Now I’m Sailing Away

I apologize to all those known and unknown eyeballs. Unfortunaley,  not really but I am off with family to the wilds of Xinjiang, Gansu and Shaanxi. And oh yes off to Hami for the total solar eclipse. And oh yeah, the Olympics. Back with you on or about August 16th.

Sailing Away

The Hokkaido Summit, as I imagine and sense other G7/8 annual summits – now 34 and counting – have been, was an intensive, word-strewn affair. Take a look at the University of Toronto’s G8 Research Group website. The site is filled with Hokkaido’s outpouring of Reports and Statements by G7/8 officials. Even the evaluation of the Summit, entitled, “A Summit of Substantial Success: The Performance of the 2008 G8“, by G8 Research Group leader, Professor John Kirton of the University of Toronto comes to some 45 pages and that doesn’t include appendices that adds another 45 pages. John is taken with Japanese summitry and what he sees as consistent success in leading the summit, which it has done 5 Continue reading

Keeping the League Alive

The Russian and Chinese vetoes of the US-sponsored sanctions resolution on Friday July 11th (along with South Africa’s negative vote) has done much to keep the question of a ‘league of democracy’ alive in global governance circles. Thomas Carothers of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) has written recently a useful examination of the League of Democracies concept in the most recent issue of Foreign Policy. His article entitled, “A League of Their Own,” reviews the origins, history and even the influence of the concept of the League of Democracies.

Born in the academic byways, the concept discussed by John Ikenberry and Dean Anne-Marie Slaughter in their Continue reading

What Kind of Power Will it Want to Be?

In a nutshell one aspect of China’s ‘peaceful rise,’ – or not, can be found through evaluating the type of nationalism the Government and the Party have promoted or channeled. Chen Zhimin is currently Professor and Chair the Department of International Politics, School of International Relations and Public Affairs at Fudan University, Shanghai. In 2005 Chen Zhimin published an excellent analysis of Chinese nationalism entitled, “Nationalism, Internationalism and Chinese Foreign Policy.” (see full cite below).

I had the great pleasure of meeting Chen Zhimin a number of his colleagues in the recent series of meetings I and my Continue reading

The Oriental Pearl TV Tower

There is no more dramatic symbol of China’s ‘peaceful rise’ than the Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Pudong Park in Lujiazui Shanghai. Standing on Waitan (the Bund), the quay along the Huang Po River that divides Pudong from Puxi, a few nights ago took me back to my last trip to Shanghai 19 years ago. Standing there those years earlier, no Tower, no city in Pudong, no lights – nothing. Today the gleaming height of the Tower (at least until 10 pm) along with the gleaming surrounding towers startle you at the overwhelming Pudong presence.

So from nothing to an overwhelming presence. The Tower symbolizes China’s appearance on the world stage. It Continue reading

Two to Tango

In a recent blog post, “To Enlarge; or not to Enlarge – That is a Question“, I looked at current G7/8 members, their views of G7/8 enlargement and the Heiligendamm process.

The G7/8 discussion begins with two questions: Does the G8 constitute a Great power club with adequate authority and influence to act as a significant institution of global management? If not what membership and enlargement does the G8 need to address the legitimacy/effectiveness dimensions of this international organization?

The second question is does the Heiligendamm Process – this structured dialogue – provide an enlargement path for Continue reading