Aditya Maulana Hasymi, Yoga Suharman
World history has never been free from amity and enmity. It started with military hostilities to climate change cooperation. International Relations as a phenomenon experiencing its development along with the presence of two great World Wars. Conflict continued driven by the struggle for hegemony to the issue of inequality, which lately arose over climate change and the global response regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. These themes are mainly discussed in the issue of Nation State: Journal of International Studies volume 4, no. 2 December 2021.
First article written by Serge Silatsa Nanda, Omar Samba, and Ahmad Sahide examines the inequity in the stages of climate change negotiations between developed and developing countries. The three authors present their analysis starting from the Rio Conference to the Paris Agreement by showing that environmental governance regimes such as the UNFCCC make a qualitative separation in shared principles but, on the other hand, have different responsibilities. Furthermore, the Kyoto Protocol emphasizes the commitment of developed countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 5% while introducing a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) which also contributes to inequality between countries. The Paris Agreement also sharpens the inequity by requiring each country to submit a nationally determined contribution even though developing countries' global emissions are still very low. The negotiating style of developing countries is primarily limited to compromise and accommodation to the wishes of the influential powers, as is the case in most international cooperation. The reality of climate change negotiations reflects the disparity between developed and developing countries.
The second article examines the competition for hegemony in handling COVID-19, written by Andi Ibnu Masri Rusli. In this study, the authors consider that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the hegemonic rivalry between the United States and China. The competition of vaccine diplomacy between China and the United States in Southeast Asian countries has ultimately strengthened China's hegemony and the loss for America.
The third analysis is questioning the political-power strategy carried out by the Philippines. This article mainly explores the conflict in the South China Sea to defend the Spratly Islands by the Philippines as a case study. This article was written by Ahmad Fauzi Imanuddin and Sugito, who formulated that in defending the Spratly Islands, the Philippines government employed a military strategy through the Philippine Armed Forces in cooperation with the United States. This strategy significantly impacts the Philippines' defense of securing the country's national interests in the Spratly Islands.
The following article written by Muhamad Arif Prabowo examines the conflictual relationship between Japan and China in the Senkaku Islands. This dispute occurred when Japan nationalized the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands, which China claimed. In this conflict, Japan viewed China as a threat because China's military penetration caused strategic distrust on the Japanese side and, at the same time, increased tensions in the East Asia region.
In the South Asian region, Abraham Hugo Pandu Wicaksono studied India's motivation to leave the Regional Comprehensive Partnership (RCEP) agreement with a classical neorealism approach. The result shows two reasons that influence India's behavior toward leaving RCEP. The first is about the reconfiguration of the international structure in the Indo-Pacific region with the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the second is about the domestic refusal faced by Narendra Modi not to be involved in RCEP.
Last article written by Hirshi Anadza, Rommel Utungga Pasopati, and Syarifuddin examines the issue of international cooperation in solving COVID-19. The three authors highlight that common enemies do not automatically shape regional and collective action. National interests at the regional, let alone global level, are still challenging to consolidate. Moreover, cultural differences between countries are also a problem for cooperation in dealing with global problems.
The studies presented by the authors in this edition reflect how the problem of cooperation in international relations is an inherent part of the politics among nations and, at the same time, becomes a challenge for international actors to strengthen international cooperation. Our editorial board would like to thank the contributors for entrusting the manuscript to be published in the Nation State: Journal of International Studies vol. 4, no.2 December 2021.
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