Rising Powers and the Politics of Status: China and India in the Liberal International Order

Why do rising powers sometimes challenge an international order that enables their growth, and at other times support an order that constrains them? Based on a recently published book, Ascending Order: Rising Powers and the Politics of Status in International Institutions (Cambridge University Press), this talk will offer the first comprehensive study of conflict and cooperation as new powers join the global arena. International institutions shape the choices of rising states as they pursue equal status with established powers. Open membership rules and fair decision-making procedures facilitate equality and cooperation, while exclusion and unfairness frequently produce conflict. These dynamics will be explored in three historical cases: Japan in the interwar period, India in the Cold War, and China in the post-Cold War international order.

Rohan Mukherjee is an assistant professor of international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science.