Regional Orders: Building Security in a New World

Regional Orders: Building Security in a New World

Regional Orders: Building Security in a New World

Regional Orders: Building Security in a New World


Conflict among nations for forty-five years after World War II was dominated by the major bipolar struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union. With the end of the Cold War; states in differing legions of the world are taking their affairs more into their own hands and working out new arrangements for security that best suit their needs. This trend toward new "regional orders" is the subject of this book, which seeks both to document the emergence and strengthening of these new regional arrangements and to show how international relations theory needs to be modified to take adequate account of their salience in the world today.

Rather than treat international politics as everywhere the same, or each region as unique, this hook adopts a comparative approach. It recognizes that, while regions vary widely in their characteristics, comparative analysis requires a common typology and set of causal variables. It presents theories of regional order that both generalize about regions and predict different patterns of conflict and cooperation from their individual traits.

The editors conclude that, in the new world of regional orders, the quest for universal principles of foreign policy by great powers like the United States is chimerical and dangerous. Regional orders differ, and policy artist accommodate these differences if it is to succeed.

Contributors are Brian L. Job, Edmund J. Keller, Yuen Foong Khong, David A. Lake, Steven E. Lobell, David R. Mares, Patrick M. Nlotgan. Paul A. Papayoanou, David J. Pervin, Philip G. Roeder, Richard Rosecrance and Peter Schott, Susan Shirk, Etel Solingen, and Arthur A. Stein.


The subjects of "regional" conflict and what might be done about it now generate great interest. It is widely assumed that regional conflicts will remain important concerns of policy makers, offering serious threats to peace and to security arrangements while posing awkward and complex problems in security management.

"Regional" conflict calls to mind the general subject of regions and regionalism, which was once pursued with vigor (for examples, see Falk and Mendlovitz 1973), but then languished, due to a decline in the study of regional integration, a neorealist-induced preoccupation with the global system, and uneasiness about whether regions were meaningful entities in international politics.

This chapter has several objectives. First, it downplays the region in a traditional geographical sense as a focal point, and does not treat it as an important independent variable. The lesson from earlier regional system studies is that there is no way to identify regions, through geography, that enhances analysis in international politics. Second, it suggests focusing on . . .

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