Worldviews of Aspiring Powers: Domestic Foreign Policy Debates in China, India, Iran, Japan and Russia

By Henry R. Nau; Deepa M. Ollapally | Go to book overview

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Introduction
Domestic Voices of Aspiring Powers

HENRY R. NAU

The world is changing: China and other countries are rising; America may be falling. Everyone is asking: what are the likely implications? One way to answer this question is to look at how rising powers view the world and how they would like to change it. Even more interesting is to look at differing views within rising powers rather than assume that they have only one view, which is externally or structurally determined.

This study examines different domestic worldviews of foreign policy within five aspiring powers—China, India, Iran, Japan, and Russia. Power is shifting materially toward these countries. For three decades after World War II, Japan grew faster than other developed countries. And for the past three decades, the developing or emerging countries, such as China and India, have grown faster than developed countries. Relative growth is not the only indicator of rising power, so we included Russia and Iran. And, for reasons of resources and time, we could not include other rising powers such as Brazil,Turkey, and South Africa (although we explore implications for them in our concluding chapter). Moreover, because Japan is already a “risen” power, Iran a “prospective” power, and Russia, China, and India, as this volume describes, often “conflicted” powers, unsure what the rise in power means, we refer to our five countries as “aspiring” as well as “rising” powers.

Whether the power shift toward aspiring powers is significant depends on how these powers plan to use their enhanced power. They express and

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