International governance becoming mainstream model of international politics

"International governance” means multiple subjects in international relations dealing with international affairs through cooperation. Although its practice and ideal have coexisted for a long time, international governance has not been the primary means of international politics until recently. International politics, international relations, or the like all originated from Euro-American politics, working within a specific framework of international society. There have long been disputes in Western intellectual and political thoughts regarding whether power politics or international governance should be the right way of doing politics. "Power politics”, in the Western context, refers to the domestic rule by the power that centers around a monarch, coupled with the maximization of national interests in foreign affairs, while abiding by the principle of the balance of power.

On the other hand, “international governance” means emphasizing the role played by international organizations, especially non-governmental organizations (NGOs), in some non-political regions. Further, it is based on recognizing the role that nations, especially national alliances and hegemonic countries, play in international affairs. Power politics and international governance are to international politics what nations and societies are to domestic politics. While the core drinking of power politics is hegemonic rule, black-and-white and zero-sum game, international governance is the joint effort from all agents, which adopts a collectivist idea of security, a win-win idea of development, and a peacefill idea of civilization. Whereas power politics is predicated on material strengths, hierarchy, and absolute authority, international governance is based on soft power, equality, and comparative authority. Power struggle, both traditional and influential in international politics, was prevalent among ancient empires and was brought to full play in modem Europe, to the effect that it had been tinged with European culture and even deemed prescriptive in modern politics. That is why international relations experts such as Hans Morgenthau, Kenneth Waltz, and others favor non-systematic wars over systematic ones to maintain the stability of international systems; whereas others such as Hedley Bull considered war one of the six working mechanisms of international society.

Nevertheless, it is an observation rooted in European experiences and is at best local and provincial. Unfortunately, Western scholars long saw it as universal, clinging firmly to the thought of power politics. When, however, the European international society is extended to a global one, the limitation of this way of thinking becomes self-evident. When capital and capitalism escalated local wars to world wars, human society would not contain their outbreak until a new international political mechanism is born. The West had fantasized about WWI, which was supposed to end all wars, but the peace it brought lasted only twenty years before WWII broke out. Again, twenty years after WWII came the Cuban Missile Crisis, a Cold War was forthcoming. Therefore, to engage in international politics with international governance instead of power struggle is one of the four reflections people had in the 20th century.

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