Shifting powers – Opportunities, challenges and risks brought forth by changed power structures
The new millennium seems to have marked the beginning of a multipolar world order. Under this motto, numerous contributions responded to our call for papers. With authors from three continents, the thematic field of contributions was just as diverse as wide ranging in opinions. Out of a tough competition, IFAIR had to choose a winner: First placed is a convincingly vivid depiction of power shifts through New Media in Russia by Niklas Kossow. The second place goes to Sebastian Haug and the third to Ole Engel, both with a scrupulous analysis of a new ‘scramble for Africa’. Beginning with Niklas Kossow, these articles will be published on IFAIR.eu as a special series “Shifting Powers” in the next couple of weeks.
The numerous contributions that responded to our call for papers were wide ranging in opinions: Although changes in the global ‘soft’ as well as ‘hard’ power structure are declared, arguments for an embeddedness of the Western international relations in firm law is claimed to be their continuing prime advantage. In the same line, the argument is made that Western norms are and have been spreading from which the West will profit no matter the de-facto power structures. On the other hand, it is concluded that a decline of the West is, at least relatively, inevitable even if the US public is calmed by apparent ‘defeated enemies’ like Sadam Hussein or Osama Bin Laden. For the future, the case is made that the West needs to demonstrate its capacity to respond to relevant international crisis: with a clear practical call for sanctioning Iran for its nuclear program before war is the only option.
Out of this tough competition, IFAIR had to choose a winner: First placed is a convincingly vivid depiction of power shifts through New Media in Russia by Niklas Kossow – a “stealthy revolution” as he calls it. The second place goes to Sebastian Haug and the third to Ole Engel, both with a scrupulous analysis of a new ‘scramble for Africa’: While Sebastian Haug asks for the challenges this poses for Western development cooperation in particular – if China takes a role as new “norm-maker”, Ole Engel constates a dramatic shift in the economic realm with a potential for “a more self-defined rule system” for Africa. Beginning with Niklas Kossow, the articles will be published on IFAIR.eu in the next weeks.
We congratulate our three winners but especially thank everybody for their participation, huge effort and the sharing of their ideas. Niklas Kossow will of course receive his well-earned price – Professor Daniel Drezner’s book ‘Theories of International Politics and Zombies’.
Last but not least, the contributions inspired us to further add to a deeper understanding of the various facets of the subject: Within the next few months, IFAIR is planning to conduct a panel discussion drawing on the merits of the contributions.
Picture Source: aboutpixel.de © Jörg Kleinschmidt