After seven decades of regional domination, the sudden collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 put the whole continent in a state of political and economic uncertainty. The sudden absence of a strong, yet generally predictable hegemon initiated an intense debate centered on whether or not the rise of China posed a grave threat to the region or whether it would bring stability and cohesion to the region. After 23 years of observation, it is now safe to presume that China does not pose a military threat to the region. Simply because China does not have expansionist or aggressive political or economic aims does not mean that there should be no cause for concern. China does possess persistent political, economic, and security concerns that, despite the nation's best efforts, has not been able to solve. Domestically, examples of these concerns are illegal smuggling, weapons and human trafficking, illegal narcotics, organized crime, Islamic fundamentalism, ethnic nationalism, and Islamic militancy. Internationally, China has had a hard time, not only dealing with the aforementioned list, but also with piracy, ethnic unrest, anti-Chinese sentiment, corruption, and illegal port activities. The reason the solution to these problems remains elusive is the fact that they all share a common element. The element is that they are all transnational in nature; the events themselves, not fully encapsulated within the borders of just one nation-state. This makes them extremely difficult for a single nation-state to be able to effectively deal with them. It happens that Central Asian nations and littoral nations of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore are also afflicted with many of the same issues. This fact is why it will take a comprehensive and coordinated effort in order to effectively deal with the underlying causes which contribute to these problems before any noticeable effect will take place. These efforts, or transnational solutions, are the most effective way to deal with transnational concerns. Research, observations, and the case studies demonstrate that many of the most pressing transnational concerns have similar underlying factors. Income inequality, government repression, and lack of economic opportunity are a few of the most prevalent factors. The obstacles these factors cause are not insurmountable. However each one of these problems require a concentrated and coordinated effort and the cooperation of multiple nation-states. International Organizations, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, are effective mediums in which to accomplish this. What is repeatedly observed is that transnational problems are best solved using transnational solutions.


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Thesis Completion





Sadri, Houman A.


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Sciences


Political Science

Degree Program

International and Global Studies


Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis