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The age of Western hegemony is over. Whether or not America itself is declining, the post-war liberal world order underpinned by US military, economic and ideological primacy and supported by global institutions serving its power and purpose, is coming to an end. But what will take its place? A Chinese world order? A re-constituted form of American hegemony? A regionalized system of global cooperation, including major and emerging powers? In this timely and provocative book, Amitav Acharya offers an incisive answer to this fundamental question. While the US will remain a major force in world affairs, he argues that it has lost the ability to shape world order after its own interests and image. As a result, the US will be one of a number of anchors including emerging powers, regional forces, and a concert of the old and new powers shaping a new world order. Rejecting labels such as multipolar, apolar, or G-Zero, Acharya likens the emerging system to a multiplex theatre, offering a choice of plots (ideas), directors (power), and action (leadership) under one roof. Finally, he reflects on the policies that the US, emerging powers and regional actors must pursue to promote stability in this decentred but interdependent, multiplex world. Written by a leading scholar of the international relations of the non-Western world, and rising above partisan punditry, this book represents a major contribution to debates over the post-American era.
Developing a framework to study "what makes a region," Amitav Acharya investigates the origins and evolution of Southeast Asian regionalism and international relations. He views the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) "from the bottom up"-as not only a U. S. -inspired ally in the Cold War struggle against communism but also an organization that reflects indigenous traditions. Although Acharya deploys the notion of "imagined community" to examine the changes, especially since the Cold War, in the significance of ASEAN dealings for a regional identity, he insists that "imagination" is itself not a neutral but rather a culturally variable concept. The regional imagination in Southeast Asia imagines a community of nations different from NAFTA or NATO, the OAU, or the European Union. In this new edition of a book first published as The Quest for Identity in 2000, Acharya updates developments in the region through the first decade of the new century: the aftermath of the financial crisis of 1997, security affairs after September 2001, the long-term impact of the 2004 tsunami, and the substantial changes wrought by the rise of China as a regional and global actor. Acharya argues in this important book for the crucial importance of regionalism in a different part of the world.
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