The Emerging Great Power Politics and Regionalism: Structuring Effective Regional Conflict Management

Image credit: Giles Watson via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The intensifying rivalry between the leading global powers (the United States and the European Union) on one hand, and the aspiring nations (such as China, Russia, India, Turkey, and others) on the other, creates additional challenges to conflict resolution on the regional scale. The global and aspiring powers often seek to use these conflicts to sap their opponents’ resources, discredit their commitments and undermine resolve. As a result, most conflicts in post‐Soviet Eurasia and some in the Middle East (Syria) and Asia (disputes over China's maritime claims) become ‘frozen’ or intractable and defy resolution. Existing multilateral alliances and blocs across the conflict ridden regions are engaged in the struggle for members and appear incapable of concerted conflict resolution policies. What is needed to address the intensifying proxy conflict problem is a set of multilateral permanent negotiation fora bringing together the leading global powers and aspiring nations. Despite the manifold challenges to such scheme, the contours of a deal that can be reached within such fora is clear: status elevation for the aspiring nations in return for their good faith engagement with the leading global powers in conflict resolution.