Security Council resolution 2094, 7 March 2013. 33 UN Yearbook 2006, Chapter 4, 446; Security Council verbatim report, S/

PV.5551, October 2006, 4. 34 The most notable of these incidents was the movement of missiles at a

Birthday parade in Pyongyang where the lumber transporter used to transport missiles was found to have come from China, see Security Council report by the Panel of Experts, S/2012/422, 14 June 2012, 19; Security Council report by the Panel of Experts S/2013/337, 26.

35 See Panel Reports: Security Council report by the Panel of Experts, S/2012/422, 14 June 2012; Security Council report by the Panel of Experts S/2013/337.

36 “Briefing by the Chair of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee,” What’s in Blue: Insights on the work of the UN Security Council, 19 May 2014, www. whatsinblue.org/2014/05/briefing-by-the-chair-of-the-1718-dprk-sanctions-co mmittee.php.

37 According to the 2010 Panel of Experts report, China accounted for the highest number of exports to North Korea and this has steadily increased from 2000 to 2009, Security Council report by the Panel of Experts, S/ 2010/571, 5 November 2010, 19.

38 Freeman and Thompson, China on the Edge. 39 Freeman and Thompson, China on the Edge, 40. 40 Freeman and Thompson, China on the Edge, 39. 41 China has been criticized for returning North Korean defectors, which it

considers to be “illegal border crossers”, see “China Arrests North Korean Refugees: Reports,” Radio Free Asia, 18 November 2013, www.rfa.org/eng lish/news/korea/arrest-11182013171205.html.

42 MOFA, “Wang Yi: China always upholds impartial and objective position on Korean Peninsula Issue,” 26 May 2014, www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/zxxx_ 662805/t1160324.shtml; Security Council verbatim meeting, S/PV.6141, 12 June 2009.

43 Ministry of National Defense People’s Republic of China, “Announcement of the Aircraft Identification Rules for the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone of the P.R.C.,” 23 November 2013, http://eng.mod.gov. cn/Press/2013-11/23/content_4476143.htm.

44 According to the 1951 San Francisco Treaty Chapter II, articles 2 and 3, Japan was obligated to return and renounce the rights to a series of terri- tories; however, the agreement is unclear about precisely which islands must be renounced. Whereas some islands are specifically identified such as Dagelet and Taiwan (Formosa), other territories and rights refer back to

China in East Asia 131http://www.sanjun.com/zhongguo/20130219/3547.htmlhttp://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-10/09/content_5180203.htmhttp://www.whatsinblue.org/2014/05/briefing-by-the-chair-of-the-1718-dprk-sanctions-coorg/2014/05/briefing-by-the-chair-of-the-1718-dprk-sanctions-committee.php”>http://www.whatsinblue.org/2014/05/briefing-by-the-chair-of-the-1718-dprk-sanctions-committee.phphttp://www.rfa.org/english/news/korea/arrest-11182013171205.htmlhttp://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/zxxx_662805/t1160324.shtmlhttp://eng.mod.govcn/Press/2013-11/23/content_4476143.htmhttp://www.sanjun.com/zhongguo/20130219/3547.htmlhttp://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-10/09/content_5180203.htmhttp://www.whatsinblue.org/2014/05/briefing-by-the-chair-of-the-1718-dprk-sanctions-cohttp://www.rfa.org/english/news/korea/arrest-11182013171205.htmlhttp://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/zxxx_662805/t1160324.shtmlhttp://eng.mod.govcn/Press/2013-11/23/content_4476143.htm

older treaties (notably the Boxer protocol of 7 September 1901) Chapter IV article 10, resulting in a lack of clarity over ownership of sectors now dis- puted in the East China Sea. See Treaty No. 1832 “Treaty of Peace with Japan (with two declarations), signed in San Francisco 8 September 1951,” UN Treaty Series, https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/…/volume-136-I-1 832-English.pdf; for commentaries on these disputes see Seokwoo Lee, “The 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty with Japan and the Territorial dis- putes in East Asia,” Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal 11, no. 1 (2002): 63–146; Seokwoo Lee and Jon M. Van Dyke, “The 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty and its relevance to the Sovereignty over Dokdo,” Chinese Journal of International Law 9, no. 4 (2010): 741–762.

45 South Korean MOFA, “MOFA Spokesperson’s Commentary on the Japa- nese Prime Minister’s Offering to the Yasukuni Shrine,” 21 April 2014; South Korea MOFA, “MOFA Spokesperson’s Commentary on Japan’s Provocation over Dokdo through a Tokyo Rally,” 5 June 2014, press release 476, www.mofa.go.kr/ENG/press/pressreleases/index.jsp?menu=m_10_20.

46 Robert Peston, “Davos: What Abe Said,” BBC News, 22 January 2014, www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25847276. See also Asahi Shimbun, “Analy- sis: Fallout Lingering from Abe’s World War I reference” Asahi Shimbun, published 25 January 2014, http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/poli tics/AJ201401250056.

47 Japanese Ministry of Defense, “Defense of Japan 2013,” http://www.mod. go.jp/e/publ/w_paper/2013.html; South Korean MOFA, “MOFA Spokes- person’s Commentary on the Japanese Prime Minister’s Offering to the Yasukuni Shrine,” 21 April 2014, press release number 4890, www.mofa.go.kr/ ENG/press/pressreleases/index.jsp?menu=m_10_20; South Korea MOFA, “Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Statement on Defense of Japan 2013 (Annual White Paper),” 9 July 2013, press release number 4399, www. mofa.go.kr/ENG/press/pressreleases/index.jsp?menu=m_10_20.

48 See MOFA Channel (youtube), “Senkaku Islands seeking maritime peace based on the rule of law not force or coercion,” www.youtube.com/watch? v=aC9gyVeCAp0;CCTV, “Diaoyu Islands: China’s Inherent territory,” http://english.cntv.cn/special/diaoyuchina/homepage/index.shtml.

49 In 2014 Chinese courts allowed a petition that enabled Chinese victims of forced labor during the Second World War to sue the two Japanese com- panies involved (now owned by Nippon and Mitsubishi).

50 WTO country profile, March 2014, http://stat.wto.org/CountryProfile/ WSDBCountryPFView.aspx?Language=E&Country=CN%2cJP.

51 Amy King, “Japan and China: warm trade ties temper political tensions,” East Asia Forum, October 2012, www.eastasiaforum.org/2012/10/22/japa n-and-china-warm-trade-ties-temper-political-tensions/.

52 Il Hyun Cho and Seo-Hyun Park, “Domestic legitimacy politics and vari- eties of regionalism in East Asia,” Review of International Studies 40, no. 3 (2014): 583–606.

132 Catherine Jones and Shaun Breslinhttps://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/%E2%80%A6/volume-136-I-1832-English.pdfhttp://www.mofa.go.kr/ENG/press/pressreleases/index.jsp?menu=m_10_20http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25847276http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201401250056http://www.modgo.jp/e/publ/w_paper/2013.htmlhttp://www.mofa.go.kr/ENG/press/pressreleases/index.jsp?menu=m_10_20http://www.mofa.go.kr/ENG/press/pressreleases/index.jsp?menu=m_10_20http://www.mofa.go.kr/ENG/press/pressreleases/index.jsp?menu=m_10_20http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aC9gyVeCAp0;CCTVhttp://english.cntv.cn/special/diaoyuchina/homepage/index.shtmlhttp://stat.wto.org/CountryProfile/WSDBCountryPFView.aspx?Language=E&Country=CN%2cJPhttp://www.eastasiaforum.org/2012/10/22/japan-and-china-warm-trade-ties-temper-political-tensions/http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201401250056http://www.modgo.jp/e/publ/w_paper/2013.htmlhttp://www.mofa.go.kr/ENG/press/pressreleases/index.jsp?menu=m_10_20http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aC9gyVeCAp0;CCTVhttp://stat.wto.org/CountryProfile/WSDBCountryPFView.aspx?Language=E&Country=CN%2cJPhttp://www.eastasiaforum.org/2012/10/22/japan-and-china-warm-trade-ties-temper-political-tensions/https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/%E2%80%A6/volume-136-I-1832-English.pdf


8901-4- Global governance and the BRICs Ideas, actors, and governance practices.pdf

4 Global governance and the BRICs Ideas, actors, and governance practices

Mark Bevir and Jamie Gaskarth

� China � Russia � Brazil � India � Conclusion

Broadly speaking, there are two narratives about what global govern- ance means and how the concept can be used to understand global politics. One invokes new theories to understand the beliefs and beha- vior of global actors, the other sees new worlds emerging, with new actors and new configurations of power that require new analytical tools. They are not inherently mutually exclusive; but nor are they mutually dependent and are often contrasted.

The first sees global governance as offering a new theoretical lens to view international relations. Older theories presented international rela- tions as an anarchical system or society of states interacting by trade, war, and diplomacy. The defining feature of this political sphere was the absence of any effective world government controlling, regulating, and coordinating the actions of different states.1 In contrast, global gov- ernance highlights how patterns of rule can arise without hierarchic institutions let alone an international sovereign power. Actors internalize informal norms as well as have them imposed by the rules of external powers, monitor themselves as well as being supervised by others, coordinate their interactions with others through mutual adjustments as well as hierarchic organization. So, the term “global governance” draws attention to the diverse activities and processes that organize inter- national relations. James Rosenau defines global governance as the “sys- tems of rule” that exist “at all levels of human activity—from the family to the international organization—in which the pursuit of goals through the exercise of control has transnational repercussions.”2

The second strand of global governance scholarship identifies the role of diverse social actors as well as states in securing patterns of rule at the transnational and global levels.3 International organizations can shape state behavior, promote their own normative agenda and influence human beliefs and conduct beyond the confines of intergovernmental interac- tions. Private individuals and companies exert huge influence on the ideas and practices that underpin the organization of global society and politics. However, states, and governments acting on their behalf, remain important actors in global politics. Their bureaucratic resources and residual authority allow them to provide governance, regulate behavior, resist pressures for change and steer it in ways that favor their interests.

In short, we have two differing portraits of what global governance means. This dichotomy is apparent in the literature on the rising powers. Emphasizing the rise of states such as China, India, Brazil, and Russia is itself a reassertion of the primacy of the state as the actor in global politics. Underlying this narrative is the assumption that changes in the structure of the society of states, towards a multipolar world, will have a dramatic influence on governance outcomes. The rise of individual states is viewed as part of a wider economic and cultural shift in which Asian and/or Southern values will come to dominate global society in the future. Groupings such as IBSA, BASIC, and the BRICS are interpreted as heralding a challenge to longstanding, predominantly Western understandings of economic and political govern- ance. The society of states may not be disappearing, but its funda- mental norms will be shaped according to the values of the emerging powers, many of whom have histories of under-development, colonial exploitation, and exclusion from the global economy.

On the other hand, the rise of new centers of economic and political power is also being driven by new actors, including transnational elites, emerging religious and nationalist movements, state-owned enterprises and creative artists. These are challenging state authority both domestically and globally, leading some to question whether it is actually states that are rising or particular social strata across certain regions.

This chapter aims to bring together these disparate ideas by tracing the interplay of new theories and new worlds in the recent history of each of the original BRIC states. These accounts intend to show how transnational theories about governance have permeated borders and come to be implemented domestically by states; but also how they are reinterpreted and applied in particular national circumstances. What we find are “syncretist” elements, i.e. attitudes to governance forged by interaction with broader global actors and trends;4 as well as more internal processes particular to the history and culture of the state in

Global governance and the BRICs 75

question. In analyzing each in turn, we may garner a deeper under- standing of the contingent and contested nature of dominant narratives of global governance.

Rather than simply follow the BRICs order laid down by Jim O’Neill, we begin our discussion with China before exploring Russia, Brazil, and India. The similarities in authoritarian governance between China and Russia, as well as the sense they are more “resurgent” than “rising” powers, makes this progression more logical, as does the counterpoint of Brazil and India—two post-colonial powers with stronger democratic traditions.


China pioneered the formal, governmental aspects of governance, having had a defined territory, central executive, and bureaucracy appointed via competitive examination since the Tang dynasty (618– 907). However, for nearly two centuries, central government has strug- gled to impose control and manage the country’s myriad political, economic, and security challenges. Continual Western interventions in Chinese affairs, often with force, until the Communist takeover in 1949 are described by Chinese policy-makers as a “century of national humiliation.” As a result, Chinese attitudes to external, particularly Western, powers and the international society they dominate, continue to be highly skeptical. Internationalism evokes memories of eight- nation alliances intervening to plunder Chinese resources. Conversely, national independence and sovereignty are highly prized.

Nevertheless, Chinese politics in the twentieth century have regularly been influenced by external notions of governance. European under- standings of nationalism and democracy influenced the May fourth movement.5 Marxist-Leninist political and economic ideas were adop- ted and translated into the Chinese context by Chinese thinkers in the inter-war period. When the Chinese communist party assumed full control of mainland China in 1949, the government embraced Soviet thinking on planning, initiating five-year plans and grand centrally conceived projects like the Great Leap Forward. In the 1950s, China made its first serious effort at modernization, importing Soviet tech- nology and expertise to increase its manufacturing output. This was sup- posed to be funded by increased grain production in the agricultural sector, but when this failed to materialize, the Soviets lost interest and withdrew their support.

There then followed a period of extreme insecurity as the Chinese authorities became more erratic in their attitudes to governance. At

76 Mark Bevir and Jamie Gaskarth

first, communes were promoted to localize the governance of produc- tion. When the cultural revolution began in 1966, expertise and intel- lectualism themselves became politically suspect. The bureaucracy was blamed for governance failures and seen to promote special interests over the mass of the people, especially the rural poor. The effect was to undermine any coordinated effort at managing the country’s economic and political problems.

Mao’s death and the arrest of the “gang of four” who tried to assume power in his wake, heralded a dramatic shift in the Chinese leadership’s attitude to both capitalism and international engagement. The government invited foreign investment to modernize its manu- facturing sector, encouraged private enterprise (albeit with strong party oversight) and the new de facto leader, Deng Xiaopeng, even declared that “to make money is glorious.”6 The emphasis on communes was reversed in favor of town and village enterprises and special economic zones were created with business-friendly taxation and regulation arrange- ments. Interaction with the wider world also brought about changes in social outlook. As Robin Porter has noted: “it was not only the tech- niques of international business that were imbibed. Attitudes changed, tastes changed, and with them the expectations of young people.”7

When these attitudes threatened to translate into calls for democracy during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, they were brutally suppressed by the government. However, in subsequent decades, spec- tacular economic growth and increasing prosperity in metropolitan areas have meant a huge number of Chinese people enjoy greater freedom and prosperity. It is tempting to see China as undergoing a gradual process of liberalization and Westernization, leading to inevitable democratic transformation. However, this would be to ignore the specific national processes that continue to influence how governance works in practice.

Although a degree of liberalization has occurred, this is not along a neoliberal model. China is not a full market economy. Few major pri- vate companies are free of governmental interference, even if this is only as a result of government investment. Senior figures in a number of supposedly independent firms have interchanged in an apparently coordinated fashion. China is described as operating a “coordinated market economy,” one in which “many firms still enjoy direct support from the state or benefit from country-specific advantages where the state is a critical actor.”8 The communist party continues to exercise a strong influence on the lives of Chinese citizens, especially when it comes to formal modes of governance. In fact, the continuance of authoritarian government has itself been used to explain the success of

Global governance and the BRICs 77

China’s modernization. According to this argument, only an author- itarian system could have pushed through the radical changes that have occurred in the last few decades, as well as the massive infrastructure projects which have facilitated development, such as the three gorges dam.9

That said, central government does not have it all its own way; nor are central governance practices entirely driven by national goals. Pri- vate networks of influence are also in operation. In particular, the tra- dition of guanxi—promoting the interests of friends or relations—is itself subversive, both of party control and modernization along Weberian bureaucratic lines. Such corrupt practices are seen as under- mining party discipline and control. Indeed, market reforms and greater transparency are sometimes conveyed as useful in reinforcing government authority.

Promoting economic development in specific geographical areas has also had a mixed impact. Originally conceived to ensure central control over the development process, it has given rise to new power centers, where latent regional and metropolitan identities have re-emerged. Rural/urban divides have surfaced and this has caused resentment in rural communities at the perceived distance between the urban leader- ship and the wider community. There are estimated to be around 100,000 protests annually against local, regional, and national government, many occurring in rural areas.10

The existence of Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) is often depicted as a challenge to the neoliberal economic model.11 Pervasive state involvement in business and central planning of economic activity give rise to the idea that China’s economic system is one of “author- itarian capitalism.” Whereas Western countries have privatized and deregulated most of their largest firms, state-controlled companies are said to make up 80 percent of the market capitalization of the Chinese stock market.12 Although the number of Chinese SOEs has declined, this process is seen as more a consolidation, with the remaining firms promoted as “national champions” in strategic industries.13 The Eur- opean Chamber of Commerce recently criticized the Chinese govern- ment for having an “overly-dominant role” in the market, arguing that “Liberalisation has stalled” due to the “partisan treatment” meted out to these enterprises.14

However, Chinese officials are also said to have become concerned that inefficiencies in SOEs were resulting in “deteriorating returns and accumulating debt,” leading them to look to the more distanced state- private relationship of Singaporean government-linked companies (GLCs).15 These are still amenable to state influence in strategic terms but their day-to-day running is autonomous from the state. As such,

78 Mark Bevir and Jamie Gaskarth

the Chinese government may embrace more private control of eco- nomic activity, not because it believes in liberalism, or neoliberalism, or because of external pressure, but because it can see this might help to overcome inefficiencies that have emerged in protected industries. In November 2013, the third plenum of the Communist Party’s central committee resulted in the announcement that market competition would be given a more “decisive role” in the economy.16 Yet, this news was seen as tempered by the affirmation that the government and state- run firms would continue to play an important part in future economic planning.17 As Sáez and Chang put it, “China appears to want it both ways,” looking to improve corporate performance through “Western management expertise” but also retaining a “controlling interest.”18

In sum, China has an embedded authoritarian tradition of govern- ment, which has long embraced central planning as the cornerstone of its economic and political structures. Nevertheless, local governance arrangements have also existed in tandem, from communes to town and village enterprises and special enterprise zones. A fear of internal disorder (associated with foreign intervention) has led to an emphasis on strong, central management of problems to ensure political control remains with the government. Yet, the differentiated pace of economic growth in the various regions and cities could threaten to undermine the legitimacy and authority of the leadership.

The Chinese government has recently begun to use rhetoric implying it will seek to democratize but, as with the economic realm, this is usually framed as about making governance more effective. As such, it is more a technical move than a turn towards a democratic ethos along Western lines. Elizabeth Van Wie Davis sets out a picture of the Chi- nese government under Hu encouraging “open debate, internal leader- ship elections, and decision making by a diverse leadership group with disparate power centers” as a “prerequisite for good governance in the country as a whole.”19 However, this is very much an intraparty democracy that is envisaged. Tensions exist within the party over the nature and pace of economic and political reform, with some seeing a “nexus between CCP elites and business interests who have plundered the nation’s assets under the cover of privatization.”20 Recent corrup- tion clampdowns by the incoming Xi Jinping administration are view- able as an attempt to address this perception. Nevertheless, dissenting voices hint at the limits of state power and the potential existence of networks below and across government, subverting national interests.

From this brief account of governance as it relates to Chinese poli- tics, its attitude to global governance becomes clearer. To avoid attracting foreign interest and hence interference, China has defined its

Global governance and the BRICs 79

entry into a dominant position in international society as a “peaceful rise.”21 Fear of internal disorder projects itself through China’s global emphasis on maintaining existing patterns of order (however imperfect), upholding the sovereignty and territorial status quo of other states wherever possible. Existing international institutions are tolerable, as they have allowed China’s rise, and the stability they provide in interactions is preferable to the uncertainty of radical reform.

Thus, China joined the WTO in 2001, declines to actively support reform of the UN Security Council, and is a key member of the G20. Chinese officials also boast that between 1990 and 2006, China was the biggest contributor to peacekeeping missions among the five perma- nent members of the UN Security Council.22 China has normalized relations with a host of countries that it had previously had hostile relations with, including Indonesia, South Korea, and India. A Chinese official leads the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and China is also a participant in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), APEC for Pacific Rim countries, and the China–Africa Cooperation forum.

Xi’s predecessor, Hu Jintao, summarized China’s foreign policy goals in 2009 as seeking: profound transformation; a harmonious world; common development; shared responsibility; and active engagement.23

At the time, the inclusion of “profound transformation” and “active engagement” seemed to imply that a more aggressive foreign policy would be forthcoming. Although the transformation envisaged was actually economic development, Chinese assertions of historical claims over the South China Sea and disputes over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands have alienated important regional actors like Japan and India.

Yet, there is little sense that China seeks to overturn the structures of global governance. Any revolutionary sentiments have been replaced by a pragmatic attitude to governance. As the former Vice ForeignMinister, Wang Guangya put it “Our mindset today is completely different…We analyse situations in terms of real facts, reach our own conclu- sions—and take responsibility for them.”24 China seeks to reinforce conservative, pluralist norms such as sovereignty, non-intervention, and anti-hegemonism, to promote a more balanced multipolar international structure. As Barry Buzan has noted, it accepts the market and much of the organizational structure of global governance and merely wants to increase its own status within them, as well as resist more radical reform based on human rights, sovereignty as responsibility, democratization or, to a lesser extent, environmentalism.25

To summarize, China’s domestic governance arrangements have involved borrowing from other cultures, from Soviet central planning initiatives to more recent efforts at economic liberalization. Its interaction

80 Mark Bevir and Jamie Gaskarth

with the global economy, particularly when it comes to membership of the WTO, requires regulation to coordinate its economy with other states and so offers a means of socialization to wider financial govern- ance norms. Yet there are national cultural practices, such as the tra- ditions of guanxi, authoritarian government, and state support of national firms that potentially subvert the free market. Planning at the national level predominates. For all its greater openness, China still views governance through a nationalistic lens and this hampers its embrace of global governance arrangements that compromise sover- eignty. Sub-state and transnational networks, either from the private sector or civil society, are seen as subversive of national identity and the common good.


On the surface, Russia shares a number of similarities with China in its history and attitude to governance. It too perceives itself as a victim of foreign intervention. Having been invaded three times in two centuries, Russia is wary of threats from abroad. NATO enlargement and EU encroachment into previously Soviet satellite states in the post-Cold War era are viewed as threatening encirclements. Meanwhile Western- backed military interventions, particularly in Kosovo in 1999, are a humiliating sign of Western disregard for Russia’s status in its near abroad. In addition, the imposition of neoliberalism in the 1990s at the behest of the United States and Europeans had a catastrophic effect on Russia’s economy. Wages and living standards declined considerably— with its GDP only returning to 1991 levels in 2007.26 The knock-on effects of the Asian financial crisis led to Russia defaulting on its international financial obligations in August 1998. This experience has led to profound skepticism in Russia over the merits of neoliberal prescriptions for economic governance.

Indeed, the problems of governance in the Yeltsin period were cru- cial in informing Putin and Medvedev’s later reforms, and contributed to their subsequent failure. Zhuplev and Shein note that the transfor- mation from the Soviet era to an independent Russia was one in which “administrative power, shady personal connections, or just an outright use of physical (criminal) force in business pursuits” were rife.27 As the Russian government neared bankruptcy, it increasingly resorted to what Robinson terms “particularistic exchanges,” such as bartering, granting access to resources for political favorites, and corruption.28

Wages went unpaid to lower inflation, fuel supplies were provided in lieu of monetary subsidies to industry and local authorities, and this

Global governance and the BRICs 81

was funded in turn by tax concessions to energy firms.29 Central gov- ernment was increasingly weakened by a spiral of lower tax receipts and governance networks of private connections working in their own interest. A decade after the neoliberal reforms of the Russian economy, 90 percent of Russia’s output was produced by private enterprises30

and according to Shadrina and Bradshaw “state-owned companies (SOCs) produced less than 20% of Russia’s oil.”31

Under Vladimir Putin’s leadership as variously prime minister and president, a concerted effort was made to wrest back control over key markets and firms from individual or foreign control and reassert cen- tral authority. Russia has a long tradition of authoritarian government and this is often interpreted as the state returning to type. Yet, if we explore these efforts to impose a more authoritarian and centralized system of gov- ernance, we find similar problems of authority and efficiency as planners in other contexts, as outlined above.

To consolidate his rule and assert central authority over the econ- omy, Putin began by emphasizing the “vertical of power.”32 Rule from the center would be re-established and rivals to presidential power, such as the “oligarchs” (individuals who had amassed vast fortunes from the privatizations of key industries in the 1990s), would be offered a choice: Putin would afford them protection from each other and allow them to maintain their position provided they began paying their “rents” and did not openly challenge his government.33 However, an independent line would not be tolerated. Voices criticizing the govern- ment in the media and the Duma were silenced. This was starkly illu- strated in the YUKOS case—one of the largest oil producers in Russia. Its head, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a critic of Putin’s rule, was arrested, convicted, and the company forced into bankruptcy where its assets were nationalized.34

The vertical of power was not only asserted to neutralize criticism but also to try and eradicate bureaucratic failures. Putin was appar- ently misled by his own military over the sinking of the Russian sub- marine Kursk in 2000 and terrorist incidents such as the Beslan siege of 2004 were attributed to corruption and incompetence.35 Elected regio- nal governors were replaced with presidential appointees to impose a direct line of authority from the President downwards. Linked to this were efforts to reinvigorate central or “strategic” planning as the main mode of governance.36 First Putin and then Medvedev set great store by grand modernization schemes. High energy prices increased tax revenues and efforts were made to diversify the economy and pay back debt to build a more robust base for growth.37 In 2009, Medvedev announced an initiative to modernize Russia technologically,

82 Mark Bevir and Jamie Gaskarth

economically, and politically.38 Again, a centralized and top-down approach was adopted.

Yet, for all the appearance of dynamic, centralized control over govern- ance mechanisms and practice, the leadership repeatedly found itself frustrated at bureaucratic inertia and policy failure. Locating responsi- bility higher up the chain of command, and discouraging opposition voices that might highlight ways to innovate, mean that senior figures have had to carry much of the burden for imposing solutions to problems. This has led to the repeated spectacle of the leadership having to micro-manage complex situations and then bemoaning the fact that their instructions were not carried out. Citing a range of examples where both Putin andMedvedev’s orders were not fulfilled, AndrewMonaghan notes that: “By its very nature, manual control works only when the senior official is present—the effect wears off after his departure. As a process, it is inefficient, time consuming, difficult and potentially dangerous.”39

One problem was that Putin and Medvedev’s governance reforms replaced one set of private networks influencing governance with their own. The interchange of these two individuals at the top is merely emblematic of wider continuities in relationships across the structure of governance. A tight group of individuals, who have known each other a long time, dominate key governmental and corporate positions and so shape governance networks. This arrangement has been described as a hybrid regime, a shadow state, or even a mafia state.40 While it per- sists, Russia has been unable to solve its various problems of govern- ance, from its economy’s reliance on petro-dollars to political tensions over its relationships with Europe and Asia. Meanwhile, corruption continues to dog Russian economic and political life, with the country ranking 127th out of 175 in Transparency International’s corruption perception index, 2013.41

How these processes translate into Russia’s attitude to global gov- ernance is complicated. For instance, Russia’s authoritarian leadership and suppression of liberal movements alienates it from the EU and hampers its modernization. Yet, its leadership sees better relations with Europe as crucial to its technological advancement. On the one hand, Russia has been fiercely critical of governance organizations like the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and its Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights for seeming to follow the agenda of NGOs in being intrusive and critical about elec- tions in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). On the other hand, it used an informal meeting of the OSCE in June 2009 to try and seek a European security treaty.42 Its corporate behavior code intro- duced in 2002 was apparently modeled on Organisation for Economic

Global governance and the BRICs 83

Co-operation and Development (OECD) principles of corporate gov- ernance.43 Meanwhile, Russia’s process of entry into the WTO in 2012 required the introduction of new regulatory mechanisms and so, as with China, Russia has opened itself up to global norm diffusion in the economic sphere.

Yet a strong strain of authoritarianism persists in Russian attitudes to economic governance, resisting liberal influences. Russia aims to create a Eurasian Economic zone by 2015 and pressured neighbors like Ukraine to choose this arrangement over closer ties with the EU. However, this economic bloc was not intended to run along federal lines and its function seems to be as a transparent extension of Russian power rather than a liberalizing project in the EU mold. Even the pro- Russian former Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych resisted joining a customs union with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. As his former foreign minister relates it:

he had met colleagues from Kazakhstan who had warned him against joining the Russian-sponsored customs union. They said that in a meeting the Russians had explained what they wanted to do. When the Kazakhs began to put forward their own ideas, the Russians told them they were not interested because they had just made clear to them what would be done.44

The tone of this interaction suggests Russia sees regional and global governance as a means of constraining the actions of other states rather than promoting universal goods. Thus, it particularly favors intergovernmental institutions such as the UNSC, in which Russia can veto undesirable action, and rejects the legitimacy and authority of groups like NATO and the EU to which it does not belong.45 Overall, Russia’s nationalistic attitude has seen it characterized as “an ‘anti- globalizing’ actor, as she tries to retain a strong role for the state in economic activities, is averse to NGOs and works to undermine the supremacy of the United States.”46 Its relations with its neighbors are characterized by attempts to consolidate regional influence rather than spread global norms in line with Russian values. This inhibits the attractiveness of its governance activities and undermines its legitimacy in the eyes of other states and peoples.


Unlike China and Russia, who could be described as resurgent powers as they had been significant global actors in the past, Brazil is a truly

84 Mark Bevir and Jamie Gaskarth

rising power. Whereas China and Russia emphasize modernization, Brazil has tended to describe their growth in terms of development, dating back to the “national-developmentalist paradigm” of the 1930s and 1940s.47 This envisaged a strong role for the state in the economy, central planning, and protectionist measures to support key industries. For the next few decades, continuing under military rule from 1967– 1985, Brazil was wary of dependency on the United States and sought to build links with the global south to promote trade on a more equal basis than could be obtained from developed states. The desire for autonomy from the United States is particularly associated with the Presidency of Ernesto Geisel in the 1970s, who outlined a policy of “responsible pragmatism.”48 In practice, this meant Brazil did not join the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) or engage in overt obstruction of United States interests but resisted United States influence in its affairs, domestically and regionally. It was also supportive of the NAM’s notion of a New International Economic Order (NIEO) and was a founder member of the G77.

After 1980, Brazil’s economy experienced severe difficulties, with high inflation, crime and poverty as well as growing inequality. In the 1990s, Brazil began to embrace some neoliberal policies to try and break out of the economic stagnation it found itself in. According to a survey by the Inter-American Development Bank, from 1991 to 2001 the state “transferred the control of 119 firms and minority stakes in a number of companies to the private sector” in a privatization program described as “among the largest in the world.”49 The economy was liberalized and more foreign direct investment encouraged. However, Brazil continued to experience economic instability and in January 1999 it was forced to devalue its currency and accept an IMF loan to avoid financial collapse.50

Despite the partial embrace of neoliberal reforms, Brazil under Cardoso, and especially under Lula, retained an emphasis on develop- ment and equality. In contrast to the other rising powers who have seen inequality rise, Dauvergne and Farias note that: “In the 2000s, while the per capita income of the country’s richest 10 per cent increased by 10 per cent, the per capita income of 50 per cent of the poorest rose by 68 per cent…Brazil is now recording its lowest GINI index (which measures inequality) since estimates began in 1960.”51 Moreover, real improve- ments in the condition of the poor were identified, with their number falling by 51 per cent between 2002 and 2010.52 In response to the per- ceived failure of neoliberalism to overcome Brazil’s economic problems, President Cardoso criticized the “asymmetrical globalization” of the global economic order and, at home, economic policy returned to

Global governance and the BRICs 85

using state resources to support key firms and sectors promoting development.53 State-owned companies such as Petrobras, the largest com- pany in the Southern hemisphere, have spearheaded Brazil’s engage- ment with other economies and are important agents of development in their own right.54 According to White, the result was that “Between 2003 and 2008 Brazil enjoyed its best economic performance in more than 25 years, with economic growth averaging 5% per annum.”55 In 2011, Brazil became the sixth largest economy in the world in terms of GDP and regained this position in 2013.

Yet, problems of equality and development remain. Ian Taylor has noted that 50 percent of agricultural land in Brazil is controlled by just 4 percent of landowners.56 Hosting major sporting events like the World Cup only serves to highlight the disconnect between Brazil’s increasing national power and the continued economic marginalization of sectors of its population—underlined by recent protests. Brazil has neither wholly embraced neoliberalism nor discarded it in favor of a return to developmentalism. As Joao Augusto de Castro Neves describes it, Brazil has moved from a Cold War paradigm of “auton- omy through distance” to one of “autonomy through participation.”57

In other words, whilst it has embraced some of the logic of neoliber- alism in reforms and privatizations designed to modernize the econ- omy, these have only partially been adopted. Brazil has retained a belief in the benefits of state support for key sectors and firms, provid- ing resilience and autonomy from the domination of developed coun- tries. We can see these attitudes feeding into Brazil’s engagement with global governance structures.

In the first place, Brazil has sought to avoid reliance on Western mar- kets and governance structures, dominated as they are by the devel- oped countries, through its promotion of South-South relations. Within its region, Brazil has privileged Mercosur, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and Unasur over the Orga- nization of American States (OAS)—since the latter includes the United States and Canada.58 These regional governance forums allow Brazil to adopt the role of regional leader but do not compromise national sovereignty in the way that the EU, for instance, does with its members. As Burges notes: “Both Unasur and CELAC are clear attempts to reduce United States and external influence in the region, placing Brazil in the leading position of what is effectively a coalition unimpeded by the kind of supranational framework that would allow smaller regional states to actively constrain the Portuguese-speaking giant.”59

Globally, Brazil continues to identify with developing countries and promotes Southern interests in a range of governance groupings. With

86 Mark Bevir and Jamie Gaskarth

India and South Africa, it formed the IBSA forum in 2003 that advances common aspirations for development in Africa without the conditionality and compromised sovereignty that are associated with Western development projects. These countries lack the massed ranks of NGOs and civil society activists of Europe and the United States and tend to favor an approach to development premised on economic interaction rather than normative transference.60 It is a part of the BASIC coalition, working in the G20 with other emerging powers to balance the influence of developed countries whilst also retaining an affinity with the G77.61 Its participation in the BRICS summits has given rise to new initiatives and proposals—such as the BRICS bank— that might establish alternative governance structures and principles to “Western” or developed country institutions. Similarly, its rejection of United States’ arguments on the enforcement of patents when it came to life-saving medicines, such as for AIDS drugs, represented an important countervailing force to developed countries’ previous insistence on intellectual property.62

This account might suggest that Brazil is a revisionist power. In reality, this is not the case. Whilst Brazil’s leaders often emphasize the unequal nature of participation in current governance forums, they still participate. Brazil remains in the OAS, signed the NPT in 1998, has used funds from the IMF and World Bank, as well as the Inter-American Development Bank, and is an active member of the G20. Although it created problems, with South Africa, in the Cancun round of WTO talks in 2003, it has since been instrumental in keeping developing countries on board with the process and has been a member of the “new quad” of up to six parties (Australia, Brazil, European Union, India, Japan, United States) working to break the deadlock and secure agreement as part of the Doha round. It has also been a longstanding member of the Cairns group of states seeking liberalization of agri- culture—and critical of the protectionist policies of the EU and United States. In other words, Brazil has sought to work the system of global governance rather than overturn it.

Moreover, Brazil’s status as a regional leader and southern cham- pion has not been universally accepted. Business leaders have ques- tioned the wisdom of emphasizing South‑South relations after the breakdown of talks between Mercosur and the EU in the mid-2000s.63

Argentina resists supporting Brazil’s candidature to become a perma- nent member of the UNSC. IBSA’s condemnation of the intervention in Libya was criticized for its failure to support the victims of Gadda- fi’s regime. Brazil’s attempt to rethink the R2P doctrine to emphasize a Responsibility Whilst Protecting (RwP) is often seen as an attempt to

Global governance and the BRICs 87

undermine the norm altogether by placing impractical restrictions on the use of military force.64 In addition, Brazil’s equivocal attitude to democracy promotion has led to internal tensions among Brazil’s elite as well as with democracy advocates in South America and Africa. Thus, Brazil’s chances of pioneering a radically different direction of governance are hampered by a lack of support domestically, globally, and regionally for it to do so. Ironically, its emphasis on sovereignty and non-interventionmay prevent some of the coercive techniques that are used by the West, and required by any group of actors seeking to forge new governance structures.

Overall, Brazilian elites seek a more multipolar world—one in which Brazil is able to exercise leadership on behalf of developing countries and resist United States and European infringements on sovereignty— but not a radically altered structure of governance. Brazil has a very different negotiating style to Russia, whose belligerent attitude is noted above. In contrast, its diplomats boast that “Brazil’s great skill is to be friends with everyone.”65 Despite continuing state ownership or sup- port for key firms, Brazil is inclined to argue that global markets are not liberal enough. Its development of South‑South networks does circumvent global governance mechanisms in some ways but the weak conditionality in these interactions inhibits any sense of alternative theories or worlds of governance being promoted.


Of all the rising powers, India is arguably the most contradictory and unpredictable in its attitude to global governance. The world’s largest democracy is one of the most persistent opponents of intervention to promote democracy movements in other countries. A developing state with a space program, India is both a recipient of substantial sums in aid as well as an emerging aid donor in its own right. Whilst critical of the NPT, India has praised the IAEA and harmonized its export guidelines with the NSG. Having long championed a normative approach to foreign policy and spearheaded the NAM during the Cold War, India has since become associated with a more realist foreign policy aligned with the United States.

Domestic governance in India has historically been hugely diverse and this may provide a clue to why it supports a more pluralist inter- national society. India is currently divided into thirty-five states and union territories but their demographic make-up varies hugely. Whilst Maharashta and Uttar Pradesh have a combined population of 320 million, some smaller states have barely 1 million.66 Governing a

88 Mark Bevir and Jamie Gaskarth

country such as India, with its hugely diverse religious, cultural and economic make-up entails acceptance of different governance mechan- isms. Some of its states function under communist administrations at the same time that others have extensively liberalized economies. Moreover, local governance arrangements in India centered round vil- lage life have long subverted efforts to impose authority from the center. The historical varna/jati system was in modern parlance a system of social networks based on kinship and social stratification that persists to this day in many parts of the country.67 Efforts to impose common normative standards with regard to women’s rights, for instance, or a shared Hindu religious and cultural identity are often violently resisted.

At the national level, India post-independence emphasized state planning and a command economy to promote national unity and principles of equality and social justice. This policy was described by Nehru as “democratically planned collectivism” and specifically related to “old Indian social conceptions which were all based on the idea of the group”—the group being the self-governing village.68 However, there were tensions in these two ideas as village life in India was hugely stratified and lacked social mobility. Thus, India’s leaders were pro- moting one form of governance (secular, centralized planning) by using language derived from a culturally distinct, and even contradictory, system of local governance based on religious principles.

