Call for Papers - Impacts of Geopolitical Re-alignments on Peace and Security

As emerging economies are growing, they are seeking more international influence. This is evident from China’s policies and ambitious projects like the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as Beijing challenges the influence of the United States. Since the start of the BRI in 2013, there has been a visible impact in several sub-regions, for instance, South Asia, where regional actors have been engaged in re-adjusting their strategies to cope with the new realities in which China has become a major actor. There is an ongoing process of geopolitical realignments with implications for regional and global peace and security. While in some changes, it is already clear how geopolitical realignments have led to shifts in alliances, power balances, and strategies priorities, it is very much an ongoing process that demands a careful assessment for us to develop a better understanding of how these processes can influence regional and global security.

Geopolitical realignments are triggered by competition involving global rivals, such as China and the US, and regional competitors in some cases, for instance, China and India in South Asia. The intensifying strategic competition between the US and China is reshaping global power dynamics. The US views China’s rise as a challenge to its global hegemony, leading to increased military presence in the Indo-Pacific, and a more strategic use of its economic power. China’s assertive policies, including its BRI and military expansion in the South China Sea, have intensified tensions. While the US looks at the impacts of China’s rise on its dominance in the world, India is concerned more about China interfering in its sphere of influence in South Asia. Despite economic cooperation between China and India, the relationship has not been trouble-free. Border disputes, particularly the 2020 clash in the Galwan Valley, highlight the complexity of the relationship between India and China.

India has been one of the most consistent members of the Non-aligned Movement, however, has been addressing new challenges through alignment with key actors in the Indo-Pacific. This is noticeable through the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) comprising the US, India, Japan, and Australia which aims to counterbalance China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific. What some see as an evolving de facto alliance is complemented by military cooperation and joint exercises, fostering a collective security architecture that can deter aggressive actions by China. The US and India have deepened their bilateral strategic partnership through defence agreements, intelligence sharing, and economic cooperation. This partnership is partly driven by mutual concerns over China’s regional ambitions, bolstering India’s defence capabilities and strategic autonomy. In contrast, China has been focusing on its bilateral partnerships by enhancing its existing strategic relationships with countries like Pakistan.

Geopolitical realignments are reshaping the global landscape of peace and security. These adjustments influence strategic, economic, and technological domains, contributing to both regional tensions and global power shifts. Understanding these dynamics is crucial for policymakers to navigate the complex interplