Junior Workshop 6:
American Foreign Policy, Rising States, and Global Rules and Institutions
G. John Ikenberry
For seventy years, the U.S. has led in the building of a liberal international order, organized around open trade, multilateral institutions, democratic partnership, and universal principles of human rights and democracy. Today, China and other non-Western states are rising up and gaining power and influence across the various regions of the world. This power transition is leading to struggles over the rules and institutions of regions and the global system. China has recently launched a regional development bank that competes with the World Bank, and the so-called BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) have advanced ideas for non-Western institutions. This workshop will look at the way theories of international relations and, in particular, theories of international institutions, might allow us to illuminate and explain these ongoing political struggles over order. Are rising non-Western developing states integrating into the existing order or making choices to oppose, work around, and undermined this order? What do developments in specific policy areas – trade, development, security, environment, etc. – tell us about the struggles over the rules and institutions of the contemporary international order? What do past historical episodes of rising states and power transitions tell us about how these struggles play out? Students will have opportunities to explore theory, history, and current developments in their readings and research.