28 Ιουλίου 2014

Μεσόγειος και Μέση Ανατολή σε μετάβαση: Αντιφάσεις και ανεπάρκειες της μεσογειακής πολιτικής της Ε.Ε. Κύριοι διαχρονικοί στόχοι, επιθυμίες και ανησυχίες, και οι δέκα πληγές της πολιτικής της προς τα μεσογειακά κράτη (απόσπασμα από ομιλία).


Πρόλογος
Οι εξωτερικές σχέσεις της Ε.Ε μέσω της Wider Europe και της ευρωπαϊκής πολιτικής γειτονίας, που συμπεριλαμβάνει και τις μεσογειακές χώρες, έτεινε, σε έναν, όπως ο καθηγητής Φαμπρίνι τον ονόμαζε, νεομεσαιωνισμό, δηλαδή την επαναφορά μιας κανονιστικής δύναμης, που μέσα από την αιρεσιμότητα και από τις αξίες της Ε.Ε, επιδίωκε να εξευρωπαϊσει τις μεσογειακές χώρες, αλλά να δημιουργήσει στην ουσία μια νέα αυτοκρατορία, με την έννοια της ασύμμετρης σχέσης με τους γείτονες της, όπου θα επιβάλλει τις δικές της αξίες φαινομενικά, αλλά στην ουσία τη δική της πολιτική. Τώρα αυτό φαίνεται να έχει τεράστια προβλήματα.

Κύριοι διαχρονικοί στόχοι της Ε.Ε
Επιθυμίες και ανησυχίες
Οι κύριοι διαχρονικοί στόχοι της Ε.Ε διαμορφώνονται σε αυτά που επιθυμούσε και σε αυτά που την ανησυχούσαν.

Αυτά που επιθυμούσε ήταν κυρίως δύο πράγματα. Η διασφάλιση των ενεργειακών πόρων... έβλεπε ορισμένες χώρες της Μεσογείου ως προμηθευτές πετρελαίου και φυσικού αερίου, όπως είναι η Αλγερία και η Λιβύη, η οποία όμως δεν συμμετείχε στην ΕυρωΜεσογειακή συνεργασία, και τη Μεσόγειο ως θάλασσα τεράστιας γεωστρατηγικής σημασίας για τη μεταφορά ενεργειακών πόρων. Και το δεύτερο ήταν η διεύρυνση των αγορών της, δηλαδή την έβλεπε σαν μια αγορά όπου θα μπορούσε να εξαπλώσει την εμπορική της επέκταση.

Οι δεύτεροι παράγοντες έχουν σχέση με αυτά που την ανησυχούσαν και αυτά ήταν τα ζητήματα ασφάλειας, με τις ενδο/διακρατικές επικίνδυνες σχέσεις που διαμορφώνονταν κυρίως στην ανατολική Μεσόγειο και αργότερα και στη δυτική Μεσόγειο, π.χ το πρόβλημα της δυτικής Σαχάρας και κατά δεύτερον τις μεταναστευτικές ροές. Δηλαδή η ευρωμεσογειακή πολιτική από κάποιο χρόνο και μετά, όχι στην αρχή αλλά αργότερα, απέβλεπε στο να δημιουργήσει ένα τέτοιο πλαίσιο οικονομικών και κοινωνικών συνθηκών στη νότια ακτή της Μεσογείου, που κατά κάποιον τρόπο θα αναχαίτιζαν τις μεταναστευτικές ροές προς τη νότια Ευρώπη.

Σύγχρονα χαρακτηριστικά που προσδιορίζουν τις εξελίξεις στη Μεσόγειο
Πρώτα απ' όλα είναι η τεράστια οικονομική ασυμμετρία που υπάρχει ανάμεσα στην Ε.Ε και τις τρίτες μεσογειακές χώρες... για τις περισσότερες χώρες η Ε.Ε αποτελεί πάνω από 50%, για μερικές είναι και 60 και 70%, όπως είναι η περίπτωση του Μαρόκου... εξαρτώνται εμπορικά από την Ε.Ε καθώς επίσης και από την εισροή άμεσων ξένων επενδύσεων. Μετά είναι οι διακρατικές και εθνοτικές συγκρούσεις οι οποίες σήμερα στην περιοχή μας έχουν επεκταθεί πάρα πολύ, ειδικά το θέμα της Συρίας είναι ένας σημαντικός παράγοντας που προσδιορίζει τις ευρύτερες εξελίξεις στην περιοχή της ανατολικής Μεσογείου αλλά και της Μέσης Ανατολής. Οι ενδοκρατικές συγκρούσεις, οι συγκρούσεις οι οποίες γίνονται για το ποιός θα έχει το πάνω χέρι κατά τη διαμόρφωση των καθεστώτων μετά την «αραβική άνοιξη» και φυσικά οι εξελίξεις στην Τουρκία. Αυτό δεν σημαίνει ότι οι άλλες χώρες της Μεσογείου δεν αντιμετωπίζουν πολύ μεγάλα πρόβλημά, και αυτή είναι η αποδυνάμωση των βασικών κρατών της μεσογειακής λεκάνης. Όλες οι χώρες οι οποίες πρωταγωνιστούσαν στην Ε.Ε και όχι μόνο, σε διάφορες πρωτοβουλίες είτε ενδοπεριφερειακής συνεργασίας είτε πολυμερoύς περιφερειακής συνεργασίας ανάμεσα στην Ευρώπη και την Μεσόγειο, όπως είναι η Ισπανία, κυρίως η Ιταλία, όπως είναι η Αίγυπτος, όπως είναι και η Τουρκία, δευτερευόντως βάζω και την Ελλάδα, αντιμετωπίζουν σημαντικότατα προβλήματα, οικονομικής εξαθλίωσης και κοινωνικών συγκρούσεων και εξ αιτίας αυτού και η εξωτερική τους πολιτική και η στροφή τους προς τη Μεσόγειο δεν είναι τόσο δυναμική όπως ήταν π.χ της Ιταλίας τη δεκαετία του '90 όπου πρωταγωνιστούσε και έπαιζε σημαντικό ρόλο στη διαμόρφωση της μεσογειακής πολιτικής της Ε.Ε, το ίδιο μπορεί να ισχυριστεί κανείς και για την Ισπανία. Άλλο παράδειγμα αποδυνάμωσης είναι η ίδια η Αίγυπτος, η οποία προωθούσε διάφορες μορφές περιφερειακής συνεργασίας και τώρα βρίσκεται σε αυτήν τη κατάσταση που βρίσκεται. Άλλος παράγοντας είναι φυσικά η ενέργεια και η στρατηγική σημασία που έχουν περισσότερο από ποτέ ενδυναμώθεί λόγω της λεκάνης της Λεβαντίνης...

Μεσογειακή πολιτική της Ε.Ε
Διήνυσε πάρα πολλές φάσεις και ονομασίες από τη σφαιρική μεσογειακή πολιτική στις αρχές της δεκαετίας του '70, μετά έχουμε τη νέα μεσογειακή πολιτική, μετά την ανανεωμένη μεσογειακή πολιτική, μετά την ευρωμεσογειακή συνεργασία και τώρα έχουμε την ένωση για τη Μεσόγειο. Βέβαια η καθεμία αναβάθμιζε υποτίθεται τις σχέσεις αλλά στην ουσία η αποτελεσματικότητα τους αμφισβητείται. Χρειαζόντουσαν νέες ονομασίες και πολλές φορές εβάζαν τις ίδιες πολιτικές με μια ποσοτική διαφορά, να βάζουν δηλαδή περισσότερα χρήματα και βοήθεια στις χώρες αυτές. Βέβαια υπήρχαν και ορισμένες ποιοτικές διαφορές όπως ήταν η ένωση για την Μεσόγειο ή πιο παλιά η διαδικασία της Βαρκελώνης, αλλά στην ουσία η αποτελεσματικότητα τους ήταν αμφισβητήσιμη και γι' αυτό εξ άλλου πάντοτε χρειαζόντουσαν μετά από λίγα χρόνια να την ανανεώσουν.

Το δεύτερο πρόβλημα που αφορούσε την Ε.Ε είναι ότι υπήρχαν προβλήματα στην ταυτότητα των σχέσεων με τα τρίτα μεσογειακά κράτη, δηλαδή είναι θέμα στρατηγικής. Στην ουσία ήθελαν πολιτική με αυτούς, ένα είδος partnership ή πολιτική για αυτούς ή θα διαμορφώσουμε εμείς την πολιτική ή θα την επιβάλλουμε στους άλλους, με την έννοια ότι θα σας εξευρωπαϊσουμε θέλοντας και μη μέσα από την πολιτική της αιρεσιμότητας. Η αποθέωση αυτής της πολιτικής είναι η νέα πολιτική γειτονίας, στην ουσία επέβαλλε σε αυτούς να ακολουθήσουν τις νόρμες, τις αρχές, τις δοξασίες, τις πολιτικές της Ε.Ε... Αυτό δημιούργησε τεράστιες αντιδράσεις στις χώρες αυτές.

Το τρίτο αφορά τα διλήμματα της ευρωπαϊκής πολιτικής που δεν έχουν ξεπεραστεί... Σε τι θα δώσουμε μεγαλύτερη έμφαση, στην ασφάλεια ή στις δημοκρατικές αλλαγές. Αν δείτε όλα τα κείμενα της ευρωμεσογειακής συνεργασίας από τις αρχές της δεκαετίας του '70, πάντοτε μιλούσαν για την προστασία των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων, για την προστασία των δημοκρατικών αλλαγών, αλλά στην ουσία αυτό που ενδιέφερε ήταν η ασφάλεια και αυτό δημιούργησε τεράστια προβλήματα στην πολιτική της Ε.Ε, δηλαδή, με δυο λόγια, να διατηρήσουμε (και αυτό πάει στις αντιφάσεις και στην ασυνέπεια λόγων και πράξεων από την πλευρά της Ε.Ε) κοσμικά ολοκληρωτικά καθεστώτα τα οποία θα μας έχουν ανάγκη και τα έχουμε ανάγκη, διότι δια της επιβολής ενός αστυνομικού κράτους θα είναι σε θέση να ανασχέσουν την ισλαμική άνοδο, που στην ουσία ήταν λαϊκά κινήματα στις χώρες αυτές. Με αυτό τον τρόπο φαινόταν να υπάρχει μια ασυνέπεια από τη μεριά της Ε.Ε. Το πιο χαρακτηριστικό παράδειγμα είναι, ότι, ενώ έγιναν δημοκρατικές εκλογές στην Παλαιστίνη, και η Χαμάς πήρε την πλειοψηφία τόσο στην Γάζα όσο και στην Δυτικη Όχθη, αμέσως η Χαμάς κηρύχθηκε τρομοκρατική οργάνωση, στο πλαίσιο του ότι φοβήθηκαν ότι θα χαθεί ο έλεγχος απ' αυτή την πολιτική που ακολουθούσαν. Αυτό είναι ασυνέπεια πράξεων και λόγων... Αυτό δεν σημαίνει ότι δεν επιθυμούσε και δεν έκανε η Ευρώπη προγράμματα ανάπτυξης της κοινωνίας των πολιτών, με μια διαφορά, ότι όλα τα χρήματα αυτά πήγαιναν ή σε φιλοκυβερνητικές ΜΚΟ ή πήγαιναν σε κοσμικές ΜΚΟ και καθόλου δεν λάμβαναν υπόψη τους ότι η διαδικασία του Ισλάμ και το κίνημα των ισλαμικών κομμάτων όπως οι μουσουλμάνοι αδελφοί στην ουσία αντικαθιστούσαν τη διαφθορά η οποία υπήρχε, λόγου χάρη στην Αίγυπτο, και ήταν ένα δεύτερο παρακράτος που προέβλεπε ένα κράτος κοινωνικής πρόνοιας... Το Ισλάμ δεν είναι κατ' ανάγκην, και τα ισλαμικά κινήματα, τρομοκρατικά, και θα πρέπει να τα αντιλαμβανόμαστε με κάποιο διαφορετικό μάτι και να τα διαφοροποιούμε.

Οι δέκα πληγές της πολιτικής της Ε.Ε προς τα μεσογειακά κράτη
Η πρώτη πληγή είναι ότι το πλαίσιο της ένωσης για τη Μεσόγειο και οι πολιτικοί στόχοι δεν έχουν επακριβώς προσδιοριστεί... όπως έγινε στην ευρωμεσογειακή συνεργασία, που στην ουσία ήταν μια πολιτική της Γαλλίας που θα ήταν μόνο για τα μεσογειακά κράτη και την Ε.Ε την άφησε εντελώς εκτός, χωρίς να έχει τις κατάλληλες χρηματοδοτήσεις για να το κάνει. Έτσι αναγκάστηκε, με την αντίδραση της Γερμανίας, το όραμα της να βυθιστεί αύτανδρο στα νερά της Μεσογείου και να αναγκαστεί να μετουσιωθεί σε μια ένωση για τη Μεσόγειο όπου είναι όλες οι χώρες της Ε.Ε με τις χώρες της Μεσογείου... Από τη στιγμή που βάζεις συναντήσεις κορυφής για να το κάνεις πιο γκλάμουρους είναι παρά πολύ σημαντικό ότι δεν μπορείς να αφήσεις απέξω την αραβοϊσραηλινή διένεξη και την πολιτικοποίηση' από τη μια δηλαδή επιδίωξαν, κατά κάποιο τρόπο, να την κάνουν πιο τεχνοκρατική την προσέγγιση και να το εντοπίσουν στα πρότζεκτ, των οποίων η Γαλλία είχε στο πίσω μέρος του μυαλού της στην ουσία να πουλήσει πυρηνικούς αντιδραστήρες στις αραβικές χώρες, από την άλλη το πολιτικοποιούσαν, φυσικό ήταν στην παραμικρή κρίση, όπως όταν έγινε ισραηλινή εισβολή στην Γάζα, όλο αυτό το θεσμικό οικοδόμημα να ανατιναχτεί στον αέρα και ακόμα δεν έχει συνέλθει νομίζω.

Η δεύτερη πληγή για την Ε.Ε είναι ότι δεν μπορεί να το παίξει εγγυητής ασφάλειας στην περιοχή, δεν έχει τη δυνατότητα αυτή, δεν είναι στο dna της από τη θεσμική της διάρθρωση, παρόλο που έχει προχωρήσει στη στρατιωτική της συνεργασία. Ας πούμε, ούτε το Ισραήλ ούτε οι Παλαιστίνιοι έβλεπαν τους Ευρωπαίους ότι μπορούσαν να παίξουν ένα σημαντικό ρόλο στο Παλαιστινιακό πρόβλημα. Σε ένα συνέδριο στο Ισραήλ, ο τότε γενικός γραμματέας του ισραηλινού υπουργείου εξωτερικών, γύρισε και είπε, εσάς τους Ευρωπαίους δε σας προσέχουμε και πάρα πολύ, αυτοί που μπορούν να μας πιέσουν είναι οι Η.Π.Α, αυτές έχουν τις δυνατότητες και οικονομικά και στρατιωτικά να παίξουν ένα πρωταγωνιστικό ρόλο. Το ίδιο αντιλαμβάνονται και οι Παλαιστίνιοι, ότι η Ε.Ε δεν έχει πολιτική, δεν είναι σταθερή η πολιτική της, παρόλο ότι είναι πολύ πιο κοντά σε αυτούς μετά τη διακήρυξη της Βενετίας του 1980.

Η τρίτη πληγή είναι η έμφαση στην διευκόλυνση των εμπορικών σχέσεων και η αδράνεια στα άλλα πεδία... Αυτό που ενδιέφερε περισσότερο την Ε.Ε ήταν το εμπόριο και προσπαθούσε να το διασφαλίσει... make business not war, κατά το make love not war και άφησε όλα τα άλλα πεδία, ιδίως το κοινωνικό σκέλος υποβαθμισμένα. Μετά το 2011 έχει αντιστραφεί αυτή η πολιτική και προσπαθεί να δώσει έμφαση σε άλλα σημεία, αλλά ακόμα αυτό παίζει ρόλο στη διαμόρφωση μιας ζώνης ελευθέρων συναλλαγών την οποία τώρα ονομάζει comprehensive free trade area. Η ζώνη ελευθέρων συναλλαγών ήταν στόχος εδώ και πάρα πολύ καιρό αλλά δεν έχει υλοποιηθεί, κάτι για το οποίο είναι υπεύθυνες και οι ίδιες οι αραβικές χώρες.

