A World Led By India And China

by Dave


As many have observed, the global order that is emerging has a distinct Asian tilt because of the rise of China and India as geopolitical forces. The two countries’ growing power may stimulate an “Eastphalian” order that challenges the Western-led approaches that dominated the Age of Imperialism, the Cold War and the post-Cold War period.

The term “Eastphalian” plays off the description of the international system as “Westphalian,” a moniker traced back to the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 that established the modern state system. Through Western imperialism, populations in the Americas, Africa and Asia were incorporated into the Westphalian system, a brutal process that labeled non-European societies as “uncivilized” as long as they had societies that did not resemble what prevailed in Europe and North America.

The idea of “Eastphalia” communicates that conditions have emerged in which Asian countries have a say in world affairs not dictated by, or subordinated to, Western ideas and interests.

In the post-Cold War period, from Asia has come emphasis on the principles of sovereignty and non-intervention in the domestic affairs of states. These principles oppose broad notions of the right to use force in self-defense, favor pluralism in political and economic regimes and reject the homogenizing zeal of democracy promotion; prioritizing civil and political rights.

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