February 27, 2018        Reading Time: 2 minutes

Your weekly digest of foreign policy commentary:

Reading Time: 2 min read

Ngaire Woods argues that a new form of international cooperation is emerging. Image credit – palinchak / deposit photo.



Grand Bargain Versus Incremental Approach to Disarm North Korea, Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, by Tong Zhao, Fellow in Carnegie’s Nuclear Policy Program

“The North Korean regime, if pushed into a corner, would be more likely to resort to nuclear brinkmanship…”

  • Tong Zhao suggests using an incremental approach of modest measures to de-escalate nuclear tensions in the Korean peninsula, as opposed to a strategy of coercion.
    • This incremental approach could begin with North Korea refraining from flying missiles over Japan and South Korea, and the US keeping its “strategic bombers” out of North Korea’s airspace.
    • The approach could lead to more ambitious steps like fewer nuclear and missile tests by Pyongyang, and fewer military exercises by the US and South Korea.
    • This incremental approach could result in successful cycles of positive interactions, which could eventually bridge the trust deficiency between North Korea and the international community and lead to denuclearisation.



International Cooperation 2.0, Project Syndicate, by Ngaire Woods, Founding Dean, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

“[A] new type of international cooperation may be emerging – one that works around Trump.”

  • Ngaire Woods argues that as the US rescinds its global commitments, a new form of international cooperation is emerging through multilateral institutions.
    • Multilateral institutions do not require ‘one leader’ and have enabled different governments to assume leadership in different areas.
    • States seeking to benefit from a rules-based order could do so through multilateral institutions, rather than through an alliance with a single state.
    • International cooperation through multilateral institutions could result in states developing policies based on a variety of factors, rather than on the preferences and interests of a single state—the US.

Written by Malinda Meegoda and edited by Anishka De Zylva.

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