Η τέταρτη είναι η πολιτική γειτονίας η οποία δεν είναι πολυμερής, είναι σε διμερές επίπεδο. Υπάρχουν διμερείς σχέσεις, όπως η Ε.Ε με κάθε χώρα ξεχωριστά, και οι πολυμερείς όπως η ένωση για τη Μεσόγειο. Σε διμερές επίπεδο, είναι υπόδειγμα ασυμμετρίας, γιατί στην ουσία τους πιέζει μέσω της conditionality, την πολιτικής της αιρεσιμότητας, με το καρότο και με το μαστίγιο, και αυτό οπωσδήποτε δείχνει αυτό το οποίο ονόμασα νεομεσαιωνισμό της Ε.Ε με τις εξωτερικές σχέσεις της και ιδίως τις χώρες της Μεσογείου.

Πέμπτο, η επιρροή της Ε.Ε στην πορεία του εκδημοκρατισμού και του εκμοντερνισμού είναι πάρα πολύ ασθενής. Έκτο είναι οι αδύναμες κυβερνήσεις στο Νότο. Αυτή τη στιγμή, εξ αιτίας της «αραβικής άνοιξης» υπάρχει μια αποσταθεροποίηση από το Μαγκρέμπ μέχρι και την Αίγυπτο, τη Συρία και το Λίβανο. Η έβδομη πληγή είναι η αδύναμη οικονομικά Ευρώπη, ιδίως στις χώρες του Νότου, η κρίση του Ευρώ. Η μεγαλύτερη απώλεια είναι η απώλεια της ιταλικής εξωτερικής πολιτικής που πρωταγωνιστούσε στη Μεσόγειο.

Η όγδοη είναι η πολιτική της μετανάστευσης που χαρακτηρίζεται από αντιφάσεις. Δύο ειδών αντιφάσεις. Η πρώτη, είναι γεγονός ότι η Ε.Ε έχει ανάγκη από εργατικά χέρια για να μπορέσει να έχει μια οικονομική ανάπτυξη. Όλες οι χώρες όμως της Ευρώπης θεωρούν τη μετανάστευση ως ένα τεράστιο κακό και προσπαθούν να επιβάλλουν τέτοια πολιτική που να αποτρέπει είτε στο εσωτερικό είτε στο εξωτερικό τέτοιου είδους καταστάσεις. Αυτή είναι μια αντίφαση. Δεύτερη αντίφαση είναι ότι επιδιώκουν να κάνουν τη μεταναστευτική πολιτική με το να έχουν μια μακροπρόθεσμη πολιτική που να μπορέσει (αυτή ήταν διαχρονικά η πολιτική τους), να γίνουν δουλειές εκεί, να γίνουν επενδύσεις εκεί πέρα, να βρουν δουλειά οι άνθρωποι να μην μας κουβαληθούν εδώ. Αφού επιθυμούσαν αυτή την πολιτική όμως ποτέ δεν έδωσαν ούτε τόσα πολλά λεφτά ούτε εφάρμοσαν μια τέτοια πολιτική ώστε να μπορέσουν οικονομικά να αναπτυχθούν οι νότιες χώρες...

Η ένατη πληγή, το Παλαιστινιακό πρόβλημα, το οποίο υπήρχε και υπάρχει και αδυνατεί η Ε.Ε να διαμορφώσει μια συγκεκριμένη πολιτική.

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Την ειρήνη όλοι βέβαια τήν επιθυμούν, ποιά όμως είναι ή βάση έπί τής όποίας στηρίζονται οί «ειρηνευτικές προσπάθειες» τής Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης; Άφού καμμιά θεωρία δέν υπάρχει, κανένα σχέδιο τής Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης ως προς την σχέση της με τήν μεσογειακή περιοχή καί την άνατολικη Ευρώπη, καμμιά ιδεολογική προσέγγιση των πνευματικών μεσογειακών κόσμων ή καποια ένδειξη πώς κάτι τέτοιο είναι έπιθυμητό (η ιδεολογία του «ισλαμικού κινδύνου» είναι ικανή απόδειξη), ποιές είναι οι αρχές νομιμότητος βάσει τών όποίων η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση άσκεί, τήν μεσολαβητική της πολιτική; Καί πώς μεσολαβεί γιά τά Βαλκάνια καί σιωπά γιά τό Κουρδικό, που έχει άμεση σχέση αίτίου καί αίτιατου; Μπορούν νά λυθούν μερικώς καί μέ σιωπηρά ημίμετρα, δηλαδή χωρίς μιαν γενικώτερη γεωπολιτική θεώρηση πού όφείλουν όλοι νά ξέρούν, τά προβλήματα του μεσογειακού χώρου, στόν οποίον καί ή δυτική Ευρώπη υπάγεται;
Άλλά οί τακτικές αυτές δέν είναι αναίτιες. Η δυτική Ευρώπη έχουσα σήμερα απλώς την οικονομική υπόσταση της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, ενδιαφέρεται για τη λύση κάποιων μεσογειακών προβλημάτων, διότι έχει αντιληφθεί ότι κάτι τέτοιο σημαίνει γι' αυτήν οικονομικό κυρίως κέρδος. Δέν μπορει όμως νά απαλλαγή άπό τήν σημασία τής προϊστορίας των πραγμάτων, τά όποία άμεσα όδηγουν πρός τό Μεσανατολικό. Γιά τό όποιο ή δυτική Ευρώπη πιστεύει πώς έχει συμφέρον, όπως διεκηρύχθη, νά μή διαθέτη καμμιά αποψη προοπτικής. Οί πιθανές «λύσεις» έτσι, πάντα έμπειρικά ζητούμενες, είναι καθωρισμένες νά πάλλωνται μεταξύ άναγκαιότητος καί ιδεολογικών σκοπιμοτήτων.
Τό Ισλάμ είναι «κίνδύνος», άλλά είναι τότε «Ευρωπαίος» ο βαλκάνιος μωαμεθανός; Καί άν δέν είναι, πώς θά δεχθή τόν μεσολαβητικόν ρόλο τής Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης;...
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Και τέλος η υποβάθμιση των κοινωνικών ζητημάτων και της κοινωνίας των πολιτών. Μετά το 2011 άρχισε η Ε.Ε να διαμορφώνει μια ουσιαστική κοινωνική πολιτική αλλά πολύ φοβάμαι ότι είναι πάρα πολύ αργά και ίσως δεν θα το κατορθώσει να δώσει έμφαση σε αυτό το οποίο τώρα ονομάζει civil society facility και το Ευρωπαϊκό κληροδότημα για τον Πολιτισμό.

Επίλογος
Οι δέκα πληγές που υπήρχαν από το 2005, όχι μόνο υφίστανται, αλλά έχουν ενδυναμωθεί, και με συγχωρείτε πολύ αλλά δεν είμαι τόσο αισιόδοξος για την αποτελεσματικότητα που η Ε.Ε θα έχει βραχυχρόνια για τη μεσογειακή της πολιτική, ούτε καν αν θα είναι σε θέση να διαμορφώσει μια αποτελεσματική μεσογειακή πολιτική.

Χαράλαμπος Τσαρδανίδης

Ο Χαράλαμπος Τσαρδανίδης είναι Διευθυντής του Ινστιτούτου Διεθνών Οικονομικών Σχέσεων από το 1993. Έχει σπουδάσει Πολιτικές Επιστήμες στο Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών και Διεθνείς Σχέσεις στο LSE. Πηγή: blod. Ημερίδα του Ελληνικού Κέντρου Ευρωπαϊκών Μελετών. Ομιλητές: Χρυσοχόου Δημήτρης, Τσαρδανίδης Χαράλαμπος, Κεφαλά Βιβή, Τριανταφύλλου Θάνος, Χουλιάρας Αστέρης.

