Friday, September 14, 2007
More on Great Powers
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.
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.
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.
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.