Prof. Dr. Joseph S. Nye
Rede auf der 45. Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz - 07.02.2009
|Redner:||Nye, Prof. Dr. Joseph S.|
|Funktion:||Vorsitzender der Trilateralen Komission|
|Land / Organisation:||Nord Amerika, Boston|
American leadership has been justifiably criticized in recent years, but it is difficult to see successful responses to global challenges without it. An American foreign policy that focuses on global public goods – things everyone can consume without diminishing their availability to others – will be essential to meeting the crisis of global governance. Such an approach could also help America reconcile its preponderant power with others’ interests.
A small country can benefit from peace in its region, freedom of the seas, open trade, control of infectious diseases or stability in financial markets at the same time that the United States does without either diminishing the benefits to the U.S. or others. Of course, pure public goods are rare. Most public goods only partially approach the ideal case of clean air, where none can be excluded and all can benefit simultaneously. Global climate change – which I discuss further below -- is probably the most dramatic current case.
According to the logic of collective action, if the largest beneficiary of a public good (like the U.S.) does not take the lead in providing disproportionate resources toward its provision, the smaller beneficiaries are unlikely to be able to produce it because of the difficulties of organizing collective action when large numbers are involved. While this responsibility of the largest often lets others become “free riders,” the alternative is that the collective bus does not move forward at all.
In 2007, the Center for International and Strategic Studies sponsored a bipartisan “Smart Power Commission” that recommended such an approach. The terms and recommendations of the Smart Power Commission have begun to be accepted in Washington today. The United States could gain doubly, both from the public goods themselves, and from the way they legitimize preponderant power in the eyes of others. America can learn from the lesson of Great Britain in the 19th century, when it was also a preponderant power and took the lead in maintaining the balance of power among the major states in Europe; promoting an open international economic system; and maintaining freedom of the seas.
All three issues translate relatively well to the current situation. Maintaining regional balances of power and dampening local incentives to use force to change borders provides a public good for many (but not all) countries. Similarly, maintaining open global markets is a necessary (though not sufficient) condition for alleviating poverty in poor countries even as it benefits the United States. To keep the system open, the United States must resist protectionism at home and support international economic institutions such as the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that provide a framework of rules for the world economy.
Like l9th century Britain, America has an interest keeping international commons, such the oceans, open to all. Today, however, the international commons include new issues such as global climate change, preservation of endangered species, and the uses of outer space, as well as the “virtual commons” of cyberspace. But on some issues, such as the global climate, the United States has failed to lead. The establishment of rules that preserves access for all remains as much a public good today as in the 19th century, even though some of the issues are more complex.
These three classic global public goods enjoy a reasonable consensus in American public opinion. There are also three new dimensions of global public goods in today’s world. First, the United States should lead in helping to develop and maintain international regimes of laws and institutions to organize international actions to deal with not just trade and environment, but proliferation, peacekeeping, human rights and other concerns. The U.S. benefits from the order they provide, but so do others. Unilateralists complain that the United States is constrained by international regimes, but so are others.
The Smart Power Commission recommended that the U.S. should make international development a higher priority, for it is also an important global public good. Much of the poor majority of the world is mired in vicious circles of disease, poverty, and political instability. Financial and scientific help from rich countries is important not only for humanitarian reasons, but to prevent failed states from becoming sources of disorder for the rest of the world. Here the record is less impressive. Protectionist trade measures often hurt poor countries most, and foreign assistance is generally unpopular with the American public. Development will take a long time, and the international community needs to explore better ways to make sure that help actually reaches the poor, but both prudence and a concern for soft power suggest that the U.S. should lead in development.
Finally, as a preponderant power, the United States can provide an important public good by acting as a mediator and convenor. By using its good offices to mediate conflicts in places like Northern Ireland, Morocco, and the Aegean Sea, the U.S. has helped in shaping international order in ways that are beneficial to other nations. The Middle East is the crucial current case. It is sometimes tempting to let intractable conflicts fester, and there are some situations where other countries can more effectively play the mediator’s role. Even when the U.S. does not want to take the lead, it can share with other such as Europe as in the Balkans. But often the United States is the only country that can bring parties together. And when successful, such leadership increases American soft power at the same time that it reduces a source of instability. The United States can also encourage other countries to share in production of such public goods. Welcoming the rise of Chinese power in terms of China becoming a “responsible stakeholder” is an invitation to begin such a dialogue.
Climate change presents perhaps the most dramatic example of a global challenge involving all countries. External shocks brought about by climate change will directly affect advanced economies, but they may also have indirect effects by aggravating the disparities between developed and developing countries and creating additional incentives for mass migration to rich, less affected and more adaptable regions. In addition, climate change will put stress on weak governments in poor countries and may lead to an increase in the number of failed states.
If security means protecting vital interests, climate change has both direct and indirect effects on security. If rising sea levels flood the Maldive Islands, the effects of climate change would be as devastating as a nuclear bomb, and even for the United States the damage to Florida, the Chesapeake, and San Francisco bay areas could be as costly as the effects of bombing. Such direct effects of human activities, while not malevolent in intention like terrorism, argue for a broadening of our concept of security and the adoption of new policies. Climate changes may also be an indirect source of international conflict. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon argued in 2007 that the Darfur conclict “began as an ecological crisis, arising in part from climate change.”
There are two basic instruments to reduce carbon emissions and thus mitigate global warming. Technological innovation and increased energy efficiency have considerable potential. For example carbon sequestration is a technology which allows the capture and storage of carbon in underground geological formations and deep oceans. Thus, less carbon dioxide gets released into the atmosphere. However, technological innovation alone is unlikely to be sufficient. The other basic instrument includes economic incentives and disincentives. The so-called emissions trading system allocates tradable permits and aims to control carbon emissions. A different method is a carbon tax, which would reduce consumpiton of fossil fuels.
Climate change requires a reframing of security policy. For example, in 2007, China surpassed the United States as the world’s leading emitter of carbon dioxide. China points out, however, that on a per capita basis, each of its citizens is responsible for only one-fifth the emissions of an American. China, India and other countries argue that the economic development of rich countries caused most of the existing problem, and it is only fair that developing countries should not have to cut back their emissions until the reach the rich countries’ levels of emissions. But this is a formula for global disaster. The world climate is affected by the total emissions, not where they originate.
China uses coal, a particularly CO2-intensive fuel, for 70 percent of its commercial energy supply while coal accounts for a third of America’s total energy. China builds about one new coal-fired power plant each week. Coal is cheap and widely available in China, which is important as the country scrambles for energy resources to keep the many energy-intensive industries running. What can the U.S. or other rich countries do about this security threat? The bombs, bullets and embargos of traditional security policy are irrelevant.
A 2007 report from the International Energy Agency, (which was created after the 1973 oil crisis to provide policy advice to industrial countries) urged a cooperative approach to helping China and India become more energy efficient. In other words, to promote their own security, the United States and other rich countries may have to forge a partnership with China, India and others to develop creative ideas, technologies and policies from preventing dangerous climate change. In this sense, empowering China to deal better with its emissions problems will also benefit other countries. In relation to new global challenges, power relations can be positive sum rather than zero sum, and leadership is most effective when it is shared and empowers others. Overall the issue of climate change is increasingly recognized as one of the transnational challenges with greatest environmental, economic and security implications, and one that will require us to revise our concepts of security, leadership and global governance.
The United States is likely to remain the preponderant power in world politics well into the 21st century, and the leadership of the largest country will remain essential to meeting the challenges of global governance. But the United States will have to learn to work with other countries to build institutions and share leadership. That will require combining the soft power of attraction with hard power into a “smart power” strategy of providing global public goods.
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