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Για περαιτέρω ιχνηλάτηση και πληρέστερη προοπτική

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- Το μέλλον της Ε.Ε, η Ανατολική Ευρώπη -η Ουκρανία- και τα Βαλκάνια, ο Huntington, ο Brzezinski και οι πλανητικές πολιτικές των Η.Π.Α. Τα «Ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα», η «σύγκρουση των πολιτισμών» και τα «Ευρασιατικά Βαλκάνια» ως βαλκανοποίηση της υφηλίου και καλλιέργεια της ελεγχόμενης αναρχίας. Η απόρριψη του διλήμματος μεταξύ πυρηνικού ολοκαυτώματος ή πολιτιστικής ανυπαρξίας - προς μιας νέα ιστορική σύνθεση που θα εναντιώνεται στις θεωρίες και τους υπολογισμούς γραφείου-εργαστηρίου.
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Κοινή γνώμη, ιδεολογία και ιστοριογραφία.


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Για την «Ευρώπη» θεωρείται δεδομένο ως κοινή συνείδηση αυτό που η «ιστοριογραφία» πέτυχε γιά τις ιδεολογικές ανάγκες τής «Ευρώπης»: την απουσία σημασίας όλων τών άλλων πολιτισμών... Η ταύτιση «ιστοριογραφίας» καί «κοινής γνώμης» είναι απόλυτη. Δέν είναι βέβαια τυχαίο, ότι «ιστοριογραφία» καί «κοινή γνώμη» έμφανίζονται ταυτόχρονα στό πολιτικό προσκήνιο ιστορικά. Αυτό πού βασικά προέχει ειναι ή «κοινή γνώμη». Αυτή αποτελεί το εργαλείο της πολιτικής, κυρίως τής έξωτερικής,

I) Το Ισραήλ ως έθνος-κράτος, οι παγκόσμιες/περιφερειακές ισορροπίες και η μεταψυχροπολεμική περίοδος και II) Όταν η επαγρύπνηση υπονομεύει την ελευθερία του λόγου.



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Πρόλογος

Η σύγκρουση που λαμβάνει χώρα στην Παλαιστίνη το 1947-1949 μοιάζει ασήμαντη μπροστά στο ολοκαύτωμα που γνώρισε ο κόσμος. Ωστόσο, το συντριπτικό βάρος τη σφαγής των Εβραίων της Ευρώπης υποβάλλει σε μια αδήριτη πίεση. Ένας λαός θέλει να ζήσει. Ένα κράτος εμφανίζεται μέσα στη βία. Το Ισραήλ γίνεται ο κόμβος όλων των αντιφάσεων, το σημείο όπου εστιάζεται η πληγωμένη συνείδηση της Δύσης, η οποία, άλλωστε, εκπληρώνει εκεί το χρέος της. Οι αραβικοί πληθυσμοί δεν έχουν κανένα λόγο να κατανοήσουν και να επωμιστούν αυτή την ευθύνη. Μια καινούργια πυριτιδαποθήκη αρχίζει να διαμορφώνεται. Η Δύση εξάγει τις ενοχές της.
François Géré

Ο μηχανισμός της «κοινής γνώμης» είναι απλός: μεταβάλλει την ιστορία σε πολιτικά συνθήματα, σε όρους και φρασεολογίες, οι οποίες θα επιτρέψουν την δράση της πολιτικής υπό την ιδεολογία της αμύνης.
Γεράσιμος Κακλαμάνης

27 Ιουλίου 2014

The Endtimes of Human Rights. Ι) Description and Contents ΙΙ) Two Articles by Stephen Hopgood and ΙΙΙ) Video: Session - Stephen Hopgood: The Endtimes of Human Rights (and Humanitarianism?).


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Description and Contents

"We are living through the endtimes of the civilizing mission. The ineffectual International Criminal Court and its disastrous first prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, along with the failure in Syria of the Responsibility to Protect are the latest pieces of evidence not of transient misfortunes but of fatal structural defects in international humanism. Whether it is the increase in deadly attacks on aid workers, the torture and 'disappearing' of al-Qaeda suspects by American officials, the flouting of international law by states such as Sri Lanka and Sudan, or the shambles of the Khmer Rouge tribunal in Phnom Penh, the prospect of one world under secular human rights law is receding. What seemed like a dawn is in fact a sunset. The foundations of universal liberal norms and global governance are crumbling." - from The Endtimes of Human Rights.

In a book that is at once passionate and provocative, Stephen Hopgood argues, against the conventional wisdom, that the idea of universal human rights has become not only ill adapted to current realities but also overambitious and unresponsive. A shift in the global balance of power away from the United States further undermines the foundations on which the global human rights regime is based. American decline exposes the contradictions, hypocrisies and weaknesses behind the attempt to enforce this regime around the world and opens the way for resurgent religious and sovereign actors to challenge human rights.

Historically, Hopgood writes, universal humanist norms inspired a sense of secular religiosity among the new middle classes of a rapidly modernizing Europe. Human rights were the product of a particular worldview (Western European and Christian) and specific historical moments (humanitarianism in the nineteenth century, the aftermath of the Holocaust). They were an antidote to a troubling contradiction—the coexistence of a belief in progress with horrifying violence and growing inequality. The obsolescence of that founding purpose in the modern globalized world has, Hopgood asserts, transformed the institutions created to perform it, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and recently the International Criminal Court, into self-perpetuating structures of intermittent power and authority that mask their lack of democratic legitimacy and systematic ineffectiveness. At their best, they provide relief in extraordinary situations of great distress; otherwise they are serving up a mixture of false hope and unaccountability sustained by “human rights” as a global brand.

The Endtimes of Human Rights is sure to be controversial. Hopgood makes a plea for a new understanding of where hope lies for human rights, a plea that mourns the promise but rejects the reality of universalism in favor of a less predictable encounter with the diverse realities of today’s multipolar world.

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Preface - 1. Moral Authority in a Godless World - 2. The Church of Human Rights - 3. The Holocaust Metanarrative - 4. The Moral Architecture of Suffering - 5. Human Rights and American Power - 6. Human Rights Empire - 7. Of Gods and Nations - 8. The Neo-Westphalian World.

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Two Articles by Stephen Hopgood
Human rights: past their sell-by date and The end of human rights

We live in an era not of triumph, but of the endtimes for universal human rights. In our multipolar world of dispersed state and social power, the inherent limitations of the global human rights model championed by organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch is becoming painfully apparent. Both are trying to adjust, Amnesty by relocating to the global South, and Human Rights Watch by turning itself into a genuinely global brand. But if the concept of global human rights is to endure, a new and more political, transnational, agile and adaptable kind of movement must emerge, replacing today’s top-down, western-led model of activism.

To begin with, there is no reason at all to think states in the global South will behave any differently from states in the global North. States are states. The BRICS are not a new beginning, but rather aspirants to global status as members of the organized hypocrisy of sovereign states. The question is, can western human rights organizations challenge this by successfully allying with civil society groups in the south? Until now, western NGOs have failed to connect with southern publics beyond the elite level. Can this be changed? After all, many local, southern organizations and movements cherish beliefs that are not prominent in western human rights thinking. These include beliefs about religion, justice, ethnic solidarity, labour rights and the importance of the family. These remain vital aspects of their identity, even as these southern groups are persecuted by their own elites and states. How will universal human rights ideas fare in creating a solidarity movement with this diverse and often conflicting set of actors, many of whom see human rights as either compatible with non-liberal norms, or who are committed to social, economic and cultural rights of the sort Human Rights Watch judges inappropriate as a basis for effective campaigning?

Who defines the concept of human rights?
Globalization means diversity, but until now, “universal” human rights have been a fairly monotheistic form of secular religion.
Many in the west assume there really is a singular global human rights movement, and that its momentum is unstoppable. But this idea disguises the reality of deep internal inequalities of resources, objectives, priorities and influence. Why, for example, is it criminal justice, rather than social justice, that marks the vanguard of human rights globally? Because Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the International Commission of Jurists say so.

There is a deep divergence between the concept of human rights shared by elites, largely until now located in the west (what we might call Human Rights), and what those rights mean for the vast majority of the world’s population (what we might call human rights). Human Rights are a New York-Geneva-London-centered ideology focused on international law, criminal justice, and institutions of global governance. Human Rights are a product of the 1%.

The rest of the world, the 99%, sees human rights activism as one among many mechanisms to bring about meaningful social change. By their nature, lower-case human rights are malleable, adaptable, pragmatic and diverse – they are bottom-up democratic norms, rather than top-down authoritative rules.

