I am currently working on two research agendas:
rising powers as global security actors
Rising Powers and Norm Contestation:
Norm Begrudgers in International Politics
How do we understand the different ways that rising powers respond to changes in an international order – the ‘rules and norms’ of global politics – especially when those changes in an international order deviate from their ideals or preferences? The literature assumes that rising powers execute norm resistance in a particular way. However, the literature overlooks a set of norm resistance practices used by rising powers in their ‘normative adolescence’ – when they are in the opening stage of their rise. These practices combined with the state’s identity highlight a missing norm role: the norm begrudger. In order to isolate this ideal type, I use a specific puzzle of the normative responses of India to the emerging norm of the responsibility to protect. Tracing India’s response from the inception of the norm to its application in the recent Libya crisis at the UN Security Council, I find that India only briefly engaged as a norm antipreneur, before assuming the role of the norm begrudger. I use a shadow case of China at the UN Security Council in the 1970s to highlight generalisability beyond the India case. My findings contribute to the broader discussion about normative contestation, implications for cooperation with norm resisters, and understandings of rising powers in international politics. I develop my analysis based on publicly-available sources and elite interviews with foreign ministry and United Nations officials in New Delhi, New York and Beijing.
Theorising ‘Global Security Providers’
(with Shing-Hon Lam)
What are ‘global security providers’ and ‘net providers of security’? These terms are popular in the post-9/11 security environment, applied across a wide range of security actors to include rising powers like China and India, and smaller states like Romania and Montenegro. Essentially, these countries and international organisations have very little in common. The fact that they are all called as global security providers reflects vague and inconsistent understanding of what ‘global security providers’ really mean. This article forms a typology of ‘global security providers.’ We argue that the term promotes benign transitions in the liberal world order to envelop small powers and to enmesh rising powers into providing out-of-area security. To explain our arguments, we investigate three representative case studies each involving two dyads of security transitions examining rising powers and smaller East European countries.
UNDERSTANDING NORMATIVE CHANGE & THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT
Just Not In The Neighbourhood:
China's Views on the Application of the Responsibility to Protect in the DPRK
This project is the first of its kind to systematically investigate how China responds to the linking of the responsibility to protect to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), following the 2014 publication of the UN Commission of Inquiry Report. The nascent academic literature on the responsibility to protect and the DPRK offers little comment on China’s role. I find that in contrast to China’s record of largely proactive and positive engagement with the norm, the DPRK case is an outlier for China. China does not acknowledge the application of the responsibility to protect, although it is invoked within the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document standards, which China calls for. Instead, China outright dismisses the application of the responsibility to protect to the DPRK, and supplements this dismissal with rhetorical adaptation and bureaucratic tactics that seek to inhibit the norm. Ironically, China’s actions to limit the norm, even in the present where the enthusiasm for the responsibility to protect is at its nadir post-Libya, is an indicator of China’s view that the norm has the potential to spur non-consensual intervention. My research explains why China regards the DPRK as a ‘non-case’ for the responsibility to protect, and draws upon an extensive use of Chinese- and English-language documentation, and interviews with UN, Chinese, and Korean foreign policy elites.