Governing Interests: Business Associations Facing Internationalism
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Plurilateralism has become a reality. During the same period, however, other changes were taking place in the world— changes that have revealed something of a blind spot in the study of global governance. Whereas during the immediate post—cold war years the predominance of the United States was largely unchallenged, by the s few doubted the diffusion of power away from the Western core of the international system and toward emerging countries elsewhere, particularly in Asia.
These developments have placed the study of global governance in an awkward position. Such a consensus can no longer be taken for granted. More fundamentally, there is no guarantee that new powers will subscribe to Western ideas about how, and to what ends, global governance should be organized. At present, however, greater ideological pluralization and increased geopolitical competition seem all but inevitable, which in turn raises questions about the future of global governance. These questions are of particular concern to policy practitioners, who face the daunting but vital task of adapting the rules-based international order and maintaining cooperation in the midst of a global power transition.
But these developments also pose an analytical challenge to students of global governance. Although contributors to this literature have regularly acknowledged the continued importance of states and of material power in world affairs, many have in practice relegated power—and state power, in particular—to the background, focusing instead on post-internationalist forms of global cooperation and regulation. At a time when the material and ideological foundations of world order seem to be shifting, studies of global governance that have little to say about power and geopolitics are at risk of missing the forest for the trees—or worse, of being rendered obsolete.
For all these reasons, the study of global governance needs to rediscover power. However, Gilpin maintained that these social arrangements cannot be dissociated from material power. According to Gilpin, such states have historically sought to change existing governance structures, either through incremental adjustment or, more often, by undermining or overthrowing them. Contemporary scholars and policy experts, including many in the United States, are aware of this risk.
National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski asserts that any new institutional order must be based on a new understanding between the United States and China. Returning to the example of climate change provides a small but telling illustration of why this is important.
In spite of the plethora of governance instruments and experiments aimed at reducing emissions, the net results have been less than satisfactory. The authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has reported that global emissions of greenhouse gases grew more quickly between and than in each of the three previous decades—arguably the clearest measure of governance effectiveness on this issue.
Indeed, beyond the issue of climate change, achieving a new modus vivendi between these two countries—the preeminent incumbent and rising powers, repectively—on critical and contentious matters of international economics, security, and environmental sustainability may be the single most important requirement to adapt the system of global governance to new power realities. Brzezinski probably gets this right. This is why research on the growing role of nonstate actors in global governance and the emergence of informal cooperative and regulatory mechanisms will remain relevant and important.
Too often, however, these two perspectives—one emphasizing the enduring importance of major-power consensus as a basis for world order, the other highlighting the remarkable proliferation of global governance actors and arrangements—have been treated as rival approaches to the study of international affairs.
In fact, each is incomplete without the other.
Chapter Study Outline
A synthesis of both perspectives would offer the strongest basis for analyzing the most pressing problems of order and governance facing the world today. Power is diffusing not only toward the emerging economies but also toward transnational and nonstate actors. Similarly, as the number and variety of participants in global politics multiplies, the most strategically minded international actors, be they governmental or nongovernmental, will be those that comprehend that getting things done on a more crowded world stage requires mobilizing diverse coalitions of like-minded actors. The global governance literature, with its insights into the pluralization of cooperative mechanisms, is already well-positioned to understand and to explain this tactic.
It is one thing to acknowledge these facts in words, but another to build them into analyses of international relations. The study of global governance should start from the recognition that complex new patterns of cooperation ultimately depend on whether or not the foundations of global cooperation are maintained. In their essay for this forum, Thomas G. Navigating the current period of global power transition is a generational challenge that will require enlightened political leadership informed by an understanding of how power, norms, and institutions can interact to produce systemic stability.
This was aimed not just against Japan but also against the Soviet Union, then the dominant power on the Eurasian Continent. The United States correctly feared that communist revolutions could sweep across all Asia.
