IPSA RC 41 - Geopolitics

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2018 Brisbane

 

Panel Proposal (1)

U.S. Disengagement and the Problem of International Order

To what extent does a stable international order depend on continued active engagement and leadership by the United States?

For nearly seven decades the United States has created and sustained key international institutions, encouraged regional stability, provided deterrence and reassurance for allies, opposed nuclear weapons proliferation, underpinned the global economy, promoted trade liberalization and economic development, and often – but not always – encouraged human rights and democratization. However, following upon the cautious, reactive policies of the Obama administration, the “America First” rhetoric of the Trump presidency now signals the possibility of an historic reorientation of U.S. foreign relations.

An America no longer confidently acting as the “indispensable nation” would pose, in turn, a fundamental challenge to the existing international system, testing its ability to contain rising revisionist powers and geopolitical contests in East Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, thereby assuring basic global order and stability.  

Panel organizers invite submission of proposals addressing the above leading question in either of its two parts: on the one hand, U.S. capacity and purpose; on the other hand, the range of compensatory mechanisms: institutional, procedural, alliances, conflict resolution, etc. 

Convenor:         Aharon Klieman

Co-Chairs:         Robert Lieber and Aharon Klieman

Discussant:

 

Panel Proposal (2)

Eurasian Geopolitical Contests and Realignments

The balance of power in and across Eurasia is changing dramatically as the shifting interests of the U.S., Russia, China and EU conspire to redefine the structure of geopolitics on the continent. So, too, is Eurasian equilibrium increasingly influenced by social, political and economic turbulence in the adjacent regions of the east European, Middle East, central Asian, northeast Asian and Caucasus rimlands.

These changes pose serious policy challenges as well theoretical questions for students of geopolitics:

  • Are we on the threshold of a bipolar-, tripolar-, or multi-polar “moment” in Eurasia?
  • What factors are likely to determine the hierarchy of influence and power on the continent?
  • Who are the actors best positioned to lead in the rebalancing of power?
  • Where are the most readily identifiable trouble spots?

Lastly, which of these flashpoints has the greatest potential for tipping the delicately-poised scales between Eurasian peace and prosperity, on the one hand, and renewed instability and turmoil?

The Panel is sponsored by the International Political Science Association’s Research Committee on Geopolitics (RC-41). Proposals are encouraged from historical and other perspectives and disciplines as well as from area specialists on Eurasian affairs.

Convenor:      Aharon Klieman

Chair:             Igor Okunev

Discussant:

 

Panel Proposal (3)

The Geopolitics of China’s “One Belt, One Road” Initiative

Launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, the “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) proposal formally aims to improve connectivity and cooperation among Asian, African and European countries by linking multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects across land and maritime routes from China to Europe.

Critics of the initiative dismiss it as primarily a geopolitical undertaking, whereby China deploys economic instruments on behalf of its two principal strategic goals: sustaining investment and growth in the Chinese economy while asserting a confident leadership role in Asia and beyond. Clearly driven by China’s ambitious national domestic and foreign policies, the OBOR initiative is nevertheless of such historically unprecedented scale and scope that it must inevitably have long-term geopolitical implications for the study and conduct of world politics.

Taking the debate over China’s motivation as a starting point, this RC-41 (Geopolitics) panel will address the geopolitical underpinnings, dynamics and likely consequences of China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative.  Papers addressing any of the following and related questions are welcome: What does China aim to achieve by OBOR? How could the initiative re-shape the Eurasian regional balance of power?  What impact will it have on global politics? Not least, what theoretical insights might the initiative offer students of international relations, and of Integration Theory in particular?

Convenor:         Aharon Klieman

Co-Chairs:        Tolga Demiryol, Aharon Klieman

Discussant:

 

Panel Proposal (4)

Energy and Economic Interdependence

Because energy supplies have always been vital for industrialization, and natural energy resources non-renewable, countries must therefore be constantly on the alert for fresh sources of supply. In today’s world, revenue from petroleum deposits and gas fields alone can suffice to make suppliers like those in the Persian Gulf independently wealthy, just as sophisticated technologies enable the excavation of previously inaccessible sources in remote areas such as the Arctic Circle. This combination of the relentless, competitive search for additional unexploited sources plus the wealth they generate connects the energy industry to the dominant geopolitical struggles of our time.

Conversely, the energy theme directly relates to economic cooperation and interdependence. The argument being that scarcity of energy resources compels exporters and importers alike into a relationship of mutual dependency. On the one hand, countries may view this economic interdependence positively, and in line with their political interests, as when energy collaboration paves the way and opens markets for broader trade. On the other hand, as frequently happens, the close link between energy and economic interdependence can prove negative, when, for instance, countries are reluctant to become overly dependent on foreign partners either because of security considerations or the suspected loss of sovereign control.

The Research Committee on Geopolitics (RC-41) invites papers addressing the strong and growing connection between geopolitics, energy and economic interdependence. Global or regional perspectives are welcome, as well as case studies of specific countries, their national energy policies and approaches to functional cooperation and interdependence.

Convenor:         Aharon Klieman

Co-Chairs:         Ziv  Rubinovitz, Aharon Klieman

Discussant:

Published on Tuesday, August 15 2017 by Igor Okunev