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The Challenges facing Developing Countries in their International Relations

(Global Economic Governance Program, Oxford Policy Institute Lecture Series, 14 February 2000)

5. The Third World and World Order in the Twenty-first Century: The Impact of Intrusive Regionalism

Abstract: A dominant perspective in international relations has argued that the end of the Cold War would unleash substantially greater regional disorder in the Third World. This presentation however, argues that regional order and disorder in the post-Cold War era depend on other factors besides the international distribution of power. The differential impact of the end of the Cold War on regional order in the Third World can be explained by the varied interplay of norms in the regions. Traditional norms of sovereignty and non-interference that always played a significant role in Third World regionalism are now under duress. The redefinition of these norms may be traced to the fact that some Westphalian norms have been internationally undermined in the post-Cold War era. The changing nexus of regionalism, sovereignty and security is likely to produce different regional orders across the Third World.