IMF and the World Trade Organization
When the United States occupied Japan the fear of social revolution led the occupier to take a very lenient view of the Japanese military caste, although the rulers of Japan dragged Asia through an orgy of slaughter which reached its zenith in Nanjing in where some , Chinese people were massacred.
However, US estimates multiply this figure by a factor of three, no doubt based on Purchasing Power Parity calculations! If the Chinese figures are massaged downwards, Japanese figures are, to say the least, extremely deceptive. Core components of any modern military are based on the industrial and technological power of the nation, not only its immediate power usage but the potential for the militarised restructuring of society.
For example Germany was crippled after World War I and until barely had an army, yet within ten years it had the most powerful military machine the world had ever known. In this respect Japan is second only to the United States. Although China has nuclear weapons facing Japan, Japan can probably produce such weapons within a matter of weeks, and is being encouraged to prepare to do so by some in the Pentagon. The pacificism of the mass of the Japanese people will be pushed aside and ignored just as surely as the pacificism of the British and United States populations was brushed aside in preparation for the invasion and conquest of Iraq.
From Taiwan the Guomindang claimed to be the legitimate government of all China, organising terrorist attacks on the mainland in preparation for the triumphant return of capitalism.
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The peaceful reunification of Taiwan with the mainland is supposed to be a primary objective of the Chinese government. The US imperialists consider this a serious threat, and their plans for the military defence of Taiwan aim to thwart this. Japan until recently supported a one China policy, but the United States is pressuring for a change in policy. In reality the aim of US policy has been to support every measure to open the Chinese market to world capitalism and to privatise the Chinese economy.
US strategists calculate that the road to capitalism may weaken Chinese power through provoking social and possibly national disintegration.
Given the increasing problems with peasant protests and riots and worker discontent, nationalism provides the Chinese government with a cloak of legitimacy. The reunification of Taiwan with the mainland is seen in China as the means to end over a century of humiliation at the hands of imperialist powers. Conversely if the government fails to reunify China or tolerates separatist tendencies in Taiwan, national conflicts in Tibet and Xinjiang could reignite and we could see regional conflicts all over China.
There are undoubtedly strong national feelings in China, stemming from the humiliation and occupation by foreign powers from the s. However, one might ask why there is no mass movement for reunification in Taiwan? If mainland China were genuinely socialist and the people lived more freely than their Taiwanese compatriots, and if the living standards of the masses, rather than for a tiny minority, were increasing significantly, then national reunification would be inevitable.
However, this would be just one part of the struggle to unify all East Asia and beyond into a Federation of Socialist Democracies. The foreign policy of the Chinese Communist Party under Mao Zedong was governed by the narrow interests of conflicting layers of the ruling bureaucratic caste. One of the biggest mistakes of Mao Zedong was to clash with the Soviet Union on nationalist lines, instead of appealing to the Soviet workers to establish a single unified plan of production.
Such a plan encompassing most of the Eurasian continent could have developed all the planned economies far more rapidly, averted the collapse of the Soviet Union and acted as a powerful impetus to the world revolution. A worker from Baoshan Steel works told me that in during the Cultural Revolution some factions in Shanghai argued that were there to be revolution in China the whole world would turn socialist. They were probably correct. In fact even the protests of could have been such a catalyst, occurring at a time of revolutionary discontent all across the Stalinist world.
The disorientation, misdirection and misleadership of these revolutions were responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union and the victories of capitalism in Eastern Europe. This will only be reversed by new Socialist revolutions.
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Despite protestations to the contrary, the Chinese Communist Party leadership have abandoned Marxism and Maoism except for the occasional use of empty phrases, Red Flags and such symbols which are used to fool the masses. Even in countries where there are groups claiming to adhere to Maoist ideals who can initiate mass revolutionary struggles, the CCP remains at the best aloof or at worst openly hostile.
After the death of Mao all talk of supporting revolutionary movements was quietly shelved with no discussion inside or outside the Communist Party.