Asian Responses to the Global Financial Crisis

Asian Responses to the Global Financial Crisis

The Impact of Regionalism and the Role of the G20

Edited by Jehoon Park, T. J. Pempel and Geng Xiao

The expert contributors – both Asian and Western – illustrate that as G20 members, many Asian countries are now able to showcase their increasing powers and influence on global issues. Within this context, and via multidisciplinary economic and political science perspectives, the book deals with various issues such as World System analysis, the debate between the Washington Consensus and the Beijing Consensus, roles within the G20, and the contribution of ‘middle’ powers such as Korea and Australia. The application of European experiences to Asia is also considered, as are perspectives from the US. The book concludes that the key to resolving the current global economic crisis lies in how quickly a new global governance and monitoring system can be constructed, and that there are multiple roles for Asian countries to play in its development.

Chapter 1: Northeast Asia in the Multipolar World-System

Immanuel Wallerstein

Subjects: asian studies, asian economics, economics and finance, asian economics, politics and public policy, international politics, international relations, urban and regional studies, regional studies


Immanuel Wallerstein1 1.1 INTRODUCTION The period of United States hegemony in the world-system is now definitively at an end. The slow decline since the 1970s was transformed into a precipitate decline brought about by the self-defeating tactics of the presidency of George W. Bush (Wallerstein, 2007a). We are now living in a world-system in which there are emerging eight to ten centers of relative geopolitical autonomy. The word ‘relative’ should be underlined. The four strongest such centers are located in what is sometimes called the global North. The first three are in my opinion the United States (which continues of course to be an extremely strong power center, if far less powerful than previously), Western Europe (based on the critical France–Germany tandem) and Russia. The fourth such center is Northeast Asia, by which I mean China, Korea and Japan, the group meeting here as the Asian Economic Community. The strength of these four centers can be measured by the overall combination each one has assembled of military strength, economic strength, and political and ideological strength. The proportion of each of these factors is of course different for each of the four, but each combination adds up to considerable strength. The relatively autonomous centers in the global South are no doubt less strong overall than these four. Nonetheless, the geopolitical power of each is not negligible. And together, even without any collective organization, they are likely to play an increasingly important geopolitical role. A world of eight to ten relatively...

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