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Explaining Pragmatic Regional Multilateral Complexes around the Vortex of Global Geopolitics

Thursday April 7, 2011, from 14:00 to 16:00
Room 4 - IBEI
Research seminar
This paper argues that Regional Multilateral Complexes (RMCs) are rising due to the increasing pragmatic behaviour of the elites in the key powers. RMCs are Regional Security Complexes in which Regional Multilateralisms are competitively forming. Regionalisms most salient characteristics are internal differentiation, and external nesting and overlapping. This is happening in Buzan and Wævers Regional Security Complexes where great powers are located, namely, Europe, Eurasia, the Greater Middle East, and East Asia, nowadays all converging in Central Asia, the vortex of global geopolitics. To explain the rise of RMCs the paper argues that there is an increasing pragmatism in the executive elites of the US (the only remaining superpower, thus having global reach), and of the EU, Russia, Turkey, China and Japan (great and rising regional powers), meaning that they have abandoned extreme, conservative ideologies (communism, religious fundamentalisms, nationalisms, etc) in favour of useful, negotiated outcomes. The hypothesis is tested qualitatively in all the relevant cases around the vortex of global geopolitics. A comparative analysis of the cases suggests a rough validity of the hypothesis. The paper ends with thoughts for further research to see if it possible to advance a more nuanced theory able to explain variations in RMCs due to the ideological evolution of the key powers foreign policy elites.


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