Update: Financial Crisis and International Cooperation (A Diplomatic Angle)

As an update to https://fletcherfila.wordpress.com/2008/10/12/financial-crisis-cooperation-and-a-global-new-deal/ and https://fletcherfila.wordpress.com/2008/10/14/frigid-financial-markets-and-ice-caps/, I am posting a BBC article on the prospects of a shift in the existing balance of power in the wake of the current financial crisis (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/7724298.stm). This article is particularly interesting because it provides some analysis on a possible new balance of power which will follow from the rise of Asia and the decline of Western economies.

 

The language of a “new balance of power” reminds me of a piece by Martin Wight, “The Balance of Power”, in: Herbert Butterfield and Martin Wight (eds.), Diplomatic Investigations: Essays in the Theory of International Politics, 149, (1968). Wight argues that there are a variety of definitions of “balance of power”; use of any particular one depends on the speaker and the audience. In my mind, this language is too anomalous and not quite useful.

 

Perhaps, as noted in previous posts, a more effective exercise would be in a more rationalist analysis of the incentives and disincentives for cooperation or competition between various actors. In particular, I expect regulatory competition in the finance sector between states to be of some importance. Moreover, in this rationalist analysis, a temporal factor, as always, will be at play. Some states will be looking for pay off immediately while perhaps other states may be able and willing to hold out on cooperation in favour of more long term returns.

 

As always, thoughts, comments and criticisms are welcome.

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