SAM and İhsan Doğramacı Peace Foundation-Foreign Policy and Peace Research Center (FPPR) cooperated to host Prof. T.V. Paul, lecturer from McGill University Political Science Department and President-Elect of International Studies Association (ISA) for 2015-2016, who gave a conference on the subject of “Is Peaceful Accommodation of Rising Powers Possible?” in MFA building.
In his presentation, Prof. Paul pointed to the historical fact that the rise of new powers mostly caused great armed conflicts, and today’s rise of principal aspirants of global outreach such as China and Russia as well as other regional aspirants like India and Brazil should not precipitate the fateful mistakes of 1914, which might be ramped up over the potential conflict areas in Eastern Europe and East Asia. Alluding that a potential conflict is equally possible to be sparked by rising power or descending power, Paul cautioned that the side with a higher sense of temporal and geographical encirclement would be more prone to lash out and engage in confrontation.
In reference to the accommodation theses on international relations, Paul mentioned the liberal thesis centered around institution-building, and the realist thesis centered on the rising costs of war discouraging further conflict. He stressed that the process of accommodation requires the existing and aspiring global actors to mutually acknowledge and even partially adopt each other’s values, as well as settle territorial disputes and areas of influence, and that the acquiescence of regional countries is essential for a successful global accommodation.
On Turkey, Paul drew attention to the need for Turkey to maintain and develop her soft power through deepening her democracy, which is crucial for the surrounding region to be able to look towards a model and an object of hope for regional transformation.