Friday, September 14, 2007

More on Great Powers

Some further thoughts from today's conference:

One of the interesting trains of thought is whether attempts by developed countries to find ways to restrict sovereignty and to interfere in what previously would have been viewed as the domestic affairs of a state are in fact ways to limit or inhibit the rise of new powers. Certainly questions will be raised on any new international regulations dealing with climate change.

It also means that rising powers that are also democracies are faced with a particular challenge. Accepting the idea that other states can interfere in your internal affairs if you are dictatorial might appeal--and so working with other democracies; but you may also resist what you see as an effort by dominant states to stack the rules in their favor and so become stringent defenders of sovereignty.

Brazil, India and South Africa all must face this dilemma.

South Africa has no chance of beibg a great power- it cannot even be a secondary state.

Russia, US, and China are the only ones who could foot the bill now.

[Brazil & India have decades ahead of it though to reach taht stage.]

You need at least a 100 million people to aspire for Great-Power Status. By that count the potential such states are:

Japan, Nigeria, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mexico, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, and Brazil all are > 100 million souls.

But you also need to have the will to power. This excludes Mexico, Indonesia and Japan.

I do not know anything about Brazil or Nigeria - I do not know if their people aspire to have Power.

Pakisan has that will, at least to the extend her Punjabi ruling elite matching themselves against India but I do not think she has the economic and state cohesion for the task.
Economic and state cohesion is an important point to raise, because the lack of EU cohesion is what prevents the EU as a whole, even if individual states or even groups of European states could be more effective.
This is a good point. When Russia embarked upon a series of "reforms" that have caused over 10 million premature deaths of Russians in the last 16 years, the "West" was the cheerleader of Yeltsin while he was doing it, not excluding when he turned tanks on his Parliament, because he would use his powers in a manner that was destrctive of Russia.

Putin, whose policies have led to Russia's recovery of power, faces unrelenting criticism of Western governments and op-ed pages. Fortunately, President Putin understands the destructive nature of this criticism, as well as the unrelentingly hostile intention behind it.

And it's pretty funny to watch western Russophobes squawk as Putin ignores them.
War used to be the main way powers dealt with each other. Now is it going to be regulations?
Anonymous 11:08 AM:

Regular war has become too dangerous to fight among the great powers. Thus subterfuge, terrorism, assasinations will be the dominant form of warfare in the coming decades.
I have to say, anonymous 1:28's comments really make the future sound like Dune. Guess Frank Herbert really got some things right. Anyone for a war of assassins?
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