Media Link: “A View from Afar” on emerging multipolarity and rival blocs.

datePosted on 14:42, April 8th, 2021 by Pablo

Selwyn Manning and I dedicated this week’s video podcast to the potential emergence of rival blocs within the transitional process involved in the move from a unipolar to a multipolar international system currently underway. However one characterises the phenomenon–autocracies versus democracies, East versus West, colonial versus post-colonial–the global order is increasingly bifurcated and dichotomous. Although a move to multipolarity is seemingly beneficial because it is theoretically more stable over the long term (at least when compared to bi- and unipolar systems), the consequences of the orchestrated shift into adversarial alliance blocs may be detrimental to peace and stability over the short term. You can catch the show here.

5 Responses to “Media Link: “A View from Afar” on emerging multipolarity and rival blocs.”

  1. Sam on April 8th, 2021 at 16:24

    Just what ever happens I pray yo God New Zealanders don’t start chanting nationalistic chants like USA! USA! USA! So cringe

  2. Pablo on April 8th, 2021 at 19:24

    Those PRC parade chants are not much better, TBH.

  3. Edward Main on April 10th, 2021 at 11:39

    Hola Pablo

    Your comment ‘New Zealand is in the cross hairs’ is rather daunting.

    Can our government negotiate it’s way out of the bind we have got itself into?

  4. Pablo on April 11th, 2021 at 08:04

    I would have phrased it better by saying that NZ is straddling a barbed wire fence while standing on ice blocks. Something has to give. But the choice will not be made by NZ but by the competing great powers as their conflict intensifies. They will force a choice one way or the other. I suspect that the PRC will attempt to peel NZ out of the US-led intelligence/security alliance by putting a chokehold on trade with NZ if it does not decalre “neutrality” in any great power conflict. The US will be reluctant to withdraw its security guarantees and will be very loathe to strip NZ from 5 Eyes status because that could guarantee NZ’s absorption into the PRC orbit. SO NZ has to decide before things hit the fan on what it is going to do. Neutrality is not an option.

    At the moment NZ is clearly a Western country firmly embedded in the community of liberal democracies. As such, it has that perspective regardless of its trade dependence on the PRC. So the question is whether NZ will side with an ascendant authoritarian state that systematically rejects and violates international norms and values or does it side with a weakened and increasingly loose Western alliance led by a (perhaps terminally) declining former super power that has shown itself to be hypocritical at best when it comes to the very norms and values that it espouses.

    I guess the issue boils down to a values versus material gain equation: are the costs incurred by choosing one outweighed by the benefits of siding with the other (values=security/international respect/diplomatic support in this context, material gain=export-led economic stability and growth).

  5. Sam on April 11th, 2021 at 14:40

    I know my analogies are weird and difficult but first I think we should be focused on eliminating poverty in the economy and settling the Treaty of Waitangi infrastructure into a coherent constitution, perhaps a Republic.

    We just can’t attain these future goals if someone’s saying nah we’re just as hypocritical.

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