The Rise of Emerging Asia: Regional Peace and Global Security

by Miles Kahler, University of California, San Diego

May 2013

The rapid economic rise of China, India, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) could have several effects on regional peace and global security. The power transition perspective overstates the risk of conflict that results from convergence between dominant and challenger states. Rapid changes in economic and military capabilities can, however, have negative consequences for regional peace. Three features of the international environment—democratization, economic interdependence, and international institutions—provide weak insurance, at best, against conflict in Asia. Emerging Asian powers may also challenge existing global security regimes, a more indirect threat to global peace. The continuing contribution of Asia to global peace and security will require measures that will be difficult for newly empowered actors competing for status and influence.

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