The zenith for Human Rights came in the years 1977 to 2008, years of growing American unipolarity as the Soviet Union crumbled. Along the way Human Rights achieved the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, but also blunted the radical potential of movements for national self-determination. From the fall of the Berlin Wall for nearly two decades, Human Rights was triumphant: in 1993’s Vienna Declaration, 1994’s Cairo Conference, in the ad-hoc tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court (ICC), the intervention in Kosovo, and the evolution of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). The latter is heralded as the successor to humanitarian intervention and was, its supporters argue, fully vindicated in NATO’s action in Libya. But these successes disguise the reality that one country and its domestic activists – the US – were calling the global shots. Even during this time, the United States, a fair weather friend of human rights, has been more culpable than any other state in its refusal to permanently embed multilateral human rights norms when it possessed the power to do so.

Can western organizations become truly global?
How are Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and other big rights NGOs dealing with the changing world order? They have different strategies. Amnesty is devolving its investigation operations to southern cities. It hopes to ally with local human rights defenders, and increase the small, southern proportion of its global membership. Amnesty terms this ‘moving closer to the ground.’ Human Rights Watch, with no members to worry about, is creating a global network of research, advocacy and fund raising offices, aided in part by $100 million from George Soros. Both strategies contrast with that of the Ford Foundation, which is giving its money directly to seven human rights organizations in the global South.

Why will these strategies not work in the post-western, post-secular, multipolar world? One answer is the relative decline in power of the states, particularly in Europe, who have made human rights norms a foreign policy goal. The United States is unlikely to pick up the slack. Whether its turn to Asia is a ‘rebalancing’ or a ‘pivot,’ human rights are not high on the agenda. And the United States has significant human rights problems of its own. This shift will weaken the global authority of human rights norms. It is not that the BRICS are anti-human rights, just that they will seek to renegotiate the assumptions and substance of what those rights mean in practice and how, and if, they impinge on state sovereignty. Human Rights Watch’s strategy relies on its ability to ‘name and shame’ these governments, hoping that local offices will increase its credibility and effectiveness (and income and brand profile) in doing so. As of yet, there is no persuasive evidence that this will be successful. Time will tell whether this strategy pays off.

Amnesty International relies on both research and membership pressure. It is taking a huge gamble by assuming that local activists – under pressure from their own governments and networks – can report abuses without consequences. It also hopes that southern-based research work will be taken seriously by lawyers and policy-makers in Geneva and New York. If it works, the result will be millions of new members standing stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with Amnesty in India, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil, Hong Kong, Senegal and Thailand. Yet despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars since 1961, Amnesty has yet to build a mass southern membership. And this was during decades when there was no other human rights organization to join. Now there are tens, hundreds, even thousands of human rights NGOs in southern countries. What is Amnesty’s value-added for them? Why would they join an organization synonymous with postwar, Cold War Europe?...
Συνέχεια Πηγή: openDemocracy


When an icon of the 20th century’s strivings against oppression passes away, it is an appropriate time to take freedom’s audit.

“The struggles that follow the victory of formal equality and universal franchise may not be as filled with drama and moral clarity as those that came before,” President Obama said in his eulogy of Nelson Mandela last month, “but they are no less important.” And United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the world to be “inspired” by Mandela’s spirit. “His death has awakened in all of us,” he said, “the flame of human rights and the beacon of hope.”

Their message was clear: We have come far, but there is a great deal left to do.

Yet despite this rhetoric of rededication and hope, the ground of human rights is crumbling beneath us. If we seem to have moved beyond “drama and moral clarity,” it is only because we no longer know where we are going. In fact, a 150-year experiment in creating global rules to protect and defend individual human beings is coming to an end.

The evidence is all around us. Authoritarian pushback against human rights in China raises the prospect of a new superpower utterly opposed to the hitherto dominant language of universal rights. And Russia, if anything, outdoes China, with Vladimir Putin manipulating his citizens’ legitimate aspirations for even basic freedoms. From the introduction of sharia law in Brunei to the consolidation of a murderous military regime in Egypt (where the alternative was the ultra-con­servative Muslim Brotherhood), we see examples everywhere of resistance to human rights, in practice and in principle.

In a stupefying act of bravado, Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s most systematic abusers of human rights, rejected its seat on the Security Council, saying the United Nations fails to prevent “the violation of rights” around the world. African leaders resist the authority of the International Criminal Court. Bashar al-Assadstrengthens his grip on power in Syria after his regime uses chemical weapons to murder thousands. We see extreme con­servatism on gay rights throughout Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europeand now on India’s Supreme Court. And when the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) declares, seemingly in earnest, that the exercise of human rights may be limited by “the just requirements of national security, public order, public health, public safety, public morality, as well as the general welfare of the peoples in a democratic society,” that is a mandate for executive power and social conservatism, not for inalienable rights.

A recent Pew Global Attitudes survey highlighted “the global divide” that splits the West from the rest on social acceptance of homosexuality. In a world where eight in 10people identify with a religious group, and where conservative forms of all major faiths — Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism — are increasingly prominent and politically salient, the outlook for radical change in social attitudes outside the West and elite enclaves in developing countries looks bleak. For the seventh consecutive year, Freedom House’s “Freedom in the World” report found more declines than gains in the number of countries rated “free.” Russia led the way in repression but was hardly unique, as the green shoots of the Arab Spring led to widespread authoritarian retrenchment.

Freedom House called on the United States and Europe to do more. But the United States is worse than an ambivalent onlooker. Its use of torture and rendition against al-Qaeda suspects, its detentions without trial at Guantanamo, its drone program and targeted assassinations, and its rejection of the International Criminal Court all undermine the very idea, let alone the practice, of human rights.

Even the early promise of the Obama administration has dimmed. Political and security realities have reduced the scope of American unilateralism, the president admitted in his address to the U.N. General Assembly in September. The future, he said, will be about international and regional partners for peace and prosperity. In an era when containing China is paramount, we know what “partners” means: deals. No ASEAN state should expect a call from the president about human rights anytime soon.

Of course, governments have always been reluctant to tie their hands with human rights considerations, and cultural and religious diversity guarantees that the secular global rights regime will always have detractors and foes. But this is more than a transient change. We have taken the two-steps-forward, one-step-back nature of human rights for granted, assuming that the arc of history does indeed bend toward justice. The assumption underlying Obama’s Mandela eulogy is that matters of compliance, not principle, are the main challenge remaining. But the great moral drama of liberal freedoms vs. state and religious repression and discrimination is alive and insistent today, even as we are in a forced retreat from the battlefield.

This isn’t just a change from the 1990s, the 1970s or even the 1950s. It is the end of a historic project that began in Europe in 1863 with the International Committee of the Red Cross, the first permanent, secular, international organization dedicated to the protection of the suffering individual. The export of a liberal-humanist vision of global civilization, first through empire and then via the 20th century’s international institutions, has reached an impasse. Europe’s slow political decline has been disguised for decades by American power. Now the two are diverging, the Asia-Pacific calling Americans to turn East. The world in which global rules were assumed to be secular, universal and nonnegotiable rested on the presumption of a deep worldwide consensus about human rights — but this consensus is illusory.

The first challenge is multipolarity. It’s been more than a century since we’ve lived in a truly multipolar world. Now, as power shifts rapidly to Asia, the influence of Europe, so often the driving force for human rights and international justice, has waned. The United States has proved a fair-weather friend for human rights abroad and is now far more interested in China and its own export markets in Asia and the Pacific. The new and re-emerging powers known as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are not uniformly against human rights — although the records of Russia and China are abysmal — but they will increasingly want a say on global rules and who gets to set them. Newly emerging states are challenging settled opinion on transnational justice and humanitarian intervention, which they often interpret as victor’s justice and regime change. And the global rules and principles that organizations such as the United Nations rely on were not written by the vast majority of the world’s peoples, who have long seen powerful states declare exceptions for themselves and their allies. Newly powerful states will challenge this system — and seek exceptions of their own.

A multipolar world means more compromise — as we already see in Syria — more back-scratching and less principled denunciation. America’s notorious skepticism about most human rights treaties has in the past been tempered because international rights seemed to go hand in hand with Washington’s goal of spreading democracy. But opponents can now see U.S. ambivalence about strengthening global liberal institutions — outside the trade and finance realm — and know there will be little pushback when the stakes are high.

