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Search within book. Email Address. Library Card. The introductory article provides a conceptual base for defining and explaing regional leadership and discusses the key arguments and findings of the individual articles. The debate about how and why contemporary rising powers project their influence regionally, rooted in post-Cold War observations of power transitions, is in need of a review. With the potential strategic retreat of US leadership in some regions, the form and effectiveness of regional leadership projects will likely be tested more than ever in contemporary times.

Available frameworks of regional leadership still insufficiently account for this scenario.


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Most importantly, the concept of regional leadership is fragmented in the field of International Relations IR theory. Third, linking both positive and negative connotations to regional leadership has charged the concept with different and partly diverging normative values. This special issue of Rising Powers Quarterly seeks to mitigate some of these conceptual shortcomings and contribute to our understanding of the evolving conditions under which regional leadership operates by providing empirical perspectives on power politics in Europe, the Middle East, post-Soviet Eurasia, South America and South Asia.

Regions and Powers

To begin with, analyses of regional leadership in multipolar systems need to account for the complexity in which interactions between structures and actors are embedded. The most promising IR scholarship has developed multidimensional concepts of regional leadership that reflect the possibility that power could increase in one dimension and, at the same time, shrink in another. Baldwin , pp. States that play a regional leading role in the sense of rule making are also given special importance when the treatment of global problems is concerned. This applies to questions of global norm-building, world trade, and transnational security risks.

Attempts to solving problems in these areas can be organised at the regional and global levels.

By subjects

In both cases some state actors play a more important role than others in the course of cooperation and negotiation processes and therefore have more influence on the results. The reason for this could be the greater military or economic potential of these actors. Similarly, their legitimacy, diplomatic effectiveness, moral authority and representative function for a region or group of states might generate advantages in international bargaining. Depending on their relative power resources the regional leaders choose different strategies in regional and international bargaining processes.

The most promising leadership strategy that defines the foreign policy instruments applied by the regional powers can differ according to the systemic level regional, global.

Regional order and regional powers in the Middle East and North Africa - Edinburgh Scholarship

A key objective of this special issue is to identify the foreign policy resources and instruments that regional powers apply under consideration on different systemic levels. With regard to the global level of analysis, the status of a regional leader implies that dominant actors of the international system accept this status.

What is even more important is the degree to which regional powers manage to influence the global economic and security order. The degree of assertion of interests in global governance institutions such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization is supposed to serve as an indicator for power over outcomes.

Inmaculada Szmolka

A crucial reason for the declining but enduring US hegemony in international relations is its military supremacy. Washington still accounts for more than half of for global defense expenditures. In conventional military terms the US will remain the dominant global power for a long time. In addition to forming balancing coalitions, these regional powers will likely seek to advance the transformation toward multipolarity by increasing their influence in international institutions. In particular, the governments of Southern states that have the capacity to build regional unipolarities,must be interested in finding an effective way to challenge the current international hierarchy and to transform themselves into power poles of a future multipolar system.

One way to project significant global influence decision-maker status is by consolidation regional powerhood as a base for pursuing national interests in the multipolar order. In other words, rising powers need to determine which role they seek to play in their respective regions and whether they are willing to bear the cost of regional leadership before defining their global policy and status goals. With the exception of Russia, which is the only case under consideration that is permanant UN Securiy Council member, all articles in this special issue deal with global-level middle powers instead of great powers on the global stage.

As Cox , p. With regard to the intra regional level of analysis, the degree of coordination, formalisation and institutionalisation of trade and security policies is an indicator of the quality of the intraregional cooperation. In addition to free trade agreements, bilateral and multilateral measures in the sectors infrastructure, technology and energy are included in the investigation. The mutual transparency between the states in key areas such as defence planning, arms trade and military budget indicates the degree of confidence building between the neighbouring countries, and transnational threats can encourage the creation of cooperative security policies in the investigated regions.

In particular, non-military security challenges imply direct threats to the states: drug trafficking and arms trade as well as money laundering as forms of organised crime, activities by guerrilla organisations across the national borders, transnational terrorism and the proliferation of means of mass destruction. On the contrary, it is possible that the regional power itself poses a regional threat or is perceived as such. Considering these observations, the case selection of this special issue is based on the following definition of regional powerhood.