Examining the Possibility of an Eastphalian International Order


SIYASAL-JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCES, vol.26, no.2, pp.111-130, 2017 (ESCI) identifier


This study provides insight into whether an Eastphalian international legal order is possible, and examines the role of China in particular, basing its arguments on concrete issues, rather than theoretical ones. This paper will first discuss the Eastphalian proposal, initially illustrating the main arguments for the Eastphalian order, and then discussing the possibility of an Eastphalia era. This study stresses that, as a growing international actor, China has the potential to affect the current international order in certain ways. However, these effects will not be enough to cause a transformation of that order, because there other determinative factors exist. This study identifies and assesses these determinative factors for Asia, and in particular China, seeing them as offering new autogenous principles and minimizing the problem of coherence in foreign policy, as well as helping establish a strong regional organization. While autogenous principles are an important way to distinguish a new era from the preceding one, there are several considerations that are equally vital for global acceptance and adoption of these autogenous principles that China would develop. This paper first discusses existing concerns with regard to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, on which China has based its foreign policy. Then, we will highlight coherence issues that have been raised with regard to China's strategies and practices. Finally, we will emphasize the importance of founding an organization that will facilitate regional cooperation in Asia. It is currently unclear whether an Eastphalian world order will manifest itself based on choices made by leading Asian powers, and we must ascertain how far this ideal is from being achieved. The current study contributes to the literature by providing more insight into this largely ignored topic.