Human rights made sense for a secularizing Europe that sought a moral alternative to religious faith. But the world has not followed the secular path. If anything, it is becoming more intense in its religiosity — that is the second challenge. Over the past century, for example, Christianity has seen a massive shift toward the south, with more than 60 percent of Christians now living in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In Africa alone, the number of Christians rose from 9 million to 516 million between 1910 and 2010. And we are as aware of the intensity of Islamic faith held by millions in many of the countries of the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia as we are of the passionate evangelism shared by millions of Christians in the Americas and Africa particularly.

The language of human rights is a language of protest and resistance, not of authority and discrimination. In a religious world, secular human rights of recent heritage and ambiguous origin increasingly compete with long-standing cultural claims legitimated by traditions and gods. Where strong faith meets human rights, the classic modernizing assumption — that secular rights trump religion — no longer holds.

A more multipolar world, America’s ambivalence, Europe’s decline and more competition from faith-based movements — all these forces put extreme pressure on a human rights model that is heavily Westernized and centralized in funding and organization. And so a paradox emerges. Achieving progress in civil and political rights, for example, might mean ceding ground in other areas such as social justice and women’s rights. All rights are equally important to the global human rights regime with which we are familiar. But for many of those who are poor, or committed to socialist politics, or deeply religious and/or conservative, both inside and outside the West, which rights deserve primacy requires discussion and compromise, not diktats from New York and Geneva.

The classic Human Rights Watch strategy of “naming and shaming” rights abusers is irrelevant in cases where, for example, the imposition of sharia law is considered desirable by those who must be shamed for change to happen. In the multipolar world, justice for acts of egregious violence may mean the death penalty — or it may mean outright forgiveness. This world may be one where women seeking an end to domestic violence and desirous of education for their daughters nevertheless oppose reproductive rights on principle. Or where the idea that children have rights they can claim against their parents, rather than obligations, seems to strike at the heart of the most valued social institution of all, the family.

In this world, religious groups of all kinds have an opportunity to play a greater role in struggles for freedom from hunger and repression than they have done in the decades when secular experts in development and human rights held sway. Pope Francis, Time magazine’s “Person of the Year,” has insisted that the church is not a nongovernmental organization — meaning it has more to offer than secular activism and advocacy. The church has a deeper, more powerful, more attractive and more important spiritual message to spread, he has said, surely recognizing that the weak grip of conventional Western human rights principles in individual communities is no match for the moral power of the church. The new pope’s seemingly more liberal stanceson social issues and his critique of capitalism may make him a better bet for radical change — he can in principle mobilize a billion people — than the rather arid, dry and legalistic claims of secular human rights advocates.

What the classical human rights movement has achieved is the recognition of each human being as the moral equal of all others. This is a massive feat. But the nationalist, authoritarian and conservative-religious backlash against the language and practices of secular human rights opens the need for alternative forms of mobilization, of which conventional human rights — meaning civil and political rights diffused from the West — will be just one part.

We are waking from the European dream of one world under global, secular law. The result may be a reinvigorated universal church. Or it may be parallel and permanent zones of freedom and zones of repression, and a global middle class seeking desperately to move themselves, or at least their children, from one to another.
Πηγή: Washington Post

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Session - Stephen Hopgood: The Endtimes of Human Rights (and Humanitarianism?)




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Για περαιτέρω ιχνηλάτηση και πληρέστερη προοπτική

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Ι) Clashes with Russia point to globalization’s end ΙΙ) Westphalia with Chinese Characteristics III) The China Model: a Civilizational-State Perspective IV) Zhang Weiwei: The China Wave (video).


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Clashes with Russia point to globalization’s end

As the European Union and the United States ramp up their sanctions on Russia, President Vladimir Putin’s plans for retaliation seem to include an attack on McDonald’s. There could not be a more powerful symbol that geopolitics is increasingly undoing the globalization of the world economy.
The burger chain was celebrated in the 1990s by the journalist Thomas Friedman’s “Golden Arches theory of conflict prevention,” which argued that the spread of McDonald’s around the world would bring an end to war. But almost 25 years after a McDonald’s restaurant opened in Moscow, it seems that deep interdependence has not ended conflict between great powers – it has merely provided a new battlefield for it.
As in any relationship that turns sour, many of the things that initially tie the parties together are now being used to drive them apart. For the past two decades we have heard that the world is becoming a global village because of the breadth and depth of its trading and investment links, its nascent global governance and the networks of the information age. But those forces for interdependence are degenerating into their opposite; we could call it the three faces of ‘splinterdependence’:

From free trade to economic warfare
Economic interdependence was supposed to defuse geopolitical tensions over time – or at least allow the two to be compartmentalized. But today the West is using Russia’s participation in the global economy to punish it for its actions in eastern Ukraine. The EU has announced sanctions that will hit Russia in the banking, oil and defense industries. When China felt its interests were threatened, it was also willing to use economic sanctions in its territorial disputes with the Philippines and Japan. In May, Beijing found itself on the receiving end as Vietnam turned a blind eye to anti-Chinese riots targeting Chinese plants when China put an oil rig in the disputed Paracel Islands.

From global governance to competitive multilateralism
Many saw global trade relations as a prelude to global government, with rising powers such as Russia and China being socialized into roles as “responsible stakeholders” in a single global system. But multilateral integration now seems to be dividing rather than uniting. Geopolitical competition gridlocks global institutions; the Ukraine crisis came about because of a clash between two incompatible projects of multilateral integration — the European-led Eastern Partnership and Russia’s Eurasian Union.
There is a global trend of competing mini-lateral friendship organizations. On the one hand, the “world without the West” encompasses the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and a host of sub-regional bodies. On the other, the West is creating new groupings outside the universal institutions — such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Asia and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership — that deliberately exclude China and Russia. Rather than seeing international law as a way of de-escalating disputes between countries, people are increasingly talking about its use as a weapon against hostile countries — “lawfare.”

From one Internet to many
Even the Internet is leading to hostile fragmentation rather than a global public square. Putin might have offered Edward Snowden refuge, but it is America’s closest allies — such as Angela Merkel in Germany and President Dilma Rousseff in Brazil — who are the most concerned about the National Security Agency’s prying into their citizens private lives. Anupam Chander and Uyen P. Le of the University of California at Davis contend that “Anxieties over surveillance … are justifying governmental measures that break apart the World Wide Web … the era of a global Internet may be passing.” They claim that countries such as Australia, France, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia and Vietnam have already moved to keep certain types of data on servers within their national borders.
After the end of the Cold War, when the apostles of globalization argued that trade would soon eclipse warfare, the military strategist Edward Luttwak predicted that they would soon be proved wrong. Although capital would replace firepower as a weapon of choice, and market penetration would play the role that bases and garrisons had in earlier generations, the driving force of international relations would be conflict rather than trade. As he put it, we would have “the grammar of commerce but the logic of war.” Luttwak’s prediction seemed misplaced at a time when countries such as Russia, China, India and Brazil were rushing to join the global economy.
The post-Cold War world these countries entered was marked by the development of an U.S.-led unipolar security order and a European-led legal order that sought to bind the world together through free trade, economic interdependence, international law and multilateral institutions. Today, we can see that the U.S.-led security order is fraying both as a result of war-weariness and the emergence of new powers internationally. As a result, great powers such as the United States are increasingly trying to weaponize the international legal order through sanctions to compensate for their unwillingness to use military force.
Interdependence, formerly an economic boon, has now become a threat as well. No one is willing to lose out on the benefits of a global economy, but all great powers are thinking about how to protect themselves from its risks, military and otherwise. China is moving toward domestic consumption after the threat of the U.S. financial crisis. America is moving toward energy independence after the Iraq War. Russia is trying to build a Eurasian Union after the euro crisis. And even internationalist Germany is trying to change the EU so that its fellow member states are bound into German-style policies.
In the years after the Cold War, interdependence was a force for ending conflict. But in 2014, it is creating it. After 25 years of being bound together ever more tightly, the world seems intent on resegregating itself.
Mark Leonard - Reuters

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Westphalia with Chinese Characteristics

