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Middle Powers and Their Role in Global Affairs



  Jan 30, 2024

Middle Powers and Their Role in Global Affairs



Title: The Role of Middle Powers in Shaping a New Multilateral World Order

What Are Middle Powers?

Middle powers are influential states that, while not being superpowers or great powers, hold significant diplomatic, economic, and sometimes military influence. These countries, such as Australia, Canada, South Korea, Argentina, India, Brazil, and Indonesia, bridge the gap between superpowers and smaller nations in global affairs.

Why Do Middle Powers Matter?

They are crucial in forming new multilateralism frameworks to address global challenges. As nations that are neither superpowers nor minor players, they bring unique perspectives and solutions to international issues.

Recent Developments:

At the Davos 2024 session titled ‘Middle Powers in a Multipolar World,’ experts discussed the evolving role of middle powers. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres emphasized the urgent need to act against existential threats like climate change and unregulated AI development. He suggested that middle powers could be instrumental in building a new multipolar global order.

Changing Definitions:

The term ‘middle power’ is evolving. Some countries traditionally seen as middle powers, like India, are rising in stature. The term might be better described as “states with global influence”.

Examples of Middle Power Influence:

Dino Patti Djalal, from the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia, noted the increasing role of middle powers across all regions.
Graham Allison of Harvard Kennedy School mentioned the collective strength of the European Union as an example of middle power influence.

Impact on Multilateralism:

Middle powers can lead to more robust multilateralism, not fragmentation. Their diverse alignments and participation in various organizations add depth to global order and international relations.

The Way Forward:

The World Economic Forum’s whitepaper, ‘Shaping Cooperation in a Fragmenting World,’ proposes a “middle/major powers” grouping. This diplomatic mechanism would bring together Western major and middle powers with non-Western ones to leverage their influence on the global stage.

Conclusion:

Middle powers play a vital role in global politics, acting as catalysts for cooperation and stabilizing forces in a multipolar world. Their involvement is key to addressing structural global problems and promoting fair and equitable international relations.

SRIRAM’s


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