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Thursday 24 Aug 2017 | 20:34 | SYDNEY
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Reader riposte: More on the new bipolarity

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This post is part of the A new bipolarity debate thread. To read other posts in this debate, click here.

COMMENTS

16 April 2012 10:02


This post is part of the A new bipolarity debate thread. To read other posts in this debate, click here.

Peter Layton writes:

The Venus and Mars distinction between the Atlantic and Asia that Hugh White and Michael Wesley discuss is an appealing simplification but perhaps a step too far. It tends to fall on the 'What is Asia?' question. The Austrian statesman Metternich in 1820 answered this neatly: 'Asia begins at the Landstrasse', the royal highway leading from Vienna east into Hungary. This is a pretty big slice of the world about which to lump together.

I make this observation as it is hard to see Asia (or the Atlantic) as homogenous in a theoretical perspective sense as Hugh and Michael see. For example, is the success of ASEAN really a tangible manifestation of realism in action? It would seem hard to make this case and this in itself suggests that the granularity of this 'bi-polar' realist/ idealist, Asia/Atlantic position is not fine enough to be useful in a conceptual sense.

Might I suggest a return to the 2003 Buzan and Waever Regional Security Complexes? This too generalises and, while at the price of being a bit more complicated in having several interacting global regions, seems to be more appropriate to the contemporary complex international system.

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