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Rising Powers Initiative

The Rising Powers Initiative, a research program hosted by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, consists of three main projects:

  • Worldviews of Aspiring Powers: Exploring Foreign Policy Debates Abroad,
  • Power and Identity in Asia: Implications for Regional Cooperation, and
  • Asia's Economic Challenges

"Worldviews of Aspiring Powers"consists of two phases.

  • The first phase of this project (2009-2011) focused on identifying and tracking the internal foreign policy debates in five countries: China, Japan, India, Russia, and Iran. The strategic awakening and reawakening of these countries is leading to domestic debates about their own national security, international economic policymaking, image and power, and US global leadership. The research team developed a "schools of thought" framework useful for comparative analysis. An edited volume entitled Worldviews of Aspiring Powers is forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2012.
  • Phase 2 of this project (2011-2013) aims to apply the framework developed from Phase 1 by exposing the domestic debates in rising pwoers to a Washington audience. The second phase adds a component on energy, maritime security, and nuclear power that examines how different schools of thought react to these issues. The project will bring domestic perspectives on energy and maritime security together with differing views on nuclear power and nonproliferation in China, India, Japan, and Korea for the first time. This research produces fortnightly Policy Alerts and will publish an edited book volume entitled, The Asian Energy Security Complex: Maritime Security, Nuclear Energy and Nonproliferation and U.S. Policy Implications, along with numerous publications nad major conferences and policy briefings in the United States and Asia.

The "Power and Identity in Asia" project aims to deepen understanding of how identity issues and power transitions affect the international policies of China, India, Japan, Korea, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). This is essential for addressing two issues: first, whether international relations in Asia in the forseeable future are likely to be characterized by cooperation and regional integration or by security tensions and interstate war; second, assessing the dominant security orientations of the powers studied regarding cooperation with the United States and United States leadership in Asia.

"Asia's Economic Challenges"- No in-depth analysis of Asia's rising and major powers is complete without a thorough study of the many dynamic economic issues in the region. A team of five GWU experts working with scholars in Asia and GWU student research assistants examines the regional and global economic impact and challenges of aspiring Asian powers, with a focus on teh economic policies of China, India, Japan, and Korea. In particular, this project investigates the rise of green industrial policy; trade, finance, and economic policy in China, Japan, and Korea; China's monetary policy coordination with the United States; international economic relationships in India; and India's economic relations with China. Under this project, the Sigur Center has launched an Asian Economic Events series which brings leading experts from Asia and around the United States to GWU for public lectures. The Asian Powers and Economic Challenges project culminates in spring 2014 wich a major international research conference at the Sigur Center at which the project participants present their research.

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