Having produced many leading intellectual lights of the anti-colonialist movements of the twentieth century, India aligned itself with former colonies and developing countries after 1947, promoting the ideals of the NIEO as part of its resistance to the economic domination of devel- oped and former colonial states. It also ostensibly distanced itself from Cold War politics through its leadership of the NAM—though in practice, it had close relations with the Soviet Union. When the Cold War came to an end in 1991, India faced severe financial pressures and in response it liberalized its economy and intensified its integration into the global economy. Its currency was devalued, tariffs and taxes were lowered and foreign investment was encouraged.69 Over the last two decades, it has achieved remarkable growth figures and is on course to become one of the largest economies in the world in the next few decades.

Yet, this story of progress and liberalization contains internal con- tradictions. On the one hand, as part of its embrace of neoliberalism India created Special Economic Zones (SEZs), resulting in widening inequality at the same time that economic prosperity, at least for some, improved in absolute terms. On the other hand, India has seen a

Global governance and the BRICs 89

“dramatic increase in union membership” as an expression of resis- tance to the “hegemony of neo-liberalism.”70 While Indian conglom- erates have become major global players, as demonstrated by Tata’s takeover of the British firms Corus (2007) and Jaguar (2008),71 a dis- proportionate number of Indian firms are still majority family-owned, with some viewing “the importance of large, family-based business groups in the Indian corporate hierarchy” as comparable with “Japanese zaibatsus”—family-based financial cliques in Imperial Japan.72 Mean- while, India has “the largest number of hungry people in the world, with an estimated 200 million food insecure persons.”73 Although the country has liberalized, it attracts the least foreign investment of the BRICs because of its extensive bureaucracy and fears over the effect of foreign influence on Indian society.74

Similar inconsistencies are apparent in India’s performance in global governance forums. A longstanding critic of the UNSC’s unequal dis- tribution of voting rights and responsibilities, India sought but failed to secure a seat in the UNSC in 1997–98 before being elected in 2011 and has again put its candidacy forward for membership in 2021–22. Since 1994, it has courted permanent member status in the UNSC and is working with the G4 of Brazil, Japan, and Germany to restructure the council and increase the number of permanent members. This initiative arguably renders previous objections to the UNSC on principle as rather hollow. It is no longer inequality that India objects to, perhaps, but its own outsider status from the club.

As noted above with regard to Brazil, India is a member of IBSA, the BRICS and the BASIC groups which have often claimed to act as mediators between developing and developed states. Yet, these groups now have a distinct identity of their own, beyond their previous ties to non-aligned or developing country groupings. Moreover, the extent to which they represent a counter-hegemonic discourse to Western elites in favor of the poor is questionable. IBSA has been described as “eli- tist,” being made up of “an agglomeration of urban-based bureaucrats, export-oriented capitalists and personally ambitious politicians.”75

Like Brazil, India continues to promote South‑South relations and offers development aid to Africa, 60 percent of which is in the form of technical assistance.76 India’s emphasis on the norms of sovereignty and non-intervention—a legacy of its struggle for independence—mean that its development aid for African states could allow undemocratic or corrupt regimes to bypass Western attempts to tie aid to good gov- ernance. In other words, in concert with other rising powers such as Brazil and China, there is the possibility that India is undermining global efforts to promote human rights and democratization norms.

90 Mark Bevir and Jamie Gaskarth

However, the extent to which India could formulate a rival group of states resistant to existing forms of global governance—even if it sin- cerely wanted to—is limited. India lacks substantial diplomatic machinery capable of translating soft power into tangible and lasting alliances.77 India has long had a reputation as a “moralistic, contrarian loner in the international community.”78 Its tendency to participate fully in global governance discussions but then refuse to endorse the end result due to the need for compromise—apparent in negotiations over the Rome Statute in 1998, WTO meetings in 2003 and 2008, and the implementation of R2P—alienates other states and leads to a questioning of India’s commitment to these processes.

In short, the legacies of its resistance to colonialism, as well as the inherent tensions in governing its diverse population, can be seen to feed into India’s confused attitude to global governance. Efforts to dilute national sovereignty to solve global governance problems are frequently greeted with Indian intransigence. At heart, India favors a pluralist international society as the best guarantee of the norms of sovereignty and non-intervention. Yet it has also paid lip service to internationalist ideals and participated extensively in global govern- ance arrangements that entail the pooling of sovereignty and compro- mises over national policy goals. Although it is the world’s largest democracy and has a vibrant free press, India has considerable internal governance problems related to its development and cultural divisions. To project a coherent alternative vision of governance globally, it is arguable that India would first have to demonstrate that its ideas worked at home.


Following these four accounts of governance as it has developed in the BRIC countries, some tentative observations can be made. Firstly, national spaces are of enduring importance in understanding the prac- tice of governance. Cultural, political, social, and technical differences are evident between these states when it comes to the operation of governance and these can be traced to the different historical experi- ences of these communities. While elite interactions do exist and can be coordinated at times across borders, there are also powerful interest groups in each national setting that resist the spread of transnational ideas such as neoliberalism or developmentalism.

Although national governance spaces are important, the central governments in each state clearly struggle to steer or control political and social outcomes. New actors are emerging, or old actors

Global governance and the BRICs 91

reasserting themselves, but the precise nature of these differs in each national context. Thus, while corruption may be a common problem across all four states, it can take the form of guanxi, bribes, rent-seeking, or political favors depending on the state in question, and these may be more or less difficult to confront according to how deeply rooted they are in each culture. The governments of all four states seek more effective forms of governance but for differing reasons. Some may wish for greater equality and development, others better systems of party control and economic performance, others, consolidation of political power around themselves and key individual partners. Thus, using the term “gov- ernance” in each case may in itself be problematic as we are looking at a huge variation in the range of actors making decisions and imple- menting policy, and their purpose in doing so. This might lead one to question if we are really talking about government, governance, or simply patterns of behavior in a condition of anarchy. Certainly, the fact that governance operates differently in different national environments does not have to mean that national governments are necessarily the most important actors when it comes to how governance works in practice.

What comes through strongly in this analysis is that three of these states are still rising (with Russia looking at a future of long-term decline), and their policy-makers are confronting significant domestic governance challenges. As such, they are not (individually or collectively) in a position to articulate a coherent alternative to the existing nor- mative make-up of international society—nor are they likely to be for some decades. Policy-makers in India, Brazil, and China are over- whelmingly focused on domestic politics and their attitude to interna- tional governance problems and their solutions is viewed through their respective nationalist prisms. Russia is currently asserting central con- trol over periphery states, but this is fundamentally about projecting its domestic governance insecurities onto its near abroad. Russia sees its relations with these countries as an internal matter; essentially, an attempt to redress governance failures related to the breakup of the Soviet Union, and not as a new paradigm of how states should be established or how they should interact with one another.

Overall, if discussion of rising powers has a use when it comes to analyz- ing governance, it is as a reminder that for all the talk of globalization and the implied homogenization that this entails, there is still a huge variety of actors, beliefs and traditions of governance in operation across the globe. This should be seen as both a challenge to the authority and legitimacy of the governance ideas of developed states, as well as an opportunity for developed and rising powers to learn from how the problems of governance are being addressed by other peoples.

92 Mark Bevir and Jamie Gaskarth

Notes 1 Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society: A Study of Order in World Politics

(Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1977). 2 James Rosenau, “Governance in the Twenty First Century,” Global Gov-

ernance 1, no. 1 (1995): 13. 3 Thomas G. Weiss and Rorden Wilkinson, International Organization and

Global Governance (London: Routledge, 2014), 3–11. 4 Barry Buzan, “China in International Society: Is ‘Peaceful Rise’ Possible?”

Chinese Journal of International Affairs 3, no. 1 (2010): 20. 5 Martin Sieff, Shifting Superpowers (Washington, DC: CATO Institute,

2010), 45. 6 Robin Porter, From Mao to Market: China Reconfigured (London: Hurst,

2011), 94. 7 Porter, From Mao to Market, 59. 8 Lawrence Sáez and Crystal Chang, “The political economy of global firms

from India and China,” Contemporary Politics 15, no. 3 (2009): 266–267. 9 Francis Fukuyama, The Origins of Political Order (New York: Farrar,

Straus and Giroux, 2011), 186. 10 Elizabeth C. Economy, “The Game Changer: Coping with China’s Foreign

Policy Revolution,” Foreign Affairs 89, no. 6 (November/December 2010): 142–153.

11 “The rise of state capitalism,” The Economist, 21 January 2012. 12 Ibid. 13 “The state advances,” The Economist, 6 October 2012. 14 European Chamber 2013, “Sustained Growth Requires a Fundamental

Reassessment of the Government’s Role in the Business Environment,” Press Release, 5 September.

15 “From SOE to GLC,” The Economist, 23 November 2013. 16 Chris Buckley, “China’s Leaders Urge More Market Control of Economy,”

New York Times blog, 12 November 2013, http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/ 2013/11/12/chinas-leaders-urge-more-market-control-of-economy/?_php=true& _type=blogs&_r=0.

17 Ibid. 18 Sáez and Chang, “The Political Economy of Global Firms,” 275. 19 Elizabeth Van Wie Davis, “Governance in China in 2010,” Asian Affairs

35, no. 4 (2009): 195–211. 20 Van Wie Davis, “Governance in China in 2010,” 199. 21 David Scott, “The Chinese Century”? The Challenge to Global Order

(Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2008): 78. 22 Gov.cn, “China the largest.” 23 Zhu Liqun, China’s Foreign Policy Debates, EU ISS Chaillot Papers 121,

September 2010, 22–3. 24 Robert Lawrence Kuhn, How China’s Leaders Think (Singapore: John

Wiley & Sons, 2010), 378. 25 Barry Buzan, “China in International Society,” 17–18. 26 Richard Sakwa, “‘New Cold War’ or twenty years crisis? Russia and

international politics,” International Affairs 84, no. 2 (2008): 246.

Global governance and the BRICs 93http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/chinas-leaders-urge-more-market-control-of-economy/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/chinas-leaders-urge-more-market-control-of-economy/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/chinas-leaders-urge-more-market-control-of-economy/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

27 Anatoly Zhuplev and Vladimir Shein, “Russia’s Evolving Corporate Gov- ernance in the Cultural Context,” Journal of Transnational Management 10, no. 3, (2005): 25.

28 Neil Robinson, “The global economy, reform and crisis in Russia,” Review of International Political Economy 6, no. 4 (1999): 535.

29 Robinson, “The Global Economy, Reform and Crisis in Russia,” 550. 30 Zhuplev and Shein, “Russia’s Evolving Corporate Governance in the Cul-

tural Context,” 20. 31 Elena Shadrina and Michael Bradshaw, “Russia’s energy governance tran-

sitions and implications for enhanced cooperation with China, Japan, and South Korea,” Post-Soviet Affairs 29, no. 6 (2013): 465.

32 Andrew Monaghan, “The vertikal: power and authority in Russia,” Inter- national Affairs 88, no. 1 (2012): 1–16.

33 Clifford G. Gaddy and Barry W. Ickes, “Russia after the Global Financial Crisis,” Eurasian Geography and Economics 51, no. 3 (2010): 299.

34 Sergei Aleksashenko, “Russia’s economic agenda to 2020,” International Affairs 88, no. 1 (2012): 36; S. Neil Macfarlane, “The ‘R’ in BRICS: is Russia an emerging power?” International Affairs 82, no. 1 (2006): 52.

35 Monaghan, “The vertikal: power and authority in Russia,” 9. 36 Andrew Monaghan, “Putin’s Russia: Shaping a Grand Strategy,” Interna-

tional Affairs 89, no. 5 (2013): 1228. 37 Sakwa, “‘New Cold War’ or twenty years crisis?”, 246. 38 Shadrina and Bradshaw, “Russia’s energy governance transitions,” 467. 39 Monaghan, “The vertikal: power and authority in Russia,” 14. 40 Nikolai Petrov, Maria Lipman, and Henry E. Hale, “Three dilemmas of

hybrid regime governance: Russia from Putin to Putin,” Post-Soviet Affairs 30, no. 1 (2014): 1–26; Luke Harding, Mafia State (London: Guardian Books, 2012).

41 www.transparency.org/cpi2013/results. 42 Richard Sakwa, “Russia and Europe: Whose Society?” Journal of Eur-

opean Integration 33, no. 2 (2011): 206. 43 Zhuplev and Shein, “Russia’s Evolving Corporate Governance in the Cul-

tural Context,” 32. 44 Tim Judah, “Fighting for the soul of Ukraine,”New York Review of Books, 9

January 2014, www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/jan/09/fighting-soul- ukraine/?pagination=false.

45 Dmitri Trenin, “No Return to the Past for Russia,” The International Spectator 47, no. 3 (2012): 10.

46 Filippos Proedrou and Christos A. Frangonikolopoulos, “Russia’s Ree- mergence in the Global System: Globalizing or Anti-Globalizing Force?,” Journal of Contemporary European Studies 18, no. 1 (2010): 79.

47 Peter Dauvergne and Déborah Farias, “The Rise of Brazil as a Global Development Power,” Third World Quarterly 33, no. 5 (2012): 907.

48 Lyal White, “Understanding Brazil’s new drive for Africa,” South African Journal of International Affairs 17, no. 2 (2010): 223.

49 Francisco Anuatti-Neto, Milton Barossi-Filho, Antonio Gledson de Car- valho and Roberto Macedo, Costs and Benefits of Privatization: Evidence from Brazil (New York: Inter-American Development Bank, 2003), 3.

50 Robert Keohane, Power and Governance in a Partially Globalized World (London: Routledge, 2002), 200.

94 Mark Bevir and Jamie Gaskarthhttp://www.transparency.org/cpi2013/resultshttp://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/jan/09/fighting-soul-ukraine/?pagination=falsehttp://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/jan/09/fighting-soul-ukraine/?pagination=false

51 Dauvergne and Farias, “The Rise of Brazil as a Global Development Power,” 908.

52 Ibid. 53 Steen Fryba Christensen, “Brazil’s Foreign Policy Priorities,” Third World

Quarterly 34, no. 2 (2013): 272–3. 54 Lyal White, “Emerging powers in Africa: Is Brazil any different?” South

African Journal of International Affairs 20, no. 1 (2013): 120. 55 White, “Understanding Brazil’s new drive for Africa,” 226. 56 Ian Taylor, “The South Will Rise Again”? New Alliances and Global

Governance: The India–Brazil–South Africa Dialogue Forum,” Politikon 36, no. 1 (2009): 56.

57 Joao Augusto de Castro Neves, “Brazil as an emerging power in the twen- tieth century,” in Emerging Powers in a Comparative Perspective, Vidya Nadkarni and Norma C. Noonan, eds (London: Bloomsbury, 2013), 191.

58 Oliver Stuenkel, “Rising Powers and the Future of Democracy Promotion: the case of Brazil and India,” Third World Quarterly 34, no. 2 (2013): 345.

59 Sean Burges, “Brazil as a bridge between old and new powers?” Interna- tional Affairs 89, no. 3 (2013): 591–592.

60 Stuenkel, “Rising Powers and the Future of Democracy Promotion,” 349. 61 Kathryn Hochstetler and Eduardo Viola, “Brazil and the politics of cli-

mate change: beyond the global commons,” Environmental Politics 21, no. 5 (2012): 755.

62 Jane Galväo, “Brazil and Access to HIV/AIDS Drugs: A Question of Human Rights and Public Health,” American Journal of Public Health 95, no. 7 (2005): 1110–1116.

63 Chris Alden and Marco Antonio Vieira, “The new diplomacy of the South: South Africa, Brazil, India and trilateralism,” Third World Quarterly 26, no. 7 (2005): 1077–1095.

64 Sean Burges, “Brazil as a bridge between old and new powers?” 593; James Pattison, “The Ethics of ‘Responsibility While Protecting’: Brazil, the Responsibility To Protect, and guidelines for humanitarian intervention,” University of Denver working paper no. 71, www.du.edu/korbel/hrhw/ workingpapers/2013/71-pattison-2013.pdf.

65 Peter Dauvergne and Farias, “The Rise of Brazil as a Global Development Power,” 906.

66 “The good of small things,” The Economist, 30March 2013, www.economist. com/news/asia/21574544-creating-new-smaller-states-should-be-made-easier -good-small-things.

67 Fukuyama, The Origins of Political Order, 171–174. 68 Jawarharlal Nehru, The Discovery of India (London: Penguin, 2004), 581–582. 69 Nadkarni, “India—An Aspiring Global Power,” 141. 70 Michael Gillan and Robert Lambert, “Introduction: India and the Age of

Crisis,” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 36, no. 2 (2013): 161. 71 Emma Mawdsley and Gerard McCann, “The Elephant in the Corner?

Reviewing India-Africa Relations in the New Millennium,” Geography Compass 4, no. 2 (2010): 85.

72 Sáez and Chang, “The political economy of global firms,” 269. 73 Gillan and Lambert, “Introduction: India and the Age of Crisis,” 162. 74 Amrita Narlikar, “India: Responsible to Whom?” International Affairs 89,

no. 3 (2013): 605.

Global governance and the BRICs 95http://www.du.edu/korbel/hrhw/workingpapers/2013/71-pattison-2013.pdfhttp://www.economistcom/news/asia/21574544-creating-new-smaller-states-should-be-made-easierhttp://www.du.edu/korbel/hrhw/workingpapers/2013/71-pattison-2013.pdfhttp://www.economistcom/news/asia/21574544-creating-new-smaller-states-should-be-made-easierhttp://www.economistcom/news/asia/21574544-creating-new-smaller-states-should-be-made-easier

75 Taylor, “The South Will Rise Again,” 56. 76 Ian Taylor, “India’s Rise in Africa,” International Affairs 88, no. 4 (2012):

788. 77 Taylor, “India’s Rise in Africa,” 796. 78 George Perkovitch, “Is India a Major Power,” The Washington Quarterly

27, no. 1 (2003): 142.

96 Mark Bevir and Jamie Gaskarth


8901-9 – Russia Rising. The normative renaissance of multinational organizations.pdf

9 Russia rising? The normative renaissance of multinational organizations

P.N. Chatterje-Doody

� Russia’s role � Russia’s region � Economic activity � Political objectives � Military and security cooperation � Conclusion

The period since Vladimir Putin’s first accession to the Russian pre- sidency has seen multiple attempts at institutionalizing regional and multinational cooperation. These range from those groups formed out of the ashes of the Soviet Union, in which Russia enjoys a privileged role, such as the CIS, to more recent attempts to re-define global associations, including bodies such as the BRICS, where Russia’s very belonging has been questioned, and the Eurasian Union, in which Russia will be by far the dominant power—so much so that Hillary Clinton labeled it an attempt to “re-Sovietize” Russia’s region.1 This attempt to broaden Russia’s multinational memberships falls within a wider strategy, aimed at advancing global multipolarity, which actually has origins in the Yeltsin period. The most significant advocate for multipolarity, and particularly strategic initiatives between the strategic triangle of Russia, India, and China, was Yevgeny Primakov, Russia’s foreign minister from 1996–1998, and Prime Minister from 1998–1999. Primakov’s era can be seen as one in which Russia experienced growing disillusionment with its Western partners. Western states’ violations of state sovereignty in the name of humanitarian intervention were con- sidered highly selective and hypocritical, especially given strong criticism of Russia’s Chechen campaigns. This contributed to a Russian sense that the structures of global governance were increasingly oriented towards the West’s new values, at the expense of Russia’s longstanding interests.

More fundamentally, it fed the Russian perception, even more prevalent today, that the Western world of casual blasphemy and gay propa- ganda was entering a state of moral bankruptcy in which not even the most basic values were held sacred. A strategic shift was considered neces- sary to restore balance to Russia’s foreign policy. As well as the strategic triangle, Primakov promoted closer relations with Brazil, resulting in bilateral documents outlining a formula for strategic cooperation.2

Although the Yeltsin era did not see the full realization of Primakov’s initiatives, the groundwork was nonetheless set. The concepts of multi- polarity and polycentrism became common refrains in elite rhetoric, and Russia’s bilateral cooperation with China and India steadily increased. Multilateral cooperation increased through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and from 2005 this developed into trilateral con- sultations between Russian, Chinese, and Indian foreign ministers, which now occur on an annual basis.

