Rethinking the end of the Cold War and Francis Fukuyama’s ‘End of History’ hyphothesis

Title: Rethinking the end of the Cold War and Francis Fukuyama’s ‘End of History’ hyphothesis

Author: Đỗ Thị Thủy

Source: International Studies, No. 24, June 2011, pp. 239-260.

Abstract:

The year 1991 marked a turning point in the world history – one of the two superpowers (the Soviet Union – USSR) collapsed, putting an end to the bipolar system and nearly half a century of the intense confrontation between the United States (US) & the USSR in their global Cold War. Two decades have passed since that day but scholars keep debating about its end, perhaps no less heated as they did about its origins. The fact that no single international relations theory managed to predict such an end and even had difficulties explaining it makes the end of the Cold War more attractive and controversial for both historians and theorists. Coming out right after this very end, Francis Fukuyama‟s book “The end of history and the last man” furthered the debate as it provoked the idea that the end of the Cold War would be the end of all kinds of IR theory and mankind‟s history toward a long-lasting peace and stability dominated by liberalism and Western values.

How can we explain the end of the Cold War? Did it really end? Why did IR theory fail to predict such an end? Is the end of the Cold War an end to theory and history? These questions have been and are still shaping a great debate between international historians and IR theorists. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Cold War‟s end – a perfect time for revisiting these issues. With the hope to contribute to the clarification of the aforesaid puzzles, this paper will review the debate and give its own assessment.

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APEC 2011 and the Future of Regional Architecture in Asia Pacific

Author: Vu, Le Thai Hoang, Ph.D. [1]

Source: International Studies, No. 24 (June – 2011), pp. 203-219.

Being the first-ever symbol of open regionalism[2] in Asia-Pacific since 1989, APEC with the principle of non-discrimination is seen as the premier forum to promote regional trade liberalization and economic integration while strengthening cooperation to address non-traditional security issues. In the overall regional strategy of the Obama Administration, APEC continues to serve as an important and most appropriate bridge to link US economic interests to regional economies, thereby helping the US achieve its short-term target of doubling exports within five years while delivering on its long-term “back-to-Asia” commitment and vision to consolidate leadership, at least economically, in the evolving two-pronged regional architecture to be founded on the East Asia Summit (EAS) (as the politico-security pillar) and APEC (as the economic pillar). 2011 when the US hosts APEC is a golden opportunity for the Obama Administration to create next breakthroughs in the grand journey to return to the region in all dimensions and in the immediate future earn significant points in the race for presidency for Obama himself. Continue reading “APEC 2011 and the Future of Regional Architecture in Asia Pacific”

Vietnam’s hedging strategy against China since normalization

Title: Vietnam’s hedging strategy against China since normalization

Author: Lê Hồng Hiệp

Source: Contemporary Southeast Asia, Volume 35, Number 3, December 2013, pp. 333-368.

Abstract:

Since the normalization of Sino-Vietnamese relations in 1991, Vietnam’s China policy has been shaped by a combination of approaches which can be best described as a multi-tiered, omni-directional hedging strategy. The article argues that hedging is the most rational and viable option for Vietnam to manage its relations with China given its historical experiences, domestic and bilateral conditions, as well as changes in Vietnam’s external relations and the international strategic environment. The article examines the four major components of this strategy, namely economic pragmatism, direct engagement, hard balancing and soft balancing. The article goes on to assess the significance of each component and details how Vietnam has pursued its hedging strategy towards China since normalization.

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The development of civil society and dynamics of governance in Vietnam’s one party rule

Title: The development of civil society and dynamics of governance in Vietnam’s one party rule

Author: Bùi Hải Thiêm

Source: Global Change, Peace & Security, 25:1, 77-93

Abstract:

Civil society has been in operation under one-party rule in Vietnam in the years since the Doi Moi (renewal) in 1986. Despite the continued monopoly of political power by the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), civil society has been gradually expanded and developed. The paper reviews recent arguments in the political science and area studies literature on the emergence of civil society in Vietnam’s Doi Moi period over the past two decades, to comment on the dynamics of the relationship between civil society and the party-state, problematizing the development of civil society in the context of a one-party-dominated state. At a certain level, civil society has been ‘tolerated’, ‘endorsed’, or recognized by the party state to fill a gap in the governance network. In practice, it has never been an easy project for civil society to make its way into Vietnamese society given the party-state’s Gramscian concession to maintain the existing hegemony.

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Vietnam’s Domestic–Foreign Policy Nexus: Doi Moi, Foreign Policy Reform, and Sino-Vietnamese Normalization

Title: Vietnam’s Domestic–Foreign Policy Nexus: Doi Moi, Foreign Policy Reform, and Sino-Vietnamese Normalization

Author: Lê Hồng Hiệp

Source: Asian Politics & Policy—Volume 5, Number 3—Pages 387–406.

Abstract:
This article examines the link between Vietnam’s adoption of the Doi Moi (renovation) policy and transformations in its China policy in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a case study of the domestic–foreign policy nexus. The article argues that during this period, changes in Vietnam’s foreign policy in general and its China policy in particular originated first and foremost from the Vietnamese Communist Party’s (VCP) domestic agenda of promoting economic reform and protecting the regime’s survival. As the VCP considered hostile relations with China as detrimental to both its economic reform and regime security, it strived to mend relations with China as quickly as possible. Against this backdrop, Vietnam made a number of important concessions to China regarding the Cambodian issue in order to accelerate the normalization process, which eventually concluded in late 1991.

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