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 14: Middle Powers and the Building of Regional Order: Australia and South Korea Compared

David Hundt

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


David Hundt1 14.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter compares two middle powers, Australia and the Republic of Korea (ROK), during the transition to a new regional order in the AsiaPacific. These two states have been allies of the United States (US) since the early phases of the Cold War, during which a US-led series of alliances, known euphemistically as the ‘hubs and spokes’ or ‘San Francisco’ system (Tow, 2001), was ranged against a less cohesive Chinese-led bloc of communist states. Since the early 1990s, the division between these two blocs has blurred. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of its satellites in Eastern Europe are generally accepted as markers for the end of the global Cold War (Dockrill and Hopkins, 2006). China’s turn to capitalism and its subsequent ‘rise’, the growing economic integration of East Asia since the financial crisis of 1997–98, and the emergence of multilateral security institutions such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF), add further weight to the claim that the Cold War-era dualism is passing in the Asia-Pacific region. This chapter examines how Australia and South Korea have contributed to the building of a new regional order. In doing so, it distinguishes between the purposeful building of formal institutions which are designed to govern regional security issues, and other policies which indirectly enhance a sense of ‘regionness’ (Hettne and Söderbaum, 2000). First, section 14.2 reviews the concept of order and the variant of order which ASEAN – the self-appointed...

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