Recent years have seen further moves to diversify Russia’s foreign policy. On the one hand, Russia made its failed overture to the EU in the form of the 2008 draft European Security Treaty, and participated in the short- lived reset with the United States. On the other hand, the Russian leadership has become increasingly concerned with what it sees as the relative decline of the West, and the corresponding rise of emerging powers, among whose number Russia has taken pains to identify itself, despite recur- ring questions over the plausibility of its belonging. As well as advo- cating the expansion of the SCO, Russia has been a key player in promoting the BRICS grouping. It also breathed life into what had been a stagnant Eurasian integration project, with Putin’s 2011 article in Izvestia giving new impetus to the institutionalization of the Eurasian Customs Union (ECU).3 As this chapter proceeds, it will become clear that there are sev- eral issues with the coherence and practical relevance of many of these initiatives, and it is by no means clear that their current format can present a long-term alternative to existing structures of global governance. How- ever, the process of Russia’s self-identification is seen to matter and has helped bring about some genuine political changes that have helped it to challenge the pro-Western norms of multinational institutions.

Traditionally, Russian foreign policy has been dominated by its bilateral relations, which often reflect specific conceptions of Russia’s role within the relationship. As such role conceptions are in part created and performed within international organizations and institutions, Rus- sia’s memberships of multinational bodies can shed light on how its role and position are represented. These representations feed into foreign policy approaches, and increasingly facilitate structural changes in the international arena.

174 P.N. Chatterje-Doody

Beginning by introducing some of the insights of role theory, this chapter draws links between the dominant themes in the rhetoric of Rus- sia’s ruling elite and Russia’s foreign policy activities. However, through its examination of the political elite’s conceptions of Russia’s role in multinational organizations, it reveals how such organizations form part of a growing normative challenge to the status quo in interna- tional relations. Through maintaining an intricate balancing act between its memberships of multiple organizations, Russia is able to play varying roles within different institutional and geographical con- texts. This tactic has led to the formation of several partial normative coalitions, aimed at challenging the rationale for the pro-Western per- spectives on global governance that are currently dominant. It is from this vantage point as a self-identified rising power that the Russian leadership seeks to preserve its influence, while helping to set the norms for a multipolar future. This has resulted in a normative chal- lenge to the current state of global governance in three areas: the economy, politics, and the military/security arena. In several cases these challenges have brought about visible structural changes.

Russia’s role

In a seminal study of 1970, Kalev Holsti found that the ways in which foreign policy-makers articulated their nation’s international role (role conceptions) were closely linked to governments’ decisions and actions on the international stage (role performance). Roles that seemed to contradict one another could nonetheless operate in tandem in dif- ferent geographical, topical, or relationship contexts.4 Thus, role con- ceptions can be thought of as a short-hand for the norms and expectations foreign policy-makers use to make sense of the world— they operate as a cognitive lens derived from culturally specific ideas.5

Several scholars have examined the Russian political elite’s approach to roles and/or identity, looking at how actors across the political spectrum represent Russian identity in ways consistent with their poli- tical or ideological values, as well as how their differing political per- suasions cause them to adopt specific interpretations of recurring themes.6 In recent times, leading Russian politicians have presented a highly restrictive narrative of Russia’s past. With its very limited scope of content and representation, this narrative emphasizes and natur- alizes particular identity themes that support the ruling elite’s approach to international relations.7 This chapter builds on existing work by showing how the simultaneous fostering of different roles across regio- nal organizations has enabled the formation of flexible coalitions

Russia rising? 175

motivated by normative convictions, which are capable of mounting a threefold challenge to dominant pro-Western perspectives on global governance. Far from being a development of purely theoretical sig- nificance, this challenge has had some visible structural implications. Before presenting a detailed analysis of these challenges and their implications across the economic, political and military/security arenas, it is useful to consider some of the recurring themes surrounding Rus- sia’s identity and its international role that appear in the discourse of Russia’s ruling elite, which inform its activities within multinational organizations.

History as a guide

The importance of learning from Russia’s unique past is a theme that recurs frequently in the discourse of Russia’s ruling elite. All of the Russian Federation’s presidents have explicitly linked Russia’s future fortunes to its inheritances from the past, taking care to represent that past in ways that support their preferred policy directions.8

Great powerism

Leading political figures agree upon Russia’s historical status as a great power.9 Specific characterizations of this greatness variously focus on sovereignty,10 territorial integrity,11 or unity among the peoples of the Russian state.12

Instrumentalized citizenry

By comparison to this reification of the state, Russia’s citizenry is fre- quently instrumentalized in the state’s service. Ethnic or national iden- tification is characterized as secondary to state belonging, and the citizenry is often portrayed as a resource for national development or state strength. It is recognized that such development often comes at great human cost, as the greatest advances in the country’s past have occurred during periods of despotism.13

Russia as an international equal

As befitting its great power status, Russia is presented as worthy of equal and respectful treatment by other states.14 There is a negative appraisal of the EU’s apparent monopoly on European values, which neglects Russia’s contribution to European culture and the varied

176 P.N. Chatterje-Doody

traditions of values and moral norms that exist across the continent.15

Furthermore, senior figures have vocally criticized Western states for double standards.16

Eurasian bridge

Much is made of Russia’s strategically unique geographical position between Europe and Asia, represented as a key element in Russia’s cultural contribution to Europe and the rest of the world.17 There have even been references to a shared “northern civilization,” in light of which the West’s moral decline is felt particularly acutely.18

First among equals

The Russian political leadership views Russia as having the moral right to leadership of its geographical region, having civilized the Eurasian continent and promoted peaceful ethnic, religious, and linguistic cohabitation—a legacy only made possible by the emphasis Russians have placed on the value of tolerance.19 This role is reinterpreted for today as the consolidation of soft power through strategic partner- ships and coalitions,20 although this obscures an approach to hard and soft power not as separate tactics for specific situations, but as two points on the same diplomatic continuum. The tendency to elide the approaches may serve to undermine Russia’s efforts in this regard.

Russia’s region

The CIS represents the first organization to attempt to re-institutionalize regional cooperation following the Soviet collapse. As such, it includes the greatest number of post-Soviet countries, but its value is more symbolic than practical as membership demands only loose commitments, with few coherent shared outcomes.21 In the economic arena, the Eurasian Eco- nomic Community (EurAsEC), which was formed in 2000, is the broadest post-Soviet institution. It was granted observer status at the UN in 2003, and made the subject of a 2007 resolution on cooperation.22

More recently, it has been the site of the most significant integrative initiative since the Soviet era—the Eurasian Customs Union (ECU), and proposed Eurasian Economic Union (EaEU) that has already formally harmonized the borders, tariffs, and trade regime between its three founder members.

In line with its predicted (and desired) multipolar world order, Russia has also invested significant diplomatic effort in promoting a

Russia rising? 177

number of organizations that institutionalize cooperation well beyond the post-Soviet space, and in which it cannot hope to play such a dominant role. For instance, in marketing the BRICS group of nations, recent presidencies have deliberately framed Russia’s economic position as that of a resurgent power, newly rising in the global economy. The SCO, whose forerunner was created in 1995, is another forum for eco- nomic and infrastructural interaction stretching beyond Russia’s immediate region, in which Russian and Chinese influence balance each other out. The organization boasts an extended membership that includes Belarus, Sri Lanka, and Turkey as dialogue partners, and Mon- golia, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran as observers. Originally con- ceptualized as a forum for the negotiation of common borders, the SCO remains active in regional security, although it is only the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), created in 1992, that has a legal basis for the collective use of force.

Russia’s balancing act between these various institutions has caused significant tensions, most recently in its relationship with the United States and the EU following renewed commitment to the realization of the ECU (predating the Ukraine crisis). Despite the ensuing analytical complexity, this balancing act nonetheless accurately reflects Russia’s pre- ferred “multi-vector” foreign policy.23 This enables Russia’s prized bilateral relationships to be negotiated through the context of various roles across organizations, and facilitates flexible international cooperation without risk to sovereignty (Figure 9.1). The approach assists in the consolidation of a regional power base to strengthen Russia’s interna- tional position, and enables Russia to take part in normative coalitions that challenge the dominant pro-Western perspective on global gov- ernance in three areas: the economy, politics, and the military/security arena.

Economic activity

Reflecting its struggle to reconcile an influential Soviet past with a current diminished economic status, Russia’s activities within different institutions display a prioritization of seemingly contradictory roles. Attempts to maintain traditional great power relations contrast with vocal promotion of Russia as one of a band of newly emerging eco- nomic powers. Yet, both of these orientations are useful for reinforcing particular aspects of the Russian challenge to contemporary economic governance.

Russia clings to its leading role in the post-Soviet and Eurasian region, and Russian approaches to foreign policy24 and national

178 P.N. Chatterje-Doody

security25 have long reinforced the importance of structured economic interaction across the area, as well as reflecting the link drawn in Putin’s doctoral thesis between the state of the economy, particularly in the energy sphere, and state strength.26 These priorities are evident through the consolidation of the ECU, which had seen little tangible progress since the idea was first put forward in the mid-1990s, but benefited from a great surge following Vladimir Putin’s 2011 Izvestia article promoting the institution. The union formally removed internal physical border controls between Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, creating a common customs tariff and a regulatory body, the Eurasian Economic Commission.27 The ECU boasts a joint population of 167 million, GDP of $2 trillion and a goods turnover of $900 billion,28 and the fully fledged EaEU will come into force on 1 January 2015.29

Putin has taken pains to stress that the ECU’s legal framework makes provisions for members’ WTO obligations and, as such,

Figure 9.1 Russia in overlapping multinational organizations

Russia rising? 179

security security securitysecurity


security security



securitysecurity security

securitysecurity securitysecurity


securitysecurity security







complements the EU’s economic integration projects.30 However, despite these assertions, it is clear that the development of the ECU represents a normative challenge to the EU’s former monopoly on approaches to regional economic integration, which prized democratic conditionality.31 From the Russian perspective, economic governance should derive from economic interests, not political values. Free from democratic conditionality, the ECU’s rules and procedures are none- theless institution-led, professional, consensual and transparent, and the Commission’s decisions automatically become part of the legal base of the ECU and Common Economic Space, without the need for additional ratification.32 This alternative to EU insistence on demo- cratic conditionality symbolizes Russia’s continued push for normative influence. While Belarusian membership of the ECU is a necessity given its economic dependence on Russia, Kazakhstan is an econom- ically strong and self-confident state in its own right, which sees the union ultimately as a route to more markets, and to Russian pipelines for exporting hydrocarbons to Europe.33 It has voluntarily agreed to harmonize its trade norms with those of Russia, despite economic consequences that appear negative in the short term, including real losses in income, wages, returns on capital, and the commitment to two less economically liberal states.34 In so doing, it has given Russia evidence of the attractiveness of an integration project devoid of a normative commitment to democratic standards.

Many questions have been raised over the practical relevance of the ECU. Some have charged that the union’s apparent early growth fig- ures owed more to Russia’s recovery from a GDP slump than trade outcomes,35 that Kazakhstan and Belarus have suffered economically for Russia’s gain,36 and that exclusions and exemptions to the free trade regime remain, including duties levied on Russian oil sent to Belarus that is not for domestic consumption, and as of 2014, on all oil sent from Russia to Kazakhstan.37 Nonetheless, several other states, namely Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Armenia, have announced plans for ECU membership,38 and Kazakh President Nazarbayev has advo- cated the organization’s further expansion, mentioning Turkey in par- ticular.39 Despite domestic resistance in the light of events in Ukraine, the Tajik and Kyrgyz Presidents both moved closer to accession at the EaEU treaty signing in May 2014.40 There is a clear practical con- sideration here, for leaders who recognize the necessity of good rela- tions with Russia now more than ever. However, there is nonetheless an economic rationale. The common linguistic and educational heritage makes Russia a popular employment destination for Tajik and Kyrgyz workers, who respectively accounted for 16 percent and 7 percent of

180 P.N. Chatterje-Doody

Russia’s migrant labor force in 2010.41 With prospective member states heavily reliant on remittances from Russia, there are strong incentives to simplify labor migration.42

Sitting alongside such attempts to re-package Russia’s longstanding regional leadership and great power status is the apparently contra- dictory tendency to latch onto the emerging economies in the BRICS. The founding member BRICs are all ranked in the top 10 of global economies, and together represent 15 percent of the world’s GDP and more than a 50 percent share in global economic development.43 However, recent times have seen increasingly frequent questions over the sustainability of the group’s developmental model,44 and of its rise more generally.45

Yet such questions are blind to an important factor in the group’s development, and one which is of particular interest given Russian foreign policy aspirations. The BRICS have arguably evolved from what was essentially a marketing tool to an overtly political project intimately concerned with challenging the dominant norms of global governance.

In spite of criticisms for conceptual incoherence and the unclear basis for membership (a charge that has faced Russia, Brazil, and South Africa),46 the BRICS have presented united dissatisfaction with the pro-Western perspective on global governance. The group and its members have vocally affirmed their attachment to values of territorial integrity, sovereignty, and to the concept of global multipolarity, which they see as necessary for ensuring economic stability.47 They have also sought to challenge globalization’s inequalities by renegotiating trade and environmental regulations48 and voting shares in global institutions. Five percent of voting shares in the IMF and three percent in the World Bank were to be re-allocated to developing and emerging economies,49

and a BRICS development bank has been established that is anticipated to offer an alternative to the conditionality associated with existing institutions.50

Russia’s leaders are increasingly attempting to ensure an influential role for the country in what is seen as an evolving multipolar, or poly- centric global system,51 by helping to alter the structures of global governance for the future, and by providing the missing link between a stagnant EU and a rising East Asia in the meantime.52 With this in mind, mobilization of two apparently contradictory roles forms part of a broader strategy of challenging dominant models of multinational governance. At the same time as member states’ voters signal their displeasure at the EU’s integrative project, Moscow is forging ahead with its alternative model in which moral and ethical dilemmas over internal political representation and democracy are clearly separated

Russia rising? 181

from structures of economic governance. Similarly, within BRICS, Russia has helped to promote a more equitable treatment of emerging powers in existing multinational organizations while reiterating their right to exercise sovereignty internally. Through both of these initia- tives, Russia has mounted a clear challenge to the normative content of established institutions. Given some of the teething problems and delays that have affected the consolidation of these initiatives, it remains to be seen whether the challenge to the status quo can be translated into a viable alternative system of long-term governance. Yet in the meantime, member states’ treatment of the ECU and BRICS as if they were globally significant entities has forged outcomes that genuinely are globally significant.

Political objectives

The BRICS challenge extends well beyond international economic organization, as all of the organization’s members benefit from regio- nal “power bases and spheres of influence,”53 and membership of BRICS enables them to cement these positions. Given a negative international reception of the Eurasian project, especially in the after- math of events in Ukraine, BRICS membership has offered an addi- tional outlet for the roles of leader and cultural bridge. As Russia’s envoy to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, stated in the aftermath of a UN vote to declare Crimea’s independence referendum invalid, “Russia is not isolated.”54 Russia once acted as a mediator between the BRICS countries and the G8,55 making the case for greater inclusiveness in global decision-making. In the contemporary climate, Russia can emphasize continued cooperation within BRICS, just as it is being excluded from meetings of the now-G7.56 The BRICS have so far effec- tively acted as a great power concert by coordinating their efforts within the G20,57 and “noted with concern” Australian suggestions that, in light of the Ukraine crisis, President Putin may be excluded from the November 2014 G20 Summit. The statement of the BRICS foreign ministers went on to assert that “[t]he custodianship of the G20 belongs to all Member States equally and no one Member State can unilaterally determine its nature and character.”58 Thus, regardless of individual members’ unease over Crimea, the BRICS have made a show of unity.

Leaders of the BRICS countries have gone to great effort to defend the group’s importance, and in the case of South Africa, the strategic rationale for its inclusion.59 Russian politicians have repeatedly and enthusiastically articulated the country’s position as a new, rising power

182 P.N. Chatterje-Doody

within a world that is evolving into multipolarity. This practice is sig- nificant not only for reflecting their vision of Russia’s international role but also, as we have already seen, for helping to create the structures within which that role is played out. The promise of such significant global influence clearly holds considerable political attraction: Follow- ing the admittance of South Africa to the group in 2011, Turkey, Indonesia, and South Korea have all expressed their interest in membership.60

A similar process can be witnessed through the activities of the SCO. Although the organization has practical military and economic con- cerns, one element of its activities that goes under-analyzed is its issu- ing of statements that have no binding force. These nonetheless have an important political impact, as they serve to produce the Eurasian region as something that is politically meaningful, and so increase the claim of its members to importance on the world stage. This is parti- cularly the case for its two leading members. China appears a region- ally responsible great power, and Russia presents itself as the leader of a regional coalition in external negotiations, thus building its international influence.61

Aside from the discursive production of a desired world, Russia’s membership of multinational organizations is also vital for its con- solidation of soft power—economic and normative attractive force. The impact of shared Soviet history and the ongoing legacy of Russian language use and orthodox Christianity greatly assist in Russia’s soft power project. Russia’s (state-controlled) media outlets are popular in the region and there is widespread acceptance of conservative social values. As these legacy factors will gradually reduce in relevance, the ECU represents the institutionalization of Russia’s soft power project for the future.

Despite the leaders of Belarus and Kazakhstan having openly rejec- ted any grand political project, their appetite for a Russian-centered integration project is nonetheless symbolically powerful. Quite aside from its clear economic benefits to Russia, the planned expansion of the union to include Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan would also entail sig- nificant geopolitical gains. Although Kyrgyzstan’s GDP is equivalent to less than half of 1 percent of Russia’s, its inclusion would extend the union’s borders to Tajikistan.62 As well as helping to bring about Putin’s all-important vision of a cooperative space from the EU to the Asia-Pacific,63 this would secure vital sources of aluminum, cotton, and labor necessary to Russian industry. Although the issue of migrant labor is particularly contentious in today’s Russia, Tajik immigration is likely to be more domestically palatable than the Chinese alternative,

Russia rising? 183

which many Russians, wary of their own country’s demographic decline, fear. Following the Ukraine crisis, a smooth expansion of the ECU is increasingly important to fulfill Moscow’s soft power aspira- tions. However, the popular unease that has emerged in prospective member states demonstrates just one area in which the elision of soft and hard power could prove to be detrimental to Russia’s long-term plans. Nonetheless, the respective elites remain engaged, and the Armenian leadership has taken the opportunity to lobby for additional Russian investment prior to its membership.64 The Kyrgyz Prime Minister has similarly expressed a hope for significant investment from the ECU to facilitate its membership.65

The success, so far, of the ECU also has wider political implications, including an impact on Russia’s relationships with traditional partners, such as the EU. The two parties struggled to come up with a successor to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between them, which expired in 2007. Many of those difficulties originally came about because it proved difficult to move beyond the relatively straightfor- ward principles of economic interaction that had formed the basis of the initial agreement, to more substantive agreements on political cooperation, as the disagreement over democratic conditionality showed. The EU, wary of Russia’s democratic backsliding, and its increasingly geopolitically motivated foreign policy, sought to achieve a more political successor agreement. Russia, for its part, favored a treaty that would reinforce its international equality, and help to miti- gate what it read as a zero-sum neo-colonial aspect to many of the EU’s initiatives in the common neighborhood.66 However, in reserving treaties for members only, the EU made it impossible for Russia to assert itself on equal terms. Thus with the maturation of the ECU, Russia sought to balance out asymmetries in the negotiating process. As well as providing the institutional challenge to the EU’s focus on democratic conditionality already discussed, the Eurasian Economic Commission took on practical responsibility for members’ talks in trade negotiations. However, this did not have the effect of leveling the playing field that Russia had desired. On a purely theoretical level it would have com- plicated negotiations by the addition of a second multinational party. Practically, however, the EU failed to recognize the ECU,67 resulting in a vacuum for representation in the partnership talks.

