Legitimate Multipolarity


  • Global governance institutions work differently under conditions of multipolarity. In a first step, in this project we investigate the legitimacy deficits of global governance institutions under conditions of multipolarity. In a second step, we analyse possible solutions to such problems put forward in rising powers’ foreign policy discourses. Legitimate Multipolarity adopts an empirical approach to the study of legitimacy and contributes to a global understanding of multilateralism’s merits, pitfalls – and prospects for reform.
    DFG, 2018-2022


    Team

    Dr. Sinan Chu

    Research Fellow

    Prof. Dr. Heike Holbig

    Senior Research Fellow / Redaktion GIGA Focus Asien

    P. K. Gautam

    Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses

    Yaqing Qin


    Leitung

    Dr. Johannes Plagemann

    Research Fellow / Sprecher Forschungsteam


    Forschungsfragen

    What are the legitimacy deficits of the WTO, AIIB, and G20 in terms of their rightful source of authority, performance, and articulations of dissent by member countries as evidenced in relevant public discourses? (RQ1) In how far do contemporary foreign policy discourses in China and India reflect upon and provide ideational resources for the resolution of legitimacy problems in global governance under conditions of multipolarity? (RQ2)

    Beitrag zu internationaler Forschung

    Global governance institutions work differently under conditions of multipolarity. To some, non-western powers with their diverging political ideas, negotiating cultures, and interests threaten the functioning of global multilateralism. Others note that established institutions have failed to capture the rise of non-western powers in global affairs. In any case, more powerful non-western states make forging agreements in global governance institutions more difficult in some cases. At the same time, stronger voices from the non-western world promise to make global governance institutions more representative. Legitimate Multipolarity explores the rise of countries such as China and India and its effects on the legitimacy of global governance institutions.
    We do so in two consecutive steps. First, we look into global public discourses of three particular global governance institutions over the course of the past decade, which together capture core elements of today’s multipolar constellation: The World Trade Organization, an established and inclusive global institution that looks increasingly dysfunctional; the G-20, an exclusive club of major powers that claims to be the “premier forum for international economic cooperation”; and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a multilateral bank initiated by China. Adopting a truly “global approach” to research, we collect assessments of all three institutions’ legitimacy from the Philippines to Brazil and from Switzerland to South Africa.
    In a second step, the project analyses possible solutions to legitimacy deficits from within the two most prominent “rising powers”, China and India. Systematically analyzing ideas expressed in foreign policies or emanating from political discourses (2009-2019) within China and India, Legitimate Multipolarity contributes to a global understanding of multilateralism’s merits, pitfalls – and prospects for reform.

    Forschungsdesign und Methoden

    Legitimate Multipolarity adopts an empirical, not normative, approach to the study of legitimacy. From that perspective, legitimacy deficits of global governance institutions under conditions of multipolarity arise from members’ doubts about the rightful sources of authority, poor performance, and articulations of dissent. The project’s first work package (WP1) is composed of three case studies of individual global governance institutions – the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Group of Twenty (G20), and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) – which together comprise key elements of our understanding of multipolarity. For each institution we outline legitimacy deficits as evidenced in relevant public discourses. We consider discourses within rising and established powers and developing countries as well as discourses at the trans- and international level. The second work package (WP2) critically examines potential solutions to legitimacy problems put forward from within the two most prominent rising powers, China and India. It does so by systematically analysing ideas expressed in foreign policies or emanating from discourses (2008-2016) within China and India.


    Kapitel in Sammelband | 12.2022

    Nichtwestliche Perspektiven in den Internationalen Beziehungen

    Wie sollten wir durch die Beschäftigung mit Erfahrungen und Perspektiven aus dem Nichtwesten über die Mainstream- bzw. disziplinären Internationale Beziehungen hinausgehen? Der vorliegende Aufsatz untersucht die wichtigsten Forschungsprojekte der letzten beiden Jahrzehnte, die sich auf die Untersuchung „nichtwestlicher IB“ beziehen.

    Dr. Sinan Chu

    Research Fellow

    GIGA Focus Global | 5/2022

    Am Steuerrad der Geschichte: Die Welt nach Chinas 20. Parteitag

    Rechtzeitig vor der Rückkehr von Präsident Xi Jinping auf die Weltbühne, der er pandemiebedingt fast drei Jahre lang ferngeblieben war, hat der 20. Parteitag Chinas ideologische Weichen neu gestellt. Der Beitrag untersucht die außen- und sicherheitspolitische Agenda, die Xi im Gepäck hat.

    Prof. Dr. Heike Holbig

    Senior Research Fellow / Redaktion GIGA Focus Asien

    Millennium: Journal of International Studies | 10.2022

    Fantastic Theories and Where to Find Them: Rethinking Interlocutors in Global IR

    This article explores an alternative approach to engaging with non-Western IR theories, which the author refers to as the embedded observer approach.

    Dr. Sinan Chu

    Research Fellow

    GIGA Focus Asien | 4/2022

    Competition and Cooperation: India and China in the Global Climate Regime

    Der Klimawandel erfordert die Kooperation aller großen Wirtschaftsmächte. Wachsende Spannungen zwischen Indien und China beeinflussen das globale Klimaregime. In einer zunehmend multipolaren Weltordnung ist eine solche Gleichzeitigkeit von Kooperation und Konflikt unvermeidbar.

    Dr. Miriam Prys-Hansen

    Lead Research Fellow / Leitung Forschungsschwerpunkt "Globale Ordnungen und Außenpolitiken"

    GIGA Focus Global | 2/2022

    Die Ukraine-Krise im globalen Süden: kein „Epochenbruch“

    Die Staaten des globalen Südens möchten wählen können, wo und mit wem sie kooperieren. So erhalten sie sich ihre Autonomie in einer zunehmend von Großmachtkonflikten geprägten, multipolaren Welt. Im globalen Süden ist Russland kein Pariastaat.

    Dr. Johannes Plagemann

    Research Fellow / Sprecher Forschungsteam

    Twitter TradeTankMx | Erwähnung | 09.10.2020

    Rebooting Multilateralism? Lessons Still to be Learnt

    The Hindu | Kommentar / Gastbeitrag | 07.05.2020

    Resuscitating multilateralism with India’s help

    Prof. Dr. Amitabh Mattoo

    Jawaharlal Nehru University

    Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung | Interview | 31.12.2019

    „Probleme hatte die WTO schon vor Trump‟

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