Seating India and China in the new world order

The new world order will have to unseat some incumbents in order to seat newcomers

Dan Drezner’s essay in Foreign Affairs is timely. He not only argues that international organisations will have to accomodate India and China to stay relevant, but also that under the Bush administration “Washington (has attempted) to reconfigure U.S. foreign policy and international institutions in order to account for shifts in the global distribution of power”

The growth of India, China, and other rising powers] will pose a challenge to the U.S.-dominated global institutions that have been in place since the 1940s. At the behest of Washington, these multilateral regimes have promoted trade liberalization, open capital markets, and nuclear nonproliferation, ensuring relative peace and prosperity for six decades — and untold benefits for the United States. But unless rising powers such as China and India are incorporated into this framework, the future of these international regimes will be uncomfortably uncertain…

The Bush administration has been reallocating the resources of the executive branch to focus on emerging powers. In an attempt to ensure that these countries buy into the core tenets of the U.S.-created world order, Washington has tried to bolster their profiles in forums ranging from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the World Health Organization, on issues as diverse as nuclear proliferation, monetary relations, and the environment. Because these efforts have focused more on so-called low politics than on the global war on terrorism, they have flown under the radar of many observers. But in fact, George W. Bush has revived George H. W. Bush’s call for a “new world order” — by creating, in effect, a new new world order. [Dan Drezner/Foreign Affairs]

Related Posts: From the archives: Europe over-represented at the UN Security Council and at the IMF; and India and G7 could do with each other.

4 thoughts on “Seating India and China in the new world order”

  1. Very insightful article. Thanks for the link. Explains “old” Europe’s hesitancy. The threat of a new world order (like the Shanghai Cooperation Council, or *cough* *cough* the Non-Aligned Movement) is real enough that the US must start the process and move it along quickly. The UNSC’s and IMF’s compositions already look anachronistic. They’re current composition would look funny (and irrelevant) in 2025 when China and India are #2 and #4 on the economic scale.

    The other point of interest is the use of India’s and China’s “good offices” to handle regional problems (as major stakeholders in the new new world order). If China can deliver on N. Korea that would be a major validation of the strategy. In India can deliver on Iran, we would be golden – would open several doors that we’ve been knocking on forever.

  2. For all of Bush’s poor handling in the Mideast, his handling of the changing dynamics of Asia have been far better. True, there was stumbling in North Korea, but China has come around – fearing a nuclear Japan. But there was a time not too long ago where the conventional thinking was that America could only have working relations with India or Pakistan, but not with both. Bush has effectively jettisonned the India-Pakistan linkage, which former Secretary of State Powell tried to keep in place to keep Musharaff happy.

  3. I know the Chinese get a seat on most tables that US Chair’s, but I don’t see India getting one. Beyound nuclear deal, US has rejected or is cold to India getting into UNSC permanently while it’s more than willing to accommodate Japan and maybe even Germany (Schroeder didn’t help). Ditto with IMF/WB. To say US is pushing along international institutions to bring in both China and India is a stretch (not beyound Kyoto-type agreement which is for its own benefit), at least until now.

  4. Chandra: have to disagree. The US is rational – they won’t jump the gun. China is approaching $3 trillion – India will get to $1 trillion this year. When we begin to approach Germany’s GDP (China’s already there), we’ll see a marked difference in the US’s approach. Nothing wrong or discriminatory – just a rational sequencing. I’d contend that if our economies (India’s and China’s) were the same size the US would engage India far deeper and broader than China.

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