What will be the future implications of China’s rise in power? The towering political scientist Stephen Krasner has produced a lucid synopsis for the Hoover Institution. One of the biggest take-away points is that the organization of global governance stands to undergo a significant overhaul if Beijing’s capabilities continue to expand vis-à-vis the United States.
In terms of the international economic order, Krasner notes that:
“[t]he existing trade and investment regimes more or less assume that corporations are independent of the state; this assumption is comfortable for the United States. It is not so comfortable for China: a more powerful China might press for principles, norms, and rules that were more accepting of state direction of the economy.”
It warrants pointing out that China’s preferences for statism in economic affairs are not simply because of its communist leadership. Rather, developing economies in general tend to rely upon government intervention for growth. This was true of the so-called Asian Tigers in the 1970s and is certainly true of China and the other BRICS nations today, all of which blend an appreciation for markets with a dyed in the wool commitment to a form of dirigisme.
The difference between the newly industrialized countries (NICs) of the 1970s and the BRICS of today, of course, is that the latter entertain hopes of refashioning the international economic architecture to better suit their particular interests. Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan never aspired to global leadership. Whether the BRICS will succeed in their bid any time soon is far from certain; as yet, the BRICS lack the cohesion, the will and the means actually to lead a new global order. Nevertheless, their dissatisfaction and rise in power do combine to produce a long-term potential threat to the western-made status quo.
China’s rise might also portend implications for how states engage with each other politically and diplomatically. “China’s internal divisions make it one of the strongest proponents of the sanctity of sovereigntist principles that totally reject external interference in the internal affairs of other states,” Krasner points out. “The United States as a proponent of human rights, and as target for transnational terrorist, has a much weaker commitment to non-intervention.”
There is some irony to this mismatch in attitudes. Sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-intervention are the cornerstones of the Westphalian system, a model of international relations that emphasizes the centrality of state actors to global politics and which is supposed the epitomize the western approach to international organization. Yet Krasner is correct that the U.S. and Europe have been at the forefront of enervating Westphalia over the past several decades while China has emerged as a champion of Westphalian principles.
Just as the Westphalian ideal has been at times convenient for western powers and inconvenient (and ignored) at other times—a system of “organized hypocrisy” in Krasner’s own words—so too are Westphalian norms a valuable (and pliable) resource for China’s leadership. As Stephen Hopgood argues in his book The Endtimes of Human Rights, the logic of Westphalia affords Beijing a rationale for maintaining authoritarian rule at home and opposing the imposition of western influence abroad (including, recently, in Syria).
Westphalia can also be applied by China to legitimize its actions, at least rhetorically, regarding its various territorial and sovereignty disputes: from Xinjiang and Tibet to Taiwan and the islands of the East and South China Seas. All of this means that Westphalia can probably be expected to remain firmly in place as a core tenet of international order under Chinese leadership, even if the application of Westphalian norms will look cynical and opportunistic to observers in the west.
If China does reassert sovereignty as an inviolable cornerstone of international organization then it will be a hammer blow to western interventionists on both the right and left. This is partly what Krasner means when he concludes that “the world would be a very different place than it is now if an autocratic China became the indispensable nation.”
Not everybody in the west would be sad to see a reduction in of overseas interventions, of course, but if it takes Chinese preponderance to curtail the west’s adventurism then this might leave a bitter taste—especially if it comes accompanied by other changes to international order. An uncertain future impends.
Peter Harris - The National Interest


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III
The China Model: a Civilizational-State Perspective

