Layered Hierarchies and Upward Mobility: What is the Future of India and China's Power Transitions?
Power Transition argues that states are likely to enter conflict when they reach power parity. A weak point in theorizing is how the global and regional (or local) hierarchies interact, arguing that interaction between the two is unidirectional and dominated by the interests of global powers. However, the rapid growth of India and China through power transition creates a future scenario where it appears likely that the two-reach power parity. A conflict between the two states for control over the regional order, which also projects to be contesting for the most powerful state globally, is problematic because it shows a regional disturbance could upset the global order. This project aims to theorize better the relationship between global and regional hierarchies to solve such a problem. If regional hierarchies supplement the global hierarchy, then a local power transition that sees upward mobility for a state within the regional hierarchy also increases its relative position in the global hierarchy and share of influence over the global order. In this case, a power shift at the regional level can normatively shift the local order, which affects how other regional states perceive their satisfaction with the global order. Should a state dissatisfied with the global order emerge on top of a regional hierarchy, its influence on the local order can normalize dissatisfaction with the global order.