A REALIST/LIBERALIST VIEW ON CONTEMPORARY GREAT POWER RELATIONS: WHERE DOES AFRICA STAND?

Austine Okere, Anas Elochukwu

Abstract


The stability of the international system depends on the progression of relations between and among “Great Powers.” Even though China does not consider herself a Great Power, her rhetoric and actions show tremendous influence on international relations (IR). While the realist and liberalist have varying explanations for contemporary events, this paper uses their theoretical postulations to review contemporary USA-China relations. The paper also uses such theoretical underpinnings to predict potential areas of conflicts (and if escalated, a possible war) and how such contemporary situation draws from classical IR theories. This paper argues that the actions and inactions of the US and China in areas of cyber security, politico-economic issues around the South-China Sea (and the Pacific), as well as an ‘x-factor’ event(s) have the potential to cause further conflicts and even war between these contemporary power poles. The paper adds to existing literature on Great Power relations with the developing world using the African continent as a unit for analysis. It concludes that Great Power relations and conflicts can be considered in their attempt to win either Africa’s support (however tacit) to sustain or reformation global governance systems. This could be by either by power balancing (as indicated by the realist) or international cooperation and institutionalization (as indicated by the liberalist).

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