China’s dramatic rise should be understood in the context of China as a civilizational state, i.e. an amalgam of the world’s oldest continuous civilization and a huge modern state which is a product of hundreds of states amalgamated into one over the past thousands of years of history. The state is characterized by four factors: a super-large population, a super-sized territory, a super-long history and a super-rich culture, which have in term shaped all the key features of China’s development model, with all its possible ramifications for the future trajectory of China and beyond.
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As we know, China, or the rise of China, remains controversial in the West for all kinds of reasons. Indeed, over the past 30 or so years, the Chinese state has often been portrayed in the Western media as a dichotomy of a repressive regime clinging to power and a society led by pro-democracy dissidents bordering on rebellion, and some Europeans, for instance, in Oslo, still view China as an enlarged East Germany or Belarus awaiting a color revolution.
This perception has led many China-watchers in the West to confidently crystal-ball a pessimistic future for China: the regime would collapse after the Tiananmen event in 1989; China would follow in the footsteps of the Soviet Union in its disintegration; chaos would engulf China after Deng Xiaoping’s death; the prosperity of Hong Kong would fade with its return to China; the explosion of SARS would be China’s Chernobyl; China would fall apart after its WTO entry; and chaos would ensue following the 2008 global financial tsunami. Yet all these forecasts turned out to be wrong: it is not China that has collapsed, but all the forecasts about China’s collapse that have “collapsed”.
This unimpressive track record of crystal-balling China’s future reminds us of the need to look at this huge and complex country in a more objective way, and perhaps with an approach adopted by the great German philosopher G. W. Leibniz (1646–1716) to focus on how the Chinese developed what he called “natural religion” or the secular application of ethics and political philosophy to social, economic and political governance. If we are freed from ideological hang-ups, we may come to see that what has happened over the past three decades in China is arguably the greatest economic and social revolution in human history: over 400 million people have been lifted out of poverty, with all the implications of this success for China and the rest of the world.
China has in fact performed better than all other developing countries combined over the past 3 decades, as 70% of world’s poverty eradication has taken place in China. China has performed better than all transition economies combined, as the Chinese economy has increased about 18 fold since 1979, while Eastern Europe, as an example, only 1-fold, albeit from different starting point. China has also performed better than many developed countries, and its ‘developed regions’ with a population of about 300 million, the size of the US population, today in many ways match the developed economies in southern Europe in overall prosperity, and China’s first-tier cities like Shanghai may aready surpass New York in many ways, in terms of ‘hardware’ such as airports, subways, bullet trains, shopping facilities and city skylines, and in terms of ‘software’ such as life expectancy, child mortality rate and street safety.
China has its share of problems, some of which are serious and require earnest solution, but China’s overall success is beyond doubt. How can this success be explained? Some claim that it is due to foreign direct investment, but Eastern Europe has received far more FDI in per capita terms; some claim that it’s due to China’s cheap labour, but India and many developing countries offer cheaper labour; some claim that it’s due to an authoritarian government, but there are authoriatian governments, as the concept is defined by the West, everywhere in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and in the Arab world. None of them have accomplished what China has achieved.
If none of these explanations can clarify China’s success, one should be encouraged to think outside the box. To this author, it is essentially due to the nature of China as a state, and the Chinese model of development.
China is not an enlarged East Germany or Belarus. Nor is China another ordinary state; China is a civilizational state, arguably the world’s only one, as China is the only country in the world with a history of unified state for over 2000 years, and it is the world’s only continuous civilization lasting over 5000 years and it is the world’s only amalgam of an ancient civilization and a huge modern state.
An inaccurate analogy would be something like the ancient Roman Empire continuing to this day as a unified modern state with a centralized government, modern economy, all its diverse traditions and cultures and a huge population speaking the same language called Latin.
This kind of country is bound to be unique: China is an amalgamation of four factors, namely, a super-large population, a super-sized territory, a super-long history and a super-rich culture. China has a population larger than the total populations of the 27 Europe Union countries, the USA, Russia and Japan combined. China’s Spring Festival in 2012 saw 3.1 billion visits via China’s vast transportation networks, something equivelant to moving the whole populations of North and South America, Europe, Russia, Japan and Africa from one place to another in less than a month. This is the scale of the country as well as the challenges and opportunities it faces.
China has a super-sized landscape, a continent by itself, with unimaginable regional diversity. China has super-entrenched historical traditions on everything one could think of, often traditions spanning thousands of years, ranging from political governance, statecraft and economics, to philosophy, medicine, military strategy and way of life. China has a super-rich culture, including one of the world’s most sophisticated literatures and architectures. Perhaps there is no better example to illustrate this richness than the Chinese cuisine: there are 8 main schools of cuisine and their countless sub-schools, each of the 8 main schools is arguably richer than the French cuisine in terms of contents and variety.
So a civilizational state is a product of hundreds of states amalgamated into one over thousands of years of history. The four ‘supers’, to this author, have shaped China’s unique development model, of which 8 features can be distilled:
First, it’s guiding philosophy is called ‘seeking truth from facts’. This is an ancient Chinese concept revived by the late leader Deng Xiaoping after the failure of the utopian Cultural Revolution. Deng believed that facts rather than ideological dogmas — whether from East or West — should serve as the ultimate criterion for establishing truth. Beijing concluded, from examining facts, that neither the Soviet Communist model nor the Western liberal democracy model really worked for a developing country in terms of achieving modernization. Hence China decided in 1978 to explore its own path of development and to adopt a pragmatic, trial-and-error approach for its massive modernization program. This is the philosophical underpining of the China model.
Second, putting people’s livelihood first. This is a very traditional concept of political governance in China. In this context, Deng Xiaoping prioritized poverty eradication as China’s no.1 task and pursued a down-to-earth strategy to wipe out poverty. China’s reform started first in the countryside, as at that time most Chinese lived in the countryside. The success of the rural reform set the Chinese economy moving and created a positive chain reaction leading to the rise of millions of small and medium-siezed enterprises, which soon accounted for more than half of China’s industrial output, thus paving the way for the rapid expansion of China’s manufacturing industries and foreign trade.
China is arguably correcting a neglect in the range of human rights advocated by the West, which tend to focus exclusively on civil and political rights. This feature of ‘putting people’s livelihood first’ may have long-term implications for the half of the world’s population who still live in poverty.
Third, stability as a pre-condition for development. As a civilizational state, its ethnic, religious, linguistic and regional diversity is among the highest in the world, and hence this condition has shaped what may be called ‘the collective psyche’ of the Chinese, i.e., most people revere stability and fear ‘luan’, the Chinese word for chaos, and the Chinese political culture is deeply rooted in the concept of ‘taipingshengshi’: prosperity in peace, or peace with prosperity. Deng Xiaoping’s penchant for stability derives in part from his understanding of Chinese history: in a span of nearly one and a half centuries, from 1840, when the British launched the Opium War on China, to the begining of the reform in late 1978, China’s longest continuous period of peace and stability lasted no more than 8 to 9 years; the country was in constant turmoil and suffered from repeated foreign aggressions, civil wars, peasant uprisings and self-inflicted ideological frenzy. By now China had for the first time in its modern history enjoyed a sustained stability for over three decades, and China has created an economic miracle.
Fourth, gradual reform. Given the size and complexity of the country, Deng Xiaoping set out a strategy that is often described as ‘crossing a river by feeling for stepping stones’, and he encouraged experiments for all major reform initiatives, as exemplified by China’s special economic zones, where new ideas were tested, such as land sale, high-tech joint ventures and an export-oriented economy. Only when new initiatives are shown to work are they extended nationwide. China has rejected ‘shock therapy’ and worked through the existing, imperfect institutions while gradually reforming them to serve modernization. This cautious approach has enabled China to maintain much needed political stablity and avoided paralysing failures as was the case with the former Soviet Union and ex-Yugoslavia.
Fifth, correct priorities and sequence. In line with the gradual approach, China’s reform has demonstrated a clear pattern of change: rural reforms first, urban ones second; changes in coastal areas first, inland second; economic reforms first, political ones second. In a nutshell, easy reforms before more difficult ones. The advantage of this approach is that the experiences and lessons gained in the first stage of reform create conditions for the next stage of change. Underpining this approach is China’s philosophical tradition of holistic thinking. Deng Xiaoping mapped out a 70-year strategy for modernizing China by the middle of the 21st century, and China is still pursuing this strategy today. This feature contrasts sharply with the populist, short-term politics so prevalent in much of the world today.
Sixth, a mixed economy. China has tried to combine the strength of the invisible hand of the market force with the visible hand of the state intervention, in part to correct market failures. China’s economic system is thus called ‘socialist market economy’. When the market force is released by China’s gigantic economic change, the Chinese state has done its utmost to ensure a macro political and economic stability, and the state has steered the country out of harm’s way in both the Asian financial crisis of 1997 and the current financial tsunami.
Seventh, opening up to the outside world. With no messanic tradition of converting others, China represents a secular culture where learning from others is highly virtuous. China has retained its long tradition of ‘selective cultural borrowing’ from outside world, including drawing on useful elements from the neo-liberal Washington consensus such as its emphasis on enterpreneruship and international trade. But Beijing always safeguards its policy space and draws on foreign ideas selectively. Opening up to international competition has allowed China to become one of the most competitive economies in the world.
Last but not least, a rather disinterested and enlightened strong state. China’s change has been led by an enlightened developmental state. The Chinese state is capable of shaping national consensus on the need for reform and modernization and ensuring overall political and macroeconomic stability and persuing hard strategic objectives, such as enforcing banking sector reforms, carrying out state-owned enterprise reforms, implementing necessary industrial policies and stimulating the economy against the global downturn. This feature originates from China’s Confucian tradition of a benevolent strong state established on the basis of meritocracy at all levels. After all, China is the country that invented the civil servant examination system over 1000 years ago.
With this tradition of meritocracy and performance legitimacy, Beijing now practices what can be called “selection plus some form of election” throughout its leadership structure. For instance, the criteria for becoming one of China’s top 9 leaders, i.e. members of the Standing Committe of the Political Bureau, require usually two terms of good performance as the top leader of a province, which is often the size of 4 to 5 average European states. With this system of meritocracy and performance legitimacy in place, whatever defects it may have, there is no chance for such incompetent leaders as Geroge W. Bush to rise to the top echelon of power.
The relative success of China since 1979 shows that whatever the political system, it must all boil down to good governance. In other words, the ultimate test of a good political system is to what extent it can ensure good governance. The stereotyped dichotomy of democracy vs. autocracy sounds increasingly hollow in today’s complex world, given the large numbers of poorly governed “democracies”. China’s idea may eventually shape a paradigm shift from the dichotomy of democracy vs. autocracy to that of good governance vs. bad governance.
Good governance may take the form of the Western political system as in the case of, perhaps, Switzerland, or the form of a non-Western political system as in the case of Singapore and Hong Kong. China, with all its shortcomings, is a much better governed country than most developing countries. Likewise, bad governance may take the form of the Western political system as in the case of Haiti, Iraq, Mongolia, Ukraine and the recently bankrupt Iceland and Greece, and it may also take the form of a non-Western political system as in the case of Burma.
It follows that, from the Chinese point of view, the nature of a state, including its legitimacy, has to be defined more by its substance, i.e., good governance, than by its procedures. China emphasizes substance over procedures, believing that ultimately the right substance will evolve into the right procedures, appropriate to each nation’s own conditions. Good governance should be an objective of all governments in the world, and the developing world is faced with the mounting challenge of political reform in order to achieve good governance. The same is true for the developed world, given the scale of crises across Japan, Europe and the United States.
China is now the world’s largest laboratory for economic, social and political change. China’s successful economic reforms may have set a pattern for its future political change: a gradual, experimental and accumulative approach, and assimilating whatever is good in Chinese and foreign ideas and practices. After more than a century of devastating wars and revolutions, and after three decades of successful economic reforms, most Chinese seem willing to continue with its own imperfect yet efficient model of development, and this model seems to blend reasonably well with China’s own civilization of several millenia — including 20 or so dynasties, seven of which lasted longer than the whole of U.S. history.
China is going through its own industrial and social revolutions. Imperfections are abundant, and the country is still faced with many challenges such as fighting corruption and reducing gaps between regions and between rich and poor. But China is likely to continue to evolve along its own successful model, rather than embracing other models.
With China’s further ascendance, the China model may well become more influential internationally. While China’s experience is largely indigenous and will be difficult to copy by other countries with different cultural traditions, certain ideas and practices from the China model such as ‘seeking truth from facts ’, putting people’s livelihood first, gradual and experimental approach to change, ‘good governance matters more than democratization’, may have broader international appeal.
Indeed, the world is witnessing a wave of change from a vertical world order, in which the West is above the rest in both wealth and ideas, to a more horizontal order, in which the rest, notably China, will be on a par with the West in both wealth and ideas. This is an unprecedented shift of economic and political gravity in human history, which will change the world forever.

Zhang Weiwei is professor of international relations at Fudan Universty and senior fellow at Chunqiu Institute, China, and a visiting professor at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations. His recent publications include a bestseller in China "The China Wave, Rise of a Civilizational State".



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IV
Zhang Weiwei: The China Wave



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