In some ways, the desire of both sides to conclude a more comprehensive agreement than the PCA actually precluded the conclusion of any agreement at all. While the frozen state of negotiations allowed con- tinued cooperation on specific matters without the need for renegotiat- ing more substantive issues, it represented a significant qualitative retreat in

184 P.N. Chatterje-Doody

Russia–EU relations, and one which has only been exacerbated by the current crisis in Ukraine. Together with predictions of Europe’s future marginalization in a changing world order, there are clear reasons why Russia seeks to fortify its normative challenge to the EU through the balancing of various other multinational relationships.

Military and security cooperation

Given Russia’s inheritance of Soviet hardware, its claim to great power status is most plausible in the military arena. While Russia and the EU have multiple reasons to cooperate on security, including the various frozen conflicts in their overlapping integration space,68 Russia’s inability to defend its great power status in its security relationship with the EU has been a source of significant tension for several years. Both parties have resorted to unilateral action, including the EU’s recognition of Kosovo, Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and its armed involvements in Georgia (2008) and Ukraine (2014). Importantly, Russia’s disillusionment with the established mechanisms of security cooperation had been building long before the Ukraine crisis, and it has made several moves to restore the norms of international relations with which it is most comfortable.

In 2008, then-President Medvedev put forward an initiative to create a new European Security Treaty, which was intended both to demon- strate the coherence of Russia’s long-term foreign policy, and to help revitalize the relationship with Europe following the tensions of Putin’s first two terms. The draft document reiterated the aspects of interna- tional relations frequently invoked by the Russian side—sovereignty, territorial integrity, and criteria for the use of force—and in so doing, seemed to unnecessarily duplicate the Helsinki Final Act of 1975.69

The initiative received little support, and Russia’s great power aspira- tions were dealt a blow as it was obliged to deal with the very same organizations, including NATO, in which it had expressed a lack of confidence. The episode highlighted incompatibilities between Russia’s desire to reorganize the structures of European security and the EU’s overall satisfaction with the existing system under the auspices of OSCE and NATO.

The impossibility of any future Russian accession to NATO (and specifically the veto this would afford) is a significant barrier to Rus- sia’s great power aspirations within the current structure. In October 2011, Russia’s then-envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin (whose current Deputy Prime Minister’s portfolio for the defense and aerospace industry earned him a place on the EU’s May 2014 sanctions list)

Russia rising? 185

stated that the NATO–Russia Council was not performing its required function and that the new president may not be interested in attending its next summit.70 NATO and Russia continue to view one another as key reference points for security concerns in the region and engage in regular demonstrative military exercises. Similarly, the build-up of Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders in 2014 led to an increased NATO presence in Eastern Central Europe. The failure of the Eur- opean Security Treaty damaged Russia’s credibility as an equal Eur- opean partner, worthy of international respect, and contributed to its pursuit of a multivector approach. In light of events in Ukraine, an emphasis on alternative partners has been a key part of the Russian ruling elite’s counter to claims of international isolation.

Russia is the dominant party within the CSTO, an organization which conducts regular military exercises, has a legal basis for collec- tive defense against aggression, and whose 15,000-strong rapid reaction peacekeeping force can theoretically be deployed on members’ territory without the need for a UN resolution, provided that the relevant members consent.71 In reality, the organization’s focus has been on increasing foreign policy coordination and military cooperation between its members, with its most significant practical successes being in counter-trafficking operations and in the decision that members must all agree over any foreign military bases being established on its territory. In 2007, the CSTO signed a cooperation agreement with the SCO, perhaps facilitated by the “all-time high” in Russian–Chinese relations that came about during Putin’s second term (2004–08) as a response to increased United States unilateralism, missile defense initiatives, and NATO expansion.72 As attested by the exclusion of the United States from the SCO, Russia and China share an opposition to United States military and economic involvement in Central Asia,73

and so some have represented the group as an anti-Western coalition.74

Yet such a perspective is blind to the significant normative content of the organization, whose members share a vocal normative commitment to principles of sovereignty and non-intervention as the cornerstones of effective security. Where civil unrest within member states seems unli- kely to spread to the broader region, the SCO is satisfied that it should be treated as a purely domestic matter.75

While the annexation of Crimea seems to most outsiders to be a clear violation of these principles, in a Russian reading, the incursion merely helped to maintain order in an area de-stabilized by external provocations. The SCO’s members are all highly sensitive to the potential for external actors to foment domestic unrest, which is seen in the aftermath of the color revolutions as a likely route to further

186 P.N. Chatterje-Doody

regional and regime insecurity. It is for such reasons that while the SCO refused to endorse Russia’s 2008 incursions into South Ossetia and Abkhazia, its official response was nonetheless careful, compli- menting Russia’s active role, but urging dialogue between all parties to diffuse the situation.76 China’s own official response was deliberately late and vague, and domestic, Chinese state media represented the conflict as a justified Russian response to the provocation of an American client state.77 Similarly, it was with reference to the phenomenon of color revolutions that China’s Defense Minister, Chan Wangquan, expressed sympathy with Russia’s actions in Crimea, and by contrast to the EU’s sanctions, China proved happy to conclude a $400 billion gas deal with Russia in May 2014.78 Although this might seem strange given the SCO members’ emphasis on sovereignty and territorial integrity, it nonetheless reflects their shared fear of external forces destabilizing a region made predictable by studied compromise and consensus-building.

This consensus-based approach to the pursuit of security relations provides another direct contrast to the EU’s preferred governance model. Originally concerned with the negotiation of common borders, the SCO has deliberately shunned legalistic approaches, preferring to focus on consensus-building and common interests over legally binding mechanisms. In expanding its remit to regional security more generally, the organization put forward a set of clear, agreed definitions that linked the “three evils” of terrorism, religious extremism, and separatism— something all members have struggled with—in order to facilitate coor- dinated regional responses.79 As Stephen Aris points out, in lesser developed states, such as the SCO’s Central Asian members, there is a tendency to link regional security, state building, and regime legiti- macy. Coupled with the very particular regime models of China and Russia, this helps to explain why many of the SCO’s activities are orien- ted towards regime security.80 Members feel commonly threatened by transnational regional problems, which form the basis of the SCO’s agenda. Some Central Asian analysts have cited figures from the Global Terrorism Database as evidence that the promotion of a regional anti- terrorism agenda is less closely linked to a significant threat, than to a desire to strengthen intra-regional cooperation, or to control civil insur- rection.81 Minority groups have similarly alleged that anti-terrorist initiatives have been used to stifle opposition and curb freedom of reli- gion,82 something that is entirely compatible with the SCO’s normative stance, the broad nature of its linked definitions of the three evils,83 and also with the prioritization of sovereignty and territorial integrity as key to security. Regardless of Western skepticism, this vision clearly has

Russia rising? 187

attractive potential. The organization has numerous potential new members waiting in the wings. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made multiple calls for his country’s full SCO member- ship in the context of what he sees as an unenthusiastic EU, and a spokesperson for India’s Ministry for External Affairs recently hinted at similar aspirations.84


Contemporary Russian foreign policy sees multiple, apparently con- tradictory roles pursued across overlapping multinational organiza- tions. This multiple-role, multiple-orientation approach has several significant outcomes. In the most basic sense, it shows support for a multipolar world system, the evolution of which Russia’s political elite both anticipates and craves. It also helps to bring about changes that make the realization of such a system more plausible. For Russia, the diversification of governance structures represents the best hope for retaining significant global influence. By translating its overlapping organizational memberships into partial normative coalitions, Russia is able to contribute to the agenda for a multipolar future by challenging the dominant pro-Western perspectives on global governance in three areas: the economy, politics, and the military/security arena.

In the field of the economy, Russia has used its privileged regional role to champion the ECU, an institution which represents a clear normative challenge to the EU’s model of regional economic integra- tion, and its emphasis on shared democratic standards. At the other end of the scale, Russia’s membership of BRICS has helped in the articulation of inequities in the pro-Western perspective on global governance, and is leading to structural alterations that favor newly rising powers.

Politically, also, Russia has benefited from its membership of both the BRICS group and the SCO. As these organizations appear to take on a globally significant role, they have increased the regional and international political influence of both the respective groups, and their individual members. For Russia, such gains can be seen as closely linked to its broader soft power project, for which the development of the ECU remains vital. Russia has translated some of the institutional inheritances of its past into a format of use in the present, both for demonstrating Russia’s continued regional attractiveness (and thus global relevance), and creating a viable alternative to some of its more strained international relationships.

188 P.N. Chatterje-Doody

Finally, Russia has used its membership of multinational organiza- tions to challenge the dominant mechanisms of security cooperation in Europe, and to promote a return to norms including sovereignty, ter- ritorial integrity and non-intervention—but significantly, these norms are sought beyond the military sphere. Thus, where foreign campaign- ing or intervention in Russia’s immediate vicinity is suspected, this is interpreted by Russia as a violation of these principles, a threat to regional and regime security, and a provocation. Such an under- standing can help to shed light on Russia’s heavy-handed responses to perceived threats in Georgia (2008) and Ukraine (2014). The SCO’s interlinked definitions of regional threats have been used by members to justify combined responses to them, often to the detriment of civil liberties. They have also helped the organization to put forward a position relatively acquiescent to Russia’s actions. This corresponds with the organization’s qualitatively different take on security relations— that the consensus and common interests of the organization’s members should be valued above legally binding commitments.

For Western commentators, there has so far been a temptation to view these developments as the hollowing out of multinational organi- zations, or as the formation of loose interest-based bodies where the absence of shared normative values will impede the potential for col- laboration or longevity. However, as the analysis presented in this chapter demonstrates, there are some genuine normative convictions shared between members of many of these organizations, with common concerns over the threats that the current configuration of international relations permits. They have already made various impacts on the structures of international politics that are likely to be lasting. For Russia, the balancing of different roles across multiple multinational organizations is the safest way in which it can hope to retain a globally influential voice and secure a position as one of the architects of the multipolar world order that it seeks.

Notes 1 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Clinton Calls Eurasian Integration an

Effort to ‘Re-Sovietize,’ www.rferl.org/content/clinton-calls-eurasian-integra tion-effort-to-resovietize/24791921.html.

2 Amresh Chandra, “Strategic Triangle among Russia, China and India: Challenges and Prospects,” Journal of Peace Studies 17, nos. 1–2 (2010): 40–60; Vladimir Davydov, “The Role of Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) in the reconstruction of the international order,” Megatrend Review 5, no. 1 (2008): 88; Andrei Tsygankov, “What is Russia to us? Westernisers and Sinophiles in Russian Foreign Policy,” Russie Nei Visions 45 (2009).

Russia rising? 189http://www.rferl.org/content/clinton-calls-eurasian-integration-effort-to-resovietize/24791921.htmlhttp://www.rferl.org/content/clinton-calls-eurasian-integration-effort-to-resovietize/24791921.html

3 S. Blockmans, H. Kostanyan, and I. Vorobiov, “Towards a Eurasian Eco- nomic Union: The challenge of integration and unity,” CEPS Special Report 75 (December 2012).

4 Kalev J. Holsti, “National role conceptions in the study of foreign policy,” International Studies Quarterly 14, no. 3 (1970): 233–309.

5 Lisbeth Aggestam, Role conceptions and the politics of identity in foreign policy, ARENA, www.deutsche-aussenpolitik.de/resources/seminars/gb/app roach/document/wp99_8.htm.

6 See Glenn Chafetz, “The struggle for a national identity in post-Soviet Russia,” Political Science Quarterly 111, no. 4 (1996/7); Ted Hopf, “Iden- tity, legitimacy, and the use of military force: Russia’s great power identities and military intervention in Abkhazia,” Review of International Studies 31, no. S1 (2005); N.M. Mukharyamov, “Ethnicity and the study of interna- tional relations in the post-soviet Russia,” Communist and Post-Communist Studies 37, no. 1 (2004); Valery Tishkov, Ethnicity, Nationalism and Conflict in and After the Soviet Union: The Mind Aflame (London: Sage Publications Limited, 1997).

7 P.N. Chatterje-Doody, “Harnessing History: Narratives, Identity and Per- ceptions of Russia’s Post-Soviet role,” Politics 34, no. 2 (2014).

8 Boris Yeltsin, “Inaugural Speech,” Foreign Policy Bulletin 2, no. 1 (1991); Vladimir Putin, “Inaugural Speech, 2000,” http://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/ text/speeches/2000/05/07/0002_type82912type127286_128852.shtml; Vladi- mir Putin, “Inaugural Address, 2004,” http://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/text/sp eeches/2004/05/07/1255_type82912type127286_64132.shtml; Dmitry Med- vedev, “Inaugural Speech, 2008,” http://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/speeches/ 2008/05/07/1521_type82912type127286_200295.shtml.

9 Medvedev, “Inaugural Speech”; Putin, “Inaugural Address”; Putin, “Inau- gural Speech”; Yeltsin, “Inaugural Speech.”

10 Yeltsin “Inaugural Speech”; Vladislav Surkov, “Natsionalizatsia budush- chego,” Ekspert 43, no. 537 (2006).

11 Putin, “Inaugural Address.” 12 Yeltsin, “Inaugural Speech”; Putin, “Inaugural Speech”; Putin, “Inaugural

Address”; Medvedev, “Inaugural Speech.” 13 Putin, “Inaugural Address”; Yeltsin, “Inaugural Speech”; Surkov, “Nat-

sionalizatsia budushchego (Nationalisation of the Future)”; Medvedev, “Inaugural Speech”; Dmitry Medvedev, “Rossiya Vpered!” www.kremlin. ru/transcripts/5413.

14 Yeltsin, “Inaugural Speech”; Medvedev, “Inaugural Speech”; Putin, “Inaugural Address”; Putin, “Inaugural Speech.”

15 Surkov, “Natsionalizatsia budushchego.” 16 Russia Today, “Russia hits back at US ‘barefaced cynicism and double

standards’ over Ukraine,” http://rt.com/news/state-department-putin-list- 234/; Tom Parfitt “Vladimir Putin accuses Britain and US of double stan- dards,” The Telegraph, 2012, www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/vladim ir-putin/9526300/Vladimir-Putin-accuses-Britain-and-US-of-double-standa rds.html.

17 Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), National Security Concept of the Russian Federation, Moscow, www.mid.ru/ns-osndoc.nsf/0e9272befa34209743256 c630 042d1aa/b8d88f7503bc644fc325752e0047174b?OpenDocument; Vladimir

190 P.N. Chatterje-Doodyhttp://www.deutsche-aussenpolitik.de/resources/seminars/gb/approach/document/wp99_8.htmhttp://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/text/speeches/2000/05/07/0002_type82912type127286_128852.shtmlhttp://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/text/speeches/2004/05/07/1255_type82912type127286_64132.shtmlhttp://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/speeches/2008/05/07/1521_type82912type127286_200295.shtmlhttp://www.kremlinru/transcripts/5413http://rt.com/news/state-department-putin-list-234/http://rt.com/news/state-department-putin-list-234/http://www.mid.ru/ns-osndoc.nsf/0e9272befa34209743256042d1aa/b8d88f7503bc644fc325752e0047174b?OpenDocumenthttp://www.deutsche-aussenpolitik.de/resources/seminars/gb/approach/document/wp99_8.htmhttp://www.kremlinru/transcripts/5413http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/vladimir-putin/9526300/Vladimir-Putin-accuses-Britain-and-US-of-double-standards.htmlhttp://www.mid.ru/ns-osndoc.nsf/0e9272befa34209743256042d1aa/b8d88f7503bc644fc325752e0047174b?OpenDocumenthttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/vladimir-putin/9526300/Vladimir-Putin-accuses-Britain-and-US-of-double-standards.htmlhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/vladimir-putin/9526300/Vladimir-Putin-accuses-Britain-and-US-of-double-standards.htmlhttp://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/text/speeches/2000/05/07/0002_type82912type127286_128852.shtmlhttp://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/text/speeches/2004/05/07/1255_type82912type127286_64132.shtmlhttp://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/speeches/2008/05/07/1521_type82912type127286_200295.shtml

Putin, “Annual Address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, 2007,” http://archive.kremlin.ru/text/appears/2007/04/125339.shtml.

18 Gregory P. Lannon, “Russia’s New Look Army Reforms and Russian Foreign Policy,” The Journal of Slavic Military Studies 24, no. 1 (2011): 31.

19 Vladimir Putin, “Annual Address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, 2005,” http://archive.kremlin.ru/text/appears/2005/04/87049. shtml; Surkov, “Natsionalizatsia budushchego.”

20 Ibid.; Medvedev, “Rossiya Vpered!”. 21 Olga Shumylo-Tapiola, “The Eurasian Customs Union: Friend or Foe of

the EU?” Carnegie, http://carnegieendowment.org/2012/10/03/eurasia n-customs-union-friend-or-foe-of-eu/dyir.

22 EurAsEC, Osnovye Itogi funktsionirovaniia Tamozhennogo soiuza v ram- kakh EvrAzES i pervoocherednye zadachi na 2011–2012 gody, 2011, no. 80.

23 MFA, National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation to 2020, www. ln.mid.ru/ns-osndoc.nsf/0e9272befa34209743256c630042d1aa/8abb3c17eb3 d2626c32575b500320ae4?OpenDocument II.9.

24 FAS, Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation, 2000, www.fas.org/ nuke/guide/russia/doctrine/econcept.htm, 2000; Kremlin, Foreign Policy Con- cept of the Russian Federation, http://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/text/docs/2008/ 07/204750.shtml; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation, 2013, www.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/76389FEC168189 ED442 57B2E0039B16D.

25 MFA, National Security Concept; MFA, National Security Strategy. 26 Kevork Oskanian, FPC Briefing: Putin’s Eurasian Union- from pre-electoral

sideshow to quest for empire?, http://fpc.org.uk/fsblob/1561.pdf. 27 Rilka Dragneva and Katarina Wolczuk, Briefing Paper—Russia, the Eur-

asian Customs Union and the EU: Cooperation, Stagnation or Rivalry? (London: Chatham House, 2012); Arkady Moshes, “Will Ukraine Join (and Save) the Eurasian CustomsUnion?”, 247,PONARSPolicyMemo (2013).

28 Igor Krotov, “Customs Union between the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Community,” World Customs Journal 5, no. 2 (2011): 129–138.

29 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus sign treaty creating Economic Union, www.rferl.org/content/putin-in-astana-to-in k-eurasia-economic-union/25402319.html.

30 Francisco Carneiro, “What Promises Does the Eurasian Customs Union Hold for the Future?”, World Bank Economic Premise (2013); Iwona Wisniewska, The Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia: a way to strengthen Moscow’s position in the region, 146, IPSI Analysis (2012); Shumylo-Tapiola, The Eurasian Customs Union.

31 Dragneva and Wolczuk, Briefing Paper—Russia, the Eurasian Customs Union and the EU.

32 Wisniewska, The Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia: a way to strengthen Moscow’s position in the region.

33 Moshes, “Will Ukraine Join (and Save) the Eurasian Customs Union?” 34 Carneiro, “What Promises Does the Eurasian Customs Union Hold for the

Future?” 35 Moshes, “Will Ukraine Join (and Save) the Eurasian Customs Union?”

Russia rising? 191http://archive.kremlin.ru/text/appears/2007/04/125339.shtmlhttp://archive.kremlin.ru/text/appears/2005/04/87049shtmlhttp://carnegieendowment.org/2012/10/03/eurasian-customs-union-friend-or-foe-of-eu/dyirhttp://www.ln.mid.ru/ns-osndoc.nsf/0e9272befa34209743256c630042d1aa/8abb3c17eb3d2626c32575b500320ae4?OpenDocumentII.9http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/russia/doctrine/econcept.htmhttp://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/text/docs/2008/07/204750.shtml;http://www.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/76389FEC16818957B2E0039B16Dhttp://fpc.org.uk/fsblob/1561.pdfhttp://www.rferl.org/content/putin-in-astana-to-ink-eurasia-economic-union/25402319.htmlhttp://archive.kremlin.ru/text/appears/2005/04/87049shtmlhttp://carnegieendowment.org/2012/10/03/eurasian-customs-union-friend-or-foe-of-eu/dyirhttp://www.ln.mid.ru/ns-osndoc.nsf/0e9272befa34209743256c630042d1aa/8abb3c17eb3d2626c32575b500320ae4?OpenDocumentII.9http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/russia/doctrine/econcept.htmhttp://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/text/docs/2008/07/204750.shtml;http://www.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/76389FEC16818957B2E0039B16Dhttp://www.rferl.org/content/putin-in-astana-to-ink-eurasia-economic-union/25402319.htmlhttp://www.ln.mid.ru/ns-osndoc.nsf/0e9272befa34209743256c630042d1aa/8abb3c17eb3d2626c32575b500320ae4?OpenDocumentII.9

36 Ibid.; Carneiro, “What Promises Does the Eurasian Customs Union Hold for the Future?”

37 Wisniewska, The Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia: a way to strengthen Moscow’s position in the region.

38 Shumylo-Tapiola, The Eurasian Customs Union; Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Kyrgyzstan To Join Russian-Led Customs Union, Ukraine To Observe, www.rferl.org/content/kyrgyzstan-ukraine-russia-customs-union/ 25001114.html; Lukas Alpert, “Armenia to Join Russian-led Customs Union and Eurasian Economic Union,” Wall Street Journal, http://online. wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20130903-705259.html.

39 President of Kazakhstan, Press-briefing following the participation at the Fourth Summit of the Cooperation Council of the Turkic Speaking States, www.akorda.kz/en/page/page_216973_.

40 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus sign treaty. 41 Irina Sinitsina, Economic Cooperation between Russia and Central Asian

Countries: Trends and Outlook, University of Central Asia Institute of Public Policy and Administration, www.ucentralasia.org/downloads/ UCA-IPPA-WP5-RussiaInfluence-Eng.pdf.

42 Christopher Hartwell, “A Eurasian (or a Soviet) Union? Consequences of further economic integration in the Commonwealth of Independent States,” Business Horizons 56 (2013): 411–420.

43 President of Russia, “BRIC Countries: Common Goals—Common Actions,” Speech, 13 April 2010, http://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/text/sp eeches/2010/04/13/0911_type104017_225331.shtml; Cynthia Roberts, “Building the New World Order BRIC by BRIC,” The European Financial Review (February‑March 2011); Juan Luis Suarez de Vivero and Juan C. Rodriguez Mateos, “Ocean governance in a competitive world. The BRIC countries as emerging maritime powers—building new geopolitical scenar- ios,” Marine Policy 34 (2010): 967–978.

44 Lorenzo Fioramonti, The BRICS of collapse? Why emerging economies need a different development model, Open Democracy, www.opendemocracy.net/lor enzo-fioramonti/brics-of-collapse-why-emerging-economies-need-different-de velopment-model.

45 Ruchir Sharma, “The Ever-Emerging Markets: Why Economic Forecasts Fail,” Foreign Affairs, www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/140342/ruchir-sha rma/the-ever-emerging-markets; Erich Follath and Martin Hesse, “Trou- bled Times: Developing Economies Hit a BRICS Wall,” Der Spiegel, www. spiegel.de/international/world/economy-slows-in-brics-countries-as-worries- mount-a-951453.html.

46 Ibid.; Sebastien Hervieu, “South Africa gains entry to Bric club,” Guardian Weekly, 2011, www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/19/south-africa-join s-bric-club; Tsygankov, “What is Russia to us?”

47 Aglaya Snetkov and Stephen Aris, “Russia and the Narrative of BRIC,” Russian Analytical Digest 91, (2011).

48 David Kerr, “Central Asian and Russian perspectives on China’s strategic emergence,” International Affairs 86, no. 1 (2010): 127–152; Suarez de Vivero and Rodriguez Mateos, “Ocean governance in a competitive world.”

49 President of Russia, “BRIC Countries: Common Goals—Common Actions,” Speech, 13 April 2010; Roberts, Building the New World Order BRIC by BRIC.

192 P.N. Chatterje-Doodyhttp://www.rferl.org/content/kyrgyzstan-ukraine-russia-customs-union/25001114.htmlhttp://onlinewsj.com/article/BT-CO-20130903-705259.htmlhttp://www.akorda.kz/en/page/page_216973_http://www.ucentralasia.org/downloads/UCA-IPPA-WP5-RussiaInfluence-Eng.pdfhttp://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/text/speeches/2010/04/13/0911_type104017_225331.shtml;http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/140342/ruchir-sharma/the-ever-emerging-marketshttp://www.spiegel.de/international/world/economy-slows-in-brics-countries-as-worries-mount-a-951453.htmlhttp://www.spiegel.de/international/world/economy-slows-in-brics-countries-as-worries-mount-a-951453.htmlhttp://www.spiegel.de/international/world/economy-slows-in-brics-countries-as-worries-mount-a-951453.htmlhttp://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/19/south-africa-joins-bric-clubhttp://www.rferl.org/content/kyrgyzstan-ukraine-russia-customs-union/25001114.htmlhttp://onlinewsj.com/article/BT-CO-20130903-705259.htmlhttp://www.ucentralasia.org/downloads/UCA-IPPA-WP5-RussiaInfluence-Eng.pdfhttp://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/text/speeches/2010/04/13/0911_type104017_225331.shtml;http://www.opendemocracy.net/lorenzo-fioramonti/brics-of-collapse-why-emerging-economies-need-different-development-modelhttp://www.opendemocracy.net/lorenzo-fioramonti/brics-of-collapse-why-emerging-economies-need-different-development-modelhttp://www.opendemocracy.net/lorenzo-fioramonti/brics-of-collapse-why-emerging-economies-need-different-development-modelhttp://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/140342/ruchir-sharma/the-ever-emerging-marketshttp://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/19/south-africa-joins-bric-club

50 Daria Korsunskaya, Lidia Kelly, and Larry King, “BRICS to set up their bank within five years, progress slow—Russia,” Reuters, http://in.reuters. com/article/2014/02/25/russia-brics-banks-idINDEEA1O0DK20140225.

51 Sergei Lavrov, Press conference summarising the results of the activities of Russian diplomacy, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Moscow, 21 Jan- uary 2014, www.mid.ru/BDOMP/Brp_4.nsf/arh/9ECCD0C0F39435F3442 57C6A003247B2?OpenDocument.

52 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy Concept; Oskanian, FPC Briefing: Putin’s Eurasian Union—from pre-electoral sideshow to quest for empire?

53 Suarez de Vivero and Rodriguez Mateos, “Ocean governance in a compe- titive world.”

54 RIA Novosti, UN Vote on Crimea Proves Russia is Not Isolated—Envoy Churkin, http://en.ria.ru/world/20140327/188817012/UN-Vote-on-Crimea -Proves-Russia-is-Not-Isolated—Envoy-Churkin.html.

55 Davydov, “The Role of BRIC in the reconstruction of the international order.”

56 “Russia, China to closer coordinate foreign policy steps within UN, BRICS, APEC,” Voice of Russia, http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_05_ 20/Russia-China-to-closer-coordinate-foreign-policy-steps-within-UN-BRI CS-APEC-4195/.

57 M. Skak, “The BRIC Powers as Actors in World Affairs. Soft Balancing or … ?” paper presented to IPSA-ECPR Joint Conference hosted by the Brazilian Political Science Association Whatever happened to North-South?, University of Sao Paulo February, (2011).

58 Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Chairperson’s Statement on the BRICS Foreign Ministers Meeting held on 24 March 2014 in The Hague, Netherlands, www.dfa.gov.za/docs/2014/brics0324.html.

59 BRICS5, South Africa in BRICS, BRICS 2013—Fifth BRICS Summit, www.brics5.co.za/about-brics/south-africa-in-brics/.

60 Roberts, Building the New World Order BRIC by BRIC. 61 Derek Averre, “‘Sovereign Democracy’ and Russia’s Relations with the

European Union,” Demokratizatsiya 15, no. 2 (2007): 173–180. 62 Eli Keene, Growing the Eurasian Customs Union within the WTO, http://ca

rnegieendowment.org/2013/05/30/growing-eurasian-customs-union- within-wto/g7ee.

63 Ibid. 64 G. Lomsadze, Customs Union: Armenia Makes Demands While the Sun

Shines, Eurasianet, www.eurasianet.org/node/68083. 65 J. Kostenko, Kyrgyz government hopes to receive $400 mln for border

equipment from CU partners, www.eng.24.kg/parliament/170574-news24. html.

66 Arkady Moshes, “EU-Russia relations: unfortunate continuity,” European Issues, Fondation Robert Schuman, 129, (2009).

67 Shumylo-Tapiola, The Eurasian Customs Union. 68 Iris Kempe and Hanna Smith, “A Decade of Partnership and Cooperation

in Russia-EU relations,” paper presented at A Decade of Partnership and Cooperation Russia-EU relations: Perceptions, Perspectives and Progress— Possibilities for the Next Decade, Helsinki (2006).

Russia rising? 193http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/02/25/russia-brics-banks-idINDEEA1O0DK20140225http://www.mid.ru/BDOMP/Brp_4.nsf/arh/9ECCD0C0F39435F344257C6A003247B2?OpenDocumenthttp://en.ria.ru/world/20140327/188817012/UN-Vote-on-Crimea-Proves-Russia-is-Not-Isolated%E2%80%94Envoy-Churkin.htmlhttp://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_05_20/Russia-China-to-closer-coordinate-foreign-policy-steps-within-UN-BRICS-APEC-4195/http://www.dfa.gov.za/docs/2014/brics0324.htmlhttp://www.brics5.co.za/about-brics/south-africa-in-brics/http://carnegieendowment.org/2013/05/30/growing-eurasian-customs-unionwithin-wto/g7eehttp://www.eurasianet.org/node/68083http://www.eng.24.kg/parliament/170574-news24.htmlhttp://in.reuters.com/article/2014/02/25/russia-brics-banks-idINDEEA1O0DK20140225http://www.mid.ru/BDOMP/Brp_4.nsf/arh/9ECCD0C0F39435F344257C6A003247B2?OpenDocumenthttp://en.ria.ru/world/20140327/188817012/UN-Vote-on-Crimea-Proves-Russia-is-Not-Isolated%E2%80%94Envoy-Churkin.htmlhttp://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_05_20/Russia-China-to-closer-coordinate-foreign-policy-steps-within-UN-BRICS-APEC-4195/http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_05_20/Russia-China-to-closer-coordinate-foreign-policy-steps-within-UN-BRICS-APEC-4195/http://www.eng.24.kg/parliament/170574-news24.htmlhttp://carnegieendowment.org/2013/05/30/growing-eurasian-customs-unionwithin-wto/g7eehttp://carnegieendowment.org/2013/05/30/growing-eurasian-customs-unionwithin-wto/g7ee

69 Fyodor Lukyanov, “Rethinking Security in ‘Greater Europe,’” Russia in Global Affairs 3 (2009): 94–102.

70 Arkady Moshes, “Russia’s European policy under Medvedev: how sustain- able is a new compromise?” International Affairs 88, no. 1 (2012): 17–30.

71 A. Gabuev and V. Solov’ev, “SNG postavil pered paktom,” in Kommer- sant, 2007, www.kommersant.ru/doc/812422.

72 Chandra, “Strategic Triangle among Russia, China and India: Challenges and Prospects.”

73 Kerr, “Central Asian and Russian perspectives on China’s strategic emergence.”

74 Stephen Aris, “The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation: ‘Tackling the Three Evils’. A Regional Response to Non-traditional Security Challenges or an Anti-Western Bloc?” Europe-Asia Studies 61, no. 3, (2009).

75 Ibid.; Stephen Aris, “The Response of the Shanghai Cooperation Organi- sation to the Crisis in Kyrgyzstan,” Civil Wars 14, no. 3 (2012).

76 Teemu Naarajärvi, “China, Russia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organi- sation: blessing or curse for new regionalism in Central Asia?” Asia Europe Journal 10, nos. 2–3 (2012).

77 Tsygankov, “What is Russia to us?”; Susan Turner, “China and Russia After the Russian-Georgian War,” Comparative Strategy 30, no. 1 (2011): 50–59.

78 “Russia thanks China for its understanding of Moscow’s steps in regard to Ukraine situation,” Voice of Russia, http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_ 04_01/Shoigu-thanks-China-for-its-understanding-of-Russias-steps-in-rega rd-to-Ukraine-situation-1366/; “China and Russia sign ‘historic’ gas deal,” EurActiv, www.euractiv.com/sections/energy/china-and-russia-sign-historic- gas-deal-302295.

79 Ruslan Maksutov, “The Shanghai Cooperation Organization: A Central Asian Perspective” Sipri Project Paper, http://archives.sipri.org/contents/ worldsec/Ruslan.SCO.pdf; Aris, “Tackling the Three Evils.”

80 Ibid. 81 Kerr, “Central Asian and Russian perspectives on China’s strategic

emergence.” 82 Maksutov, “The Shanghai Cooperation Organization: A Central Asian

Perspective.” 83 Aris, “Tackling the Three Evils.” 84 Zachary Keck, “Turkey Renews Plea to Join Shanghai Cooperation Orga-

nization,” The Diplomat, http://thediplomat.com/2013/12/turkey-renews-p lea-to-join-shanghai-cooperation-organization/; Sanjay Kumar, “India: Drawn to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization,” The Diplomat, http:// thediplomat.com/2014/02/india-drawn-to-the-shanghai-cooperation-organiz ation/.

194 P.N. Chatterje-Doodyhttp://www.kommersant.ru/doc/812422http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_04_01/Shoigu-thanks-China-for-its-understanding-of-Russias-steps-in-regard-to-Ukraine-situation-1366/http://www.euractiv.com/sections/energy/china-and-russia-sign-historic-gas-deal-302295http://www.euractiv.com/sections/energy/china-and-russia-sign-historic-gas-deal-302295http://archives.sipri.org/contents/worldsec/Ruslan.SCO.pdfhttp://thediplomat.com/2013/12/turkey-renews-plea-to-join-shanghai-cooperation-organization/http://thediplomat.com/2014/02/india-drawn-to-the-shanghai-cooperation-organization/http://thediplomat.com/2014/02/india-drawn-to-the-shanghai-cooperation-organization/http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_04_01/Shoigu-thanks-China-for-its-understanding-of-Russias-steps-in-regard-to-Ukraine-situation-1366/http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_04_01/Shoigu-thanks-China-for-its-understanding-of-Russias-steps-in-regard-to-Ukraine-situation-1366/http://archives.sipri.org/contents/worldsec/Ruslan.SCO.pdfhttp://thediplomat.com/2013/12/turkey-renews-plea-to-join-shanghai-cooperation-organization/http://thediplomat.com/2014/02/india-drawn-to-the-shanghai-cooperation-organization/


8901-8 – Africa Rising and the rising powers.pdf

8 “Africa Rising” and the rising powers

Rebecca Davies and Ian Taylor

� An alternative? � Institutions, Africa, and the BRICS � Towards an African century? � “A hopeful continent”? � Conclusion

Africa is currently said to be rising, turning a definitive page in its history. African per capita growth figures (if taken at face value) are relatively high and have now been sustained for a decade or so. This has been con- structed on the back of “a commodity price boom that was unprece- dented in its magnitude and duration [where the] real prices of energy and metals more than doubled in five years from 2003 to 2008, while the real price of food commodities increased 75%.”1 The commodity price hike of the first decade of the twenty-first century has been credited to the robust growth performance of emerging economies, particularly China.2 High growth rates and the increase in activities by emerging economies across Africa are said to be in the process of reshaping the continent’s international relations. Analyses thus far have had a strong evangelical aspect to them, suggesting that Africa has turned a corner.

Barely a week passes without some new official report, media article, or conference eulogizing the continent and its growth figures. Africa is now the “rising star.”3 We are living in “Africa’s moment,”4 where it is “Africa’s turn.”5 In this new world, “Africa emerges,”6 moving from “darkness to destiny,”7 where it is “leading the way.”8 In fact, we are told, “The Next Asia Is Africa,”9 based on an “African Growth Mira- cle.”10 We are even told “Why Africa will rule the 21st century”11 and “Business conferences are filled with frothy talk of African lions over- taking Asian tigers.”12 Previous studies on the political economy of Africa are dismissed as “Afro-pessimism,” to be swept away by “The Ulti- mate Frontier Market.”13 A recent book on “the story behind Africa’s

economic revolution” has a quasi-Superman springing fromAfrica on its front cover.14 In short, “It’s time for Africa.”15 More sober analyses that “the present growth is socially unsustainable”16 are generally crowded out.

In the context of stagnating or slowly growing economies in the West, at face value Africa’s growth does look comparatively healthy, setting aside for one moment the flattening out of over 50 variable countries into one entity known as “Africa.” However, beyond the growth figures, ongoing dynamics are entrenching Africa’s dependent position in the global economy. Indeed, the current process “deepens and intensifies Africa’s inveterate and deleterious terms of (mal)inte- gration within the global political economy—terms which continue to be characterized by external dominance and socially damaging and extraverted forms of accumulation.”17 This is why the Kenyan writer and investigative journalist, Parselelo Kantai, refers to the Africa Rising trope as an “insidious little fiction manufactured by global cor- porate finance,”18 while Africa Confidential notes that “Much of the [Africa]-boosting, local and international, will serve [only] political and financial interests.”19

Although this vast and growing body of literature examines the dif- ferent activities of these rising powers and new trading geographies, there has been much less focus on whether or not the supposed reshaping or diversification of Africa’s international relations, char- acterized largely by this increased engagement with emerging econo- mies, belies genuine structural change. For all the rhetoric, the continent remains predominantly an exporter of primary commodities and there is little hint of these dynamics undoing Africa’s subordinate position in the global economy. Despite renewed economic growth, the governance of poverty, inequality, and (under)development on the Afri- can continent thus remains one of the most fundamental ethical issues confronting scholars and practitioners of global governance today. As this chapter will demonstrate by focusing on China’s relations with Africa, whether or not the approach of the BRICS powers, with their different interests and strategies, portend structural transformation in the hegemonic order can only be explored contextually. By focusing on the broader global context, as well as the neo-patrimonial nature of local political economies, it brings into view the possibilities of changing governance and development outcomes on the continent.

An alternative?

Since around 2000, there has been greater engagement between Africa and the global North, reflected in various initiatives largely focused on

“Africa Rising” and the rising powers 153

the issue of poverty with a strong emphasis on “good governance.”20

With this, conditionalities have been applied, often in a fairly static and dogmatic fashion—a continuation of a longstanding pattern. This has oftentimes been bitterly resented by African elites, even though Africa’s own New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) placed standard liberal definitions of governance at the centre of its project.21

What is interesting with regard to the BRICS is that they provide options without the traditional North‑South axis. An emphasis on developing infrastructure has been notable in this new set of relations, something that has at times been neglected by traditional actors.22

Politically, this has also introduced new competitive dynamics into Africa’s international relations: Africa has “never been in such a strong bargaining position” than at the present, with numerous “suitors.”23

The growing diversity of partners potentially offers a “tremendous opportunity … as each country brings with it an array of capital goods, developmental experience, products and technology as well as new opportunities to trade goods, knowledge and models.”24 Trade with—and investment from—emerging economies potentially reduces the North’s political leverage and economic dominance in Africa,25

which may “increase the negotiating power enjoyed by [African] governments seeking to maximise local benefits.”26

These developments may be interpreted in alternative ways. It may be put forward that these new actors now emerging are merely exploi- tative and self-interested; overall just as damaging to Africa as the extant and well-established set of relations with the traditional powers. Alternatively, these new relationships may be seen as somehow reflect- ing South‑South values (whatever that may mean) and contributing to Africa’s developmental goals. This appears to be what many African elites believe. Yet it seems obvious that Africa is the weaker partner in these new relationships. Specifically regarding the BRICS, actors from those states are in Africa not because of some notional love of Africa or Africans, but for reasons based on capitalist logics. Interest in gain- ing access to natural resources in Africa is often central.27 As Kimenyi and Lewis put it, the attention of emerging economies towards Africa “is not based on an altruistic goal to improve the economic well-being of Africans” but rather, just like most other external actors, actors from emer- ging economies are “trying to maximise their own strategic economic and political interests by engaging with African countries.”28 Their rela- tionships with Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) do not exhibit any notable “exceptionalism,” but rather display patterns that are “broadly similar to those of SSA ‘traditional’ partners and mostly reinforce existing commodity-based export structures.”29 This contrasts with the

154 Rebecca Davies and Ian Taylor

diplomatic claims made by the emerging economies that their engagement with Africa is qualitatively different—and better—than that of the North, with relentless incantations about “South‑South” ties, “solidarity,” “mutual benefits,” “win‑win relations,” and “partnerships.”

Given the “growing expectations among the citizens in countries targeted by the emerging economies of the immediate upswings in their livelihoods and improvements in quality of life,”30 the solidarity rhetoric may backfire. It is obvious that the quality of a country’s governance institutions is a crucial determinant in development and growth and although there have been some improvements in govern- ance in Africa of late, incidents of corruption and general pathologies of maldevelopment remain a regular occurrence. Possibly com- pounding this situation is the “non-interference” practiced by some of the new partners. What this means in practical terms is that until and unless the elites in Africa themselves promote pro-development policies, no such standards will be adopted. In such a milieu, the per- petual question will then be: how might Africa engage with and exploit the increased engagement by new partners in order to benefit ordinary people and promote development?

Institutions, Africa, and the BRICS

Recently, a revitalized diplomacy has been initiated towards Africa. With regards to the emerging economies specifically, various summits, institutions, and agreements have been established which have wit- nessed an outpouring of enthusiasm for the continent: the Korea– Africa Forum, the Turkey–Africa Partnership, the Africa–Singapore Business Forum, the Malaysia–Africa Business Forum, the Taiwan– Africa Summit, Brazil–Africa Forum, and so on. All of these have (consciously or not) replicated the Chinese example set by the Forum on China‑Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), established in 2000.

The background to FOCAC can be traced to the visit by Chinese Premier Jiang Zemin to Africa in 1996, when he publicly unveiled a new Chinese approach to Africa. According to a Chinese report, “The guiding principle that China follows in developing relations with African countries in the new situation is: to treat each other as equals, develop sincere friendship, strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and seek common development.”31 During a keynote speech to the Organiza- tion of African Unity (OAU), entitled “Toward a New Historical Milestone of Sino–African Friendship,” Jiang advanced a five-point proposal for a new relationship between China and Africa:

“Africa Rising” and the rising powers 155

vii fostering a sincere friendship between China and Africa and both sides becoming each other’s reliable “all-weather friends”;

viii treating each other as equals and respecting each other’s sover- eignty and not interfering in each other’s internal affairs;

ix seeking common development on the basis of mutual benefit; x enhancing consultation and cooperation in international affairs; and

xi looking into the future and create a better world.32

Jiang’s proposal was warmly received by the OAU and may be seen as laying the foundation for current Sino–African relations. FOCAC has subsequently been the official vehicle to realize these ambitions.

In October 2000 a Forum on China–Africa Cooperation Ministerial Conference in Beijing was held that culminated in the formation of FOCAC. Previously, in October 1999, President Jiang Zemin had written to all heads of African states, as well as the Secretary-General of the OAU, to propose the convening of a Sino–Africa forum. When this was greeted with a favorable reception, the Chinese established a preparatory committee comprising 18 ministries, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Coop- eration (MOFTEC) assigned the roles of anchormen. Interestingly, Chinese sources claim that it was African leaders who initiated and asked for a summit. He Wenping asserts that:

At the end of the 1990s, some African countries proposed that as the United States, Britain, France, Japan and Europe had established mechanisms for contact with Africa, it was necessary for China and Africa to establish a similar mechanism to fit in with the need to strengthen relations. After earnest study, China decided to echo the suggestions of African countries, and proposed to hold the Forum in 2000.33

Whether or not it was Beijing or African states that called for and initiated the summit, FOCAC has quickly proved to be a major feature in Africa’s international relations.

The meeting in October 2000 was attended by 80 ministers charged with foreign affairs and international trade and economic development, from 45 African states. Representatives of international and regional organizations also attended, as did delegates from two African countries that did not then have diplomatic ties with China (Liberia and Malawi). Discussions were organized into four separate sessions: trade; economic reform (with China’s program being showcased as a possible model);

156 Rebecca Davies and Ian Taylor

poverty eradication and sustainable development; and, cooperation in education, science technology, and health care.

At the meeting, Jiang Zemin gave the keynote speech, starting off with the implicit claim that China was the leader of the developing world, and the oft-reported refrain that “China is the largest develop- ing country in the world and Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries.”34 This Third Worldism was then made explicit by Jiang’s claim that the meeting was a tangible example of South‑South linkages: “closer South‑South co-operation and the establishment of an equitable and just new international political and economic order” was needed.35 Notably, Jiang cast Sino–African rela- tions within an international context that “is moving towards multi- polarity and [where] the international situation is on the whole easing off.”36 This was seen as providing new opportunities for trade and cooperation. These favorable conditions, however, were potentially threatened as “Hegemonism and power politics still exist.”37 Conflict and instability in the developing world was squarely blamed on the “many irrational and inequitable factors in the current international political and economic order [which] are detrimental not only to world peace and development, but also to the stability and development of the vast number of developing countries.”38

Jiang then went on to outline four key ways that China and Africa could, working together, help establish a new global order:

1 “strengthen solidarity and promote South‑South cooperation.” South‑South cooperation was seen as the main way developing countries could “give full play to their advantages in natural and human resources, tap to the full their respective productive and technological potential, take advantage of the others’ strengths to make up for their own weaknesses, and achieve common improvement”39;

2 “Enhance dialogue and improve North‑South relations.” According to Jiang, “Developed countries should take full account and care of the interests of the less privileged developing countries and increase financial investment and technology transfer to them to help build up their capacity for development.” Intrinsic to this point was the assertion by Jiang that “A smaller development gap and better political and economic relations between the North and the South is an important foundation for a just and equitable new international political and economic order”40;

3 “Take part in international affairs on the basis of equality and in an enterprising spirit.” According to Jiang, China and Africa

“Africa Rising” and the rising powers 157

needed to increase consultation and cooperation on both “the bilateral and multilateral fronts” and vigorously participate in international affairs and the formulation of international rules. Central to this was the promotion of reform of the international economic system to ensure that “a fair international environment will be created and the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries will be effectively safeguarded”41; and

4 “Look forward into the future and establish a new long-term stable partnership of equality and mutual benefit.” Jiang stated that increased exchanges, “especially direct contacts between top leaders of both China and African countries” would be pursued as central to this goal.

FOCAC now meets every three years (alternately in Africa and China) and is a formalization of China’s engagement with Africa. Its model has been copied by others. India, for example, instigated the India–Africa Forum Summit in 2008, which “marked the culmination of India’s renewed focus on Africa.”42 Fourteen African countries attended the summit, which gave rise to two declaratory documents: the India–Africa Framework for Cooperation Forum and the Delhi Declaration. Both documents stressed South‑South cooperation, capa- city building, and mutual interests. A plan of action was launched, a clear replication of FOCAC’s own institutional framework.43 Subsequent to the summit, New Delhi committed a $5.4 billion credit line over the next five years (rising from $2.15 billion in the past five years), grants worth $500 million and a unilateral opening of the Indian domestic economy to exports from all LDCs. Similarly, in April 2012 the first “Brazil–Africa Forum 2012” met in Johannesburg in September 2012.

This growing interest in Africa has arguably also been reflected by a changing attitude towards a greater inclusion of African voices in international financial institutions. Although ultimately unsuccessful, the very fact that the Nigerian economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala led a credible campaign to become president of the World Bank speaks volumes. Setting aside her decidedly orthodox neoliberal position and status as a World Bank insider, along with former Colombian finance minister Jose Antonio Ocampo, Okonjo-Iweala helped create the bank’s first-ever competitive race for the presidency. That an African was one of the candidates—and was taken seriously—is noteworthy. Previously, the World Bank Group’s Annual Meeting in 2008 agreed on reforms that created an additional Chair at the World Bank Board for Africa. The continent has become “increasingly assertive in inter- national forums and aware of its influence” as a region, making up

158 Rebecca Davies and Ian Taylor

nearly 25 percent of the world’s countries, and thus is a potentially significant bloc.44

For its part, the IMF has been discussing reforming its voting structure in order to better reflect the contemporary world, rather than the world as it was when the organization was founded. As part of this process, it was suggested that emerging economies would be granted increasing voting weight. Interestingly, African countries “reacted fur- iously” to such proposals and argued that this would give undue priority to emerging countries “while delaying action to give the world’s poorest countries greater influence over the body that often dictates their eco- nomic policies.”45 Rather than endorse the proposal in the spirit of South‑South solidarity, African elites argued that such plans would leave them in an even weaker and more dependent position than ever. Although they ultimately stalled (the United States Congress refused to ratify the quota increase), such discussions do reflect a changing global reality. The plan is to make China the third-largest voting member and revise the IMF’s board to reduce Europe’s dom- inance as “part of a broader plan by the IMF to recognize within the organization the growing economic clout of emerging economies.”46

However, the reforms, supposed to be introduced in late 2012, were, at the time of writing, held up by interminable wrangling over the formula used to decide voting weight. What such developments indicate is that emerging economies’ elites are more and more pressing for some reform of global relations, albeit in problem-solving terms. Africa’s sup- port in such questions is actively sought, although there remains no common African position and the African Union (AU) continues to have no serious strategy for managing the continent’s burgeoning relationships.

Towards an African century?

As noted, Africa’s generalized robust economic performance (in terms of growth) has coincided with increasing engagement with emerging economies. The diversification of Africa’s international relations has been increasingly influenced by the shift in relative capabilities to those states. The financial crisis of 2008 had potentially significant repercus- sions for the international system in that a shift in material capabilities from traditional to emerging powers appeared evident, not least in the absolute need by the guardians of the global liberal order to incorpo- rate new partners from the South to legitimize the overall system. The debate over IMF quota shares and a reliance on emerging actors to provide capital injections in order to stabilize the global economy reflect this.47 The very decision to expand the G8 to the G20 as the key

“Africa Rising” and the rising powers 159

international institution to discuss future economic global governance was a further manifestation of these processes.

Until the turn of the century, it would be fair to say that many African economies were dependent on the Northern-based interna- tional financial institutions (IFIs) for establishing key ideas and approaches to their development models and for access to capital and policy advice. This has now changed somewhat. The emerging econo- mies’ rise in material capabilities, and their incorporation into the key global governance architecture, has given rise to the notion that Afri- ca’s international relations are in a process of change, perhaps away from the North and towards the South, with attendant debates over the possibility of alternative models of development. Certainly, the poten- tial ability to access different methodologies and new ideas concerning developmental thinking could possibly lessen Africa’s dependence on the IFIs and their conditionalities.48 Although conditionalities can be seen as reflecting neocolonial impulses—and the policy advice has been rigidly doctrinaire in its application of neoliberal prescriptions—it is uncertain that shifting to no conditions is better, given the governance modalities of many African states. Equally, the environmental and social models on which the emerging economies base their rise (inten- sified labor and environmental exploitation and a free rein to capital) hardly add up to a superior alternative.

As Africa is routinely ranked the most corrupt region of the world, a hands-off approach by the BRICS over matters related to governance is unhelpful, not least because such an approach discounts new means of dealing with the ethical challenges raised by processes of under- development. Indeed, by not practicing political conditionality at the same time as broadly advocating a policy of non-interference in domestic affairs, the BRICS risk undermining even the most tentative transformation of contemporary practices of global governance. Fur- thermore, a set of new relationships based on the intensification of natural resource extraction will be equally problematic. One of the key lessons for Africa from the financial crisis was that those countries that were more diversified generally tended to be more resilient than those that were highly dependent on a few primary commodities.49

Re-inscribing African dependence on commodities hardly offers a novel framework to emerging relationships with Africa and under- mines the BRICS’ claims to be somehow “different.” Even if the emphasis placed by some of the BRICS on addressing structural bottle- necks in Africa has been beneficial for the continent, new roads and rail- ways in the absence of serious reforms are unlikely to make a sustainable and long-term contribution.

160 Rebecca Davies and Ian Taylor

This returns us to the question as to whether emerging economies’ increasing engagement with Africa is exploitative or benign. This question can only be answered in a contextual manner, dependent on which actor from which emerging economy and in which sector of which country in Africa is being discussed. But it is important to remember that actors such as the BRICS have increased engagement with Africa as a means to achieve their own economic and political goals and that, overall, Africa remains the weaker partner. This weak- ness is usually ascribed to the continent’s dependent relationship in the international system and Africa’s historic insertion into the global capitalist economy. However, dependence is “a historical process, a matrix of action,” that permits the prospect of alteration stemming from changes in the dynamics, processes, and organization of the international system and the fundamental tendencies within Africa’s political economy.50 Current emergent trends, such as robust economic growth and an increasing diversification of the continent’s international relations may play important roles in this regard, yet massive chal- lenges remain. Africa’s world market share in processing industries is extraordinarily low: SSA exports just 0.9 and 0.3 percent of world light and heavy manufacturing exports, respectively.51 The bulk of the growth in African exports in the last decade or more has been heavily underpinned by mining-related commodities, deeply problematic in terms of development. After all, the export growth that the Asian economies used to leapfrog development was based on an increasing list of manufactures. Africa is nowhere near that position.

This closer engagement does present the prospect of greater auton- omy for African elites. However, the dynamics of this agency are con- ditioned both by the practices and nature of external partners, as well as by the different histories, sovereignty regimes, properties, and capacities of African states. In more successful states such as Ethiopia, Ghana, and Rwanda, it would appear that neo-patrimonialism “is a ‘good enough’ form of governance for economic development.”52 Although Africa has possibly never been in a stronger bargaining position than at pre- sent, the key question remains: how can African leaders take advan- tage for the benefit of the ordinary citizen? Currently, this does not seem to be happening. A recent Afrobarometer survey revealed that despite a decade of strong GDP growth and the incessant narrative of an “Africa Rising,” there is “a wide gap in perceptions between ordinary Africans and the global economic community,” where “a majority (53%) rate the current condition of their national economy as ‘fairly’ or ‘very bad,’” and only “one in three Africans (31%) think the condition of their national economies has improved in the past year,

“Africa Rising” and the rising powers 161

compared to 38% who say things have gotten worse.” Notably, when it came to their own elites, “Africans give their governments failing marks for economic management (56% say they are doing ‘fairly’ or ‘very badly’), improving the living standards of the poor (69% fairly/very badly), creat- ing jobs (71% fairly/very badly), and narrowing income gaps (76% fairly/ very badly).”53 As Hofmeyr notes, “popular opinion is thus increas- ingly out of sync with the ‘Africa Rising’ narrative that has been gaining traction among government officials and international investors.”54

“A hopeful continent”?

As mentioned, the trope around Africa has shifted from one extreme to another. Now, it is “A hopeful continent.”55 The mood swing about Africa is “due, directly or indirectly, to the increasing global demand for the continent’s resources: notably for oil, but also for gas, minerals, and other energy sources. This was driven, above all, by the sudden appearance of China as aworld economic actor, whose dramatic burst of late industrialization fuelled a global upswing.”56 This has been missed by the Africa Rising mantra, which prefers to construct endogenous factors as drivers. Yet as Bond notes:

Ongoing resource extraction by Western firms was joined, and in some cases overtaken, by China [and others] … Still, Africa’s sub- ordinate position did not change, and aside from greater amounts of overseas development aid flowing into fewer than 15 “fragile states”, the North‑South flows were not to Africans’ advantage. One would not know this from reading reports by the elite multilateral institutions in 2011, which celebrated the continent’s national economies as among the world’s leading cases of post-meltdown economic recovery.57

The flip-flop regarding the continent has, to a certain extent, refuted the familiar media images of fly-blown children that so dominate much discussion of Africa. This is a good thing. Yet equally, the narrative has swung almost entirely in the opposite direction, with little critical reflection. Growths in GDP and opportunities for investors are the new intonations in a crude binary construction of Africa that has shifted almost overnight from basket case to bonanza.

The Africa Rising discourse neglects a most fundamental context: “only for nine of the forty three [Sub-Saharan] countries were growth rates during 1980–2008 high enough to double per capita income in less than thirty years, and only sixteen in less than one hundred years.

162 Rebecca Davies and Ian Taylor

Performance would have been considerably worse had it not been for the brief years of relatively rapid growth in the mid-2000s.”58 Africa needs to grow at least 7 percent a year for the next 20 or 30 years if any serious tackling of continental poverty is to be realized. However, growth induced by commodity prices increases, new discoveries of natural resources, or increases in sources of foreign capital “is simply not sustainable.”59

What GDP growth that has occurred is overwhelmingly character- ized by the deployment and inflow of capital-intensive investment for the extraction and exportation of natural resources. There is a con- spicuous lack of value added on the African side. Indeed, “The prin- cipal focus of this activity is in oil, which not only offers limited opportunities for local employment, but also deliberately and actively seeks to avoid the hiring of African labor for fear of encountering resistance and the costs of appeasing affected local communities.”60


while the hope of the development literature has been that higher rates of inflow of capital investment will have downstream effects on African employment (through increased government revenues and spending alongside an injection of consumer wealth into local economies), there is little evidence that this will take place on a substantial scale. The fundamental reason for this is that the [growth] rests heavily on the engagements of foreign governments and corporations with African elites.61

In most neopatrimonial administrations, of which Africa has many, sustainable and broad-based development is unlikely to occur.62

In late 2012, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa noted that the relatively good economic growth performance over the past decade had been driven mostly by non- renewable natural resources and high commodity prices. Alongside this, he noted, deindustrialization had been a key feature, with the share of manufacturing in Africa’s GDP falling from 15 percent in 1990 to 10 percent in 2008, going hand-in-hand with an increase in unemployment.63 McMillan and Rodrik64 in fact show that, since 1990, Africa has experienced a relative shift in the composition of employ- ment toward sectors that create too few high productivity jobs. Manu- facturing growth has been near the bottom in 12 growth sectors—only public administration lagged behind.

This of course is not to write off the recent growth as devoid of any value at all. At the minimum, improved fiscal space is being generated. Retail sectors are growing, with revenue increasing by around 4 percent

“Africa Rising” and the rising powers 163

per year, and there is growing investment in infrastructure.65 Given that there is a correlation “between infrastructure and export diversifi- cation, and the current low levels and distorted composition of exports from SSA are partly due to poor trade infrastructure,” it can be stated that the improvement in infrastructure “has per se a positive impact on SSA growth and trade capacity.”66 Africa’s debts have fallen, partly thanks to the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI), and partly because of improved management (although it should be noted that “in spite of the HIPC initiative, only half of SSA countries have witnessed a tem- porary reduction of their annual debt service”).67 In social sectors, perfor- mance is varied but increases in the years of schooling are reported across the continent, albeit unevenly. Health outcomes, particularly life expectancy at birth, have also generally improved, in some countries substantially. These are all obviously to be welcomed.

However, it is a contention of this chapter that there is a desperate need to convert natural resources and high commodity prices into structural change, “defined as an increase in the share of industry or ser- vices in the economy, or as the diversification and sophistication of exports…or as the shift of workers from sectors with low labor pro- ductivity to those with high labor productivity.”68 This is not happen- ing. Instead, with the arrival of emerging economies in Africa alongside traditional trade associates, historical processes of underdevelopment are in danger of being further entrenched. There has been a huge rise in commodity prices and this has contributed in a big way to Africa Rising, if taken as an increase in GDP per capita, but the benefit to African economies in terms of providing a sustained platform for development is far more muted.

Indeed, the drivers of Africa’s “recovery” during the second half of the 2000s appear to have been a commodity price boom, debt relief, and a decline in domestic conflicts.69 World Bank figures with regard to the annual percentage growth rate of GDP at market prices, based on constant local currency (for all income levels, rounded up), com- pared with the movement of the Commodity Price Index (CPI) reveals this intimate link (Table 8.1).

The years when SSA’s growth figures surpassed 1996 levels (2004–08) can be demonstrably linked to the period when emerging economies began to hugely demand commodities, as reflected in the CPI. In the energy realm, concern over predicted declines in petroleum reserves, apprehensions over the so-called peak oil scenario, instability in the Middle East and oil price speculation, placed further upward pressure on prices, peaking in 2008. This reality is qualitatively different from

164 Rebecca Davies and Ian Taylor

T ab

le 8. 1

C or re la ti on

be tw

ee n G D P gr ow

th fo r SS

A an

d th e C om

m od

it y P ri ce

In de x (C

P I)

19 90

19 91

19 92

19 93

19 94

19 95

19 96

19 97

19 98

19 99

G D P gr ow

th 1. 3

0. 9

-0 .9

0. 4

1. 8

3. 7

4. 9

3. 7

2. 3

2. 4


52 .6

52 .5

50 .0 6

58 .6

58 .7

64 .6

51 .0

43 .3

20 00

20 01

20 02

20 03

20 04

20 05

20 06

20 07

20 08

20 09

G D P gr ow

th 3. 7

3. 7

3. 5

4. 4

6. 4

5. 8

6. 1

6. 9

5. 0

1. 9


59 .4

61 .9

50 .1

66 .3

69 .1

86 .7

11 3. 1

11 2. 9

16 2. 4

10 2. 4

20 10

20 11

20 12

G D P gr ow

th 4. 9

4. 5

4. 2


14 6. 1

18 2. 1

18 8. 4

S ou rc es : W or ld

B an k,

IM F da ta .

the picture of Africa Rising, where “spectacularly right” policies have driven growth. Official reports from international organizations have at times bolstered this latter interpretation, postulating Africa’s “eco- nomic resurgence” as being hinged on the ability of the continent to recover from the global crisis relatively quicker than other areas of the world.70 While true in and of itself, Africa’s growth record over the last 10 years or so has occurred within the context of overall global growth. In this regard, Africa’s growth has only been around 1 percent higher than the world average: credible, but not fantastic.71

Despite the celebration of improved governance across the continent and the attempts to link this to Africa’s recent growth spurt, there is little evidence that overall the quality of Africa’s democracies is improving or that governance is dramatically on the up and up across the continent. The composite Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance had a con- tinental average of 47/100 in 2000—by 2013 it had increased to 51.6/ 100—hardly seismic and in fact, less than half (43 percent) of people living in Africa live in a country which has shown overall governance improvement since 2010.72 This makes nonsense of strident claims that:

What took the UK centuries can now be a matter of decades, even years … Today Africa has the greatest room to boom on the back of two centuries of global progress … In other words, Africa is ideally poised to leapfrog centuries of industrial development … It has an added advantage in that it does not have to carry baggage from the past.73

In this analysis, (yet another) commodity-driven boom in Africa, this time in part propelled by emerging economies, wipes the historical slate clean, makes dependent relationships and unequal terms of trade vanish instantaneously, and positions the continent to reach OECD status virtually overnight. Of course, not all emerging economies’ involvement in Africa revolves around commodities; that would be a crude caricature. But commodities certainly dominate BRICS–Africa trade (Table 8.2).

Such a situation further reinforces and helps underpin the overall structure of Africa’s insertion into the global economy. The BRICS certainly did not create this milieu, but their current trade profile with the continent promotes the reification of existing and ongoing devel- opments. Regardless of the nuances of these relations, it is true that actors from both the global North and South are now actively pursu- ing closer engagement with Africa. This provides the elites of the con- tinent opportunities to extract leverage in return for access; which may

166 Rebecca Davies and Ian Taylor

or may not be a good thing, depending on the conjectural circum- stances in each state formation and the nature of their external part- ners. It cannot be taken for granted that actors from the emerging economies, or African elites themselves, are genuinely interested in furthering Africa’s developmental priorities.


This chapter has examined whether or not Africa’s economic revival, led by rising global commodity prices and the dramatically increased engagement of the BRICS, in particular China, with the continent over the last decade, has or will lead to any kind of wider structural transforma- tion. The role of the BRICS in Africa has received an enormous amount of attention, largely because of its implications for the nature of politics, development, and governance on the continent. Indeed, it has been suggested that the rise of the BRICS is not only significantly reshaping global governance, but so too the outlook for African development. Needless to say, their influence is nuanced and deeply contextual, as each of these powers has been “anxious to maintain open access for its invest- ments and access to resources and markets,” while being “less pre- scriptive and intrusive about the precise content of economic policy outside of these parameters.”74 Africa’s international relations might have

Table 8.2 Key product composition of BRICS imports from Africa (percen- tage share, 2010)

Brazil Russia India China South Africa

Mineral fuels, oil, etc.

85 71 65 76

Ores, slag, ash 3 2 14

Precious stones, metals

1 13 4 6

Copper 6 3

Fertilizers 5 1

Edible fruit and nuts

29 2

Cocoa 16

Tobacco 9

Inorganic chemicals

1 8 4 1

“Africa Rising” and the rising powers 167

diversified considerably, but what are striking are the continuities which mark the governance matrix. Growth on the continent remains depen- dent on international commodity prices, investment in its extractive sectors, and continued foreign aid inflows. Against this backdrop, the limitations of the BRICS as states increasingly central to the function- ing and shaping of patterns of global governance, and thus the ethical challenges of global poverty and insecurity, can be better understood.

As long as resource-based commodities continue to form the bulk of African exports, even if they have led to an increase in income for some African countries (or their elites), “By diverting resources from non- raw material sectors and contributing to real exchange-rate appreciation, a price boom runs the risk of locking developing-country commodity exporters into what Leamer called the ‘raw-material corner’, with little scope for industrial progress or skills advancement.”75 Given Africa’s factor endowments being concentrated in commodities and its export profile and sector concentration being in the same, the raw material corner has been the continent’s broad fate. As Afari-Gyan suggests:

During colonisation and the period immediately after, the struc- ture of external trade of African countries were mainly determined by the needs of the colonial masters. African countries mainly exported natural resources such as timber and minerals and imported manufactured goods. About six decades later, this struc- ture of trade has not been significantly altered. Invariably, African countries have continually and consistently not managed to diversify trade into manufactured products.76

The result has been what Shivji terms “structural disarticulation,” whereby Africa exhibits a “disarticulation between the structure of production and the structure of consumption. What is produced is not consumed and what is consumed is not produced.”77

There is no doubt that the exponential growth of the emerging economies has helped stimulate the global commodity booms of the past decade.78 This is important given that labor-intensive agricultural and manufactured goods do not feature significantly in the exports of African countries to these economies. This dependence is a two-edged sword. Countries with the highest economic integration with the BRICS generally managed to sustain growth during the global down- turn, compared with a contraction observed in countries with the least ties. Interestingly, the risk analysis company Maplecroft released in 2011 its Emerging Powers Integration Index Series, assessing the economic integration of 180 countries with each of the BRICS.79 According to

168 Rebecca Davies and Ian Taylor

Maplecroft, the countries most integratedwith the BRICS are resource-rich developing economies, which provide the raw materials to fuel economic growth back in the BRICS’ domestic economies. Of these, many are located in Africa. Zimbabwe was ranked joint 1st, Liberia 5th, Guinea- Bissau 6th, Zambia 7th, DR Congo 10th, Mozambique 12th, Maur- itania 15th, Congo 18th, and Sudan 20th. While the data showed which countries stood to gain most from the economic rise of the BRICS, it also revealed just how vulnerable some countries were if the BRICS’ rise encountered difficulties. As Alyson Warhurst, CEO of Maplecroft noted, “should growth in the BRICs economies falter or lead to inter- nal unrest and repression, we could see contagion spread to those countries that are most highly integrated with the emerging powers.”80

A similar point is made in the following commentary:

[T]he positive effect of the world business cycle suggests that the economic performance of African countries is sensitive to world markets. Specifically, this result provides strong support for the hypothesis of the dependence of African countries’ economic growth on the economic growth of industrialised nations. This implies that a relatively high degree of integration of African countries with the world economy carries some benefits in as far as the industrialised countries continue to grow. However, should industrialised countries suffer economic setbacks, this could have adverse impacts on the African economies.81

Exports from Africa to both traditional and non-traditional trading part- ners exhibit a very clear and continuous pattern in terms of commodity structure with extractive commodities dominating. In short, such processes are simply the diversification of dependency, with Africa being further trapped into low value-added production structures. This is hardly con- gruent with the idea of Africa Rising; nor, given the neo-patrimonial nature of local political economies, does it imply any substantive change in development outcomes for the majority of Africans.

Notes 1 Bilge Erten and José Antonio Ocampo, “Super Cycles of Commodity Prices

Since the Mid-Nineteenth Century,”World Development 44 (2013): 14. 2 Yilmaz Akyüz, The Staggering Rise of The South? (Geneva: South Centre,

2012). 3 The Economist, 3 December 2011. 4 Jean-Michel Sévérino and Olivier Ray, Africa’s Moment (Cambridge:

Polity Press, 2001).

“Africa Rising” and the rising powers 169

5 Edward Miguel, Africa’s Turn? (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2009). 6 Robert Rotberg, Africa Emerges (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2013). 7 Duncan Clarke, Africa’s Future: Darkness to Destiny: How the Past Is

Shaping Africa’s Economic Evolution (New York: Profile Books, 2012). 8 Steven C. Radelet, Emerging Africa: How 17 Countries are Leading the

Way (Washington DC: Centre for Global Development, 2010). 9 Howard W. French, “The Next Asia is Africa: Inside the Continent’s Rapid

Economic Growth,” Atlantic Monthly, 21 May 2012, 3. 10 Alwyn Young, “The African Growth Miracle,” Journal of Political Econ-

omy 120, no. 4 (August 2012): 696–739. 11 African Business, 7 January 2013: 16, http://africanbusinessmagazine.com/p

rofiles-and-interviews/profile/why-africa-will-rule-the-21st-century/. 12 “Africa Rising—A Hopeful Continent,” The Economist, 2 March 2013. 13 David Matean, Africa: The Ultimate Frontier Market: A Guide to the

Business and Investment Opportunities in Emerging Africa (Petersfield: Harriman House Publishing, 2012).

14 Charles Robertson, The Fastest Billion: The Story Behind Africa’s Eco- nomic Revolution (London: Renaissance Capital, 2012).

15 Ernst and Young, It’s Time for Africa: Ernst and Young’s 2011 Africa Attractiveness Survey (London: Ernst and Young, 2011).

16 Africa Progress Panel, Africa Progress Report 2012: Jobs, Justice and Equity: Seizing Opportunity in Times of Global Change (Geneva: Africa Progress Panel Foundation, 2012), 8.

17 Sarah Bracking and Graham Harrison, “Africa, Imperialism, and New Forms of Accumulation,” Review of African Political Economy 30, no. 95 (2003): 9.

18 Oscar Rickett, “Is This the Century of Africa’s Rise?” 22 January 2013, www.vice.com.

19 Africa Confidential, “Making the Best of the Boom,” 55, no. 2 (24 January 2014), www.africa-confidential.com/article/id/5184/Making_the_best_of_th e_boom.

20 Tom Cargill, Our Common Strategic Interests: Africa’s Role in the Post-G-8 World (London: Royal Institute of International Affairs, 2011).

21 Ian Taylor, NEPAD: Towards Africa’s Development or Another False Start? (Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner, 2005).

22 World Economic Forum, World Bank and African Development Bank, The African Competitiveness Report 2011 (Geneva: World Economic Forum, 2011), 108.

23 Cargill, Our Common Strategic Interests, viii. 24 World Economic Forum et al., The African Competitiveness Report 2011, 105. 25 Roger Southall, “Scrambling for Africa? Continuities and Discontinuities

with Formal Imperialism” in A New Scramble for Africa? Imperialism, Investment and Development, Roger Southall and Melber Henning, eds (Scottsville: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2009), 31.

26 Wilson Prichard, “The Mining Boom in Sub-Saharan Africa: Continuity, Change and Policy Implications” in ibid., 254.

27 Sanusha Naidu, Lucy Corkin, and Hayley Herman, “Introduction,” Poli- tikon 36, no. 1 (2009): 3.

28 Mwangi S. Kimenyi and Zenia A. Lewis, “The BRICs and the New Scramble for Africa” in Foresight Africa: The Continent’s Greatest

170 Rebecca Davies and Ian Taylorhttp://africanbusinessmagazine.com/profiles-and-interviews/profile/why-africa-will-rule-the-21st-century/http://www.vice.comhttp://www.africa-confidential.com/article/id/5184/Making_the_best_of_the_boomhttp://www.africa-confidential.com/article/id/5184/Making_the_best_of_the_boomhttp://africanbusinessmagazine.com/profiles-and-interviews/profile/why-africa-will-rule-the-21st-century/

Challenges and Opportunities for 2011, Brookings Institute (New York: Brookings Institute, 2011), 20.

29 Alice N. Sindzingre, “The Ambivalent Impact of Commodities: Structural Change or Status Quo in Sub-Saharan Africa?” South African Journal of International Affairs 20, no. 1 (2013): 45.

30 Ernest Aryeetey and Emmanuel Asmah, “Africa’s New Oil Economies: Managing Expectations,” in Foresight Africa: The Continent’s Greatest Challenges and Opportunities for 2011, Brookings Institute (New York: Brookings Institute, 2011), 22.

31 Xinhua, 22 May 1996. 32 Ibid. 33 He Wenping, “China’s Perspective on Contemporary China-Africa Rela-

tions,” in China Returns to Africa: A Rising Power and a Continent Embrace, Chris Alden, Daniel Large, and Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, eds (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 147.

34 Peoples’ Daily, 11 October 2000. 35 Ibid. 36 Ibid. 37 Ibid. 38 Ibid. 39 Ibid. 40 Ibid. 41 Ibid. 42 Peter Kragelund, “Back to BASICs? The Rejuvenation of Non-traditional

Donors’ Development Cooperation with Africa,” Development and Change 42, no. 2 (2011): 596.

43 Ian Taylor, The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) (London: Routledge, 2011).

44 Cargill, Our Common Strategic Interests, 43. 45 “African calls on Brown to block IMF reforms,” The Guardian, 31 August

2006. 46 “Analysis—IMF vote reform bogged down by delays, deadlock,” Reuters,

8 October 2012. 47 M. Ayhan Kose and Eswar S. Prasad, “Emerging markets come of age,”

Finance and Development (December 2010): 7. 48 Cargill, Our Common Strategic Interests, vii. 49 John Mutenyo, “Driving Africa’s Growth Through Expanding Exports,”

in, Foresight Africa: The Continent’s Greatest Challenges and Opportunities for 2011, Brookings Institute (New York: Brookings, 2011), 29.

50 Jean-Francois Bayart, “Africa in the World: A History of Extraversion,” African Affairs 99, no. 395 (2000): 234.

51 World Economic Forum et al., The African Competitiveness Report 2011, 15. 52 Tim Kelsall, Business, Politics, and the State in Africa: Challenging the

Orthodoxies of Growth and Transformation (London: Zed Books, 2013), 47. 53 AfricaFocus Bulletin, “Africa: Whose ‘Africa Rising’?”, 18 October 2013. 54 Jan Hofmeyr, “‘Africa Rising’? Popular Dissatisfaction with Economic Man-

agement Despite a Decade of Growth,” Afrobarometer, Policy Brief, no. 2, October 2013: 1.

55 “Africa Rising—A Hopeful Continent,” The Economist, 2 March 2013. 56 Ibid.

“Africa Rising” and the rising powers 171

57 Patrick Bond, “Africa’s ‘Recovery’: Economic Growth, Governance and Social Protest,” Africa Insight 41, no. 3 (2011): 31.

58 John Weeks, “A Study for Trade and Development Report 2010: Employ- ment, Productivity and Growth in Africa South of the Sahara,” unpub- lished paper, Centre for Development Policy and Research, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, (2010): 3.

59 K. Y. Amoako, “Transforming Africa: Start Now, We Can’t Wait,” African Business, July 2011, 24.

60 Roger Southall, “The ‘New Scramble’ and Labour in Africa,” Labour, Capital and Society 41, no. 2 (2008): 148.

61 Ibid., 149 62 Kelsall, Business, Politics, and the State in Africa. 63 Addis Tribune, 8 December 2012. 64 Margaret S. McMillan and Dani Rodrik, Globalization, Structural Change

and Productivity Growth, NBERWorking Paper, no. 17143, June 2011. 65 McKinsey Global Institute, Lions on the Move: The Progress and Potential

of African Economies (London: McKinsey and Company, 2010). 66 Alice N. Sindzingre, “The Ambivalent Impact of Commodities,” 44. 67 Mathieu Petithomme, “Much Ado About Nothing? The Limited Effects of

Structural Adjustment Programmes and the Highly Indebted Poor Coun- tries Initiative on the Reduction of External Debts in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Empirical Analysis,” African Journal of Political Science and International Relations 7, no. 2 (2013): 119.

68 Sindzingre, “The Ambivalent Impact of Commodities,” 26. 69 Weeks, “A Study for Trade and Development Report 2010,” 10. 70 World Economic Forum et al., The African Competitiveness Report 2011, v. 71 African Development Bank, African Economic Outlook 2012 (Paris: OECD

Publishing, 2012). 72 Mo Ibrahim Foundation, 2013 Ibrahim Index of African Governance Sum-

mary (Swindon: Mo Ibrahim Foundation, 2013), 24, www.moibrahim foundation.org/downloads/2013/2013-IIAG-summary-report.pdf.

73 “Why Africa Will Rule the 21st Century,” African Business, 7 January 2013, 19. 74 Pádraig Carmody, The Rise of the BRICS in Africa: The Geopolitics of

South-South Relations (London: Zed Books 2013), 133. 75 World Economic Forum et al., The African Competitiveness Report 2011, 15. 76 Nana Amma Afari-Gyan, “Transforming Africa’s Structure and Composi-

tion of Trade after the Global Economic Crisis,” Global Trade Alert, no. 5, May 2010, 6.

77 Issa G. Shivji, Accumulation in an African Periphery: A Theoretical Fra- mework (Dar es Salaam: Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, 2009): 59.

78 Jian-Ye Wang, What Drives China’s Growing Role in Africa?, IMF Working Paper WP/07/211, (Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund, 2007).

79 Maplecroft, Emerging Powers Integration Report (Bath: Maplecroft, 2011). 80 Ibid. 81 Prosper F. Bangwayo-Skeete, “Do Common Global Economic Factors

Matter for Africa’s Economic Growth?” Journal of International Development 24 (2012): 312.

172 Rebecca Davies and Ian Taylorhttp://www.moibrahimfoundation.org/downloads/2013/2013-IIAG-summary-report.pdfhttp://www.moibrahimfoundation.org/downloads/2013/2013-IIAG-summary-report.pdf