Multipolarity and Stability in Asia
This thesis considers the relationship between multipolarity and stability in Asia. Stability can be perceived as a system’s tendency towards equilibrium and will be examined in terms of war avoidance of the great powers and the stability of the distribution of power in the region. In the next twenty or thirty years, Asia will be increasingly multipolar in the form of either three powers (the United States (US), China, and India) or four (the US, China, India and Japan). I argue that a more multipolar Asia will reduce the likelihood of great power wars because of increasing economic interdependence and the calculations by states of their national interests. However, in terms of the stability of the distribution of power, the new distribution of power will involve a balance between the US, China and India, but it still remains contested due to questions raised about China’s and India’s legitimacy. In general, while Asia is more likely to be stable in Asia if it is multipolar, the likelihood of conflicts between China and India remains an open question. I conclude that the stability in Asia depends not only on the structure of the system but also other factors such as these major states’ uncontrolled actions and behaviors in response to other states in the system.