Asia's Response to Climate Change and Natural Disasters: Implications for an Evolving Regional Architecture

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CSIS, 2010 - Political Science - 124 pages
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CSIS scholars examine how Asia as region is responding to the nontraditional and transboundary security threats of climate change and natural disasters, and what it means for the evolution of regional institutions to meet future challenges.The assessment looks broadly at two areas of nontraditional security cooperation in Asia: (1) climate change, including both the domestic political factors in Asia and the regional strategies for securing low-carbon pathways in anticipation of coordinated efforts to ameliorate climate change; and (2) regional approaches to disaster management. The volume concludes with an inventory of the structures for joint action in Asia and draws on case studies to assess the utility of existing and emerging institutions as the United States and the region seek greater cooperation on traditional and nontraditional security challenges.Although Asia lacks, and is not likely to develop, a single umbrella organization such as the EU or NATO, the study concludes that the region's patchwork of overlapping institutions can work to address problems in response to local environmental hazards and natural disasters but also to other security threats. Responses are effective when there is consensus on common threats and interests and when individual governments are willing to take on responsibility for forging collective action.Looking ahead, particularly with respect to U.S. policy, we believe that U.S. role will continue to be critical in supporting the region's response to many of the natural disasters it will face. At the same time, the United States should seek to focus Asia's attention increasingly on the long-term threat of climate change and other slow-onset disasters. As the authors demonstrate, not only is the region expected to be a major victim of the consequences of climate change, but it is also a source of the threat itself. If the twenty-first century is the Asian century, how the United States conducts itself as an Asian power will say much about its status as the critical actor in global affairs. The success of the United States in engaging with regional institutions will say much about how Asian states view the United States and its contribution to regional peace and stability. Overestimating the breadth and reach of the emerging regional architecture would be unwise. Underestimating the role of regional institutions, however, has the potential to unseat the United States in its status as the guarantor of Asia's security. This volume presents at least one effort to estimate the limits and aspirations of Asia's evolving regional architecture in a real-world context.

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The Politics of Climate Change in Asia
Secure LowCarbon Pathways in Asia
Asian Regional Institutions and Climate Change
Disaster Management in Asia The Promise of Regional Architecture
The Geometry of Asias Architecture Traditional and Transnational Security
Abbreviations and Acronyms
About the Contributors

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About the author (2010)

Charles W. Freeman III holds the Freeman Chair in China Studies at CSIS. He concentrates on the political economy of China and other parts of East Asia and on U.S.-China relations. Mr. Freeman was formerly assistant U.S. trade representative for China affairs, where he oversaw U.S. efforts to integrate China into the global trading architecture of the World Trade Organization. Currently, he is a senior adviser to McLarty Associates and serves on the boards of directors of the National Committee of U.S.-China Relations and the Harding-Loevner emerging market fund group. Freeman received his J.D. from Boston University School of Law.Michael J. Green is a senior adviser and holds the Japan Chair at CSIS, as well as being an associate professor of international relations at Georgetown University. Dr. Green previously served as special assistant to the president for national security affairs and senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council (NSC) from January 2004 to December 2005, after joining the NSC in April 2001 as director of Asian affairs with responsibility for Japan, Korea, and Australia/New Zealand. His current research and writing focus on Asian regional architecture, Japanese politics, and U.S. foreign policy in Asia. Dr. Green received his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

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