The Impact of Regionalism and the Role of the G20
Edited by Jehoon Park, T. J. Pempel and Geng Xiao
Chapter 14: Middle Powers and the Building of Regional Order: Australia and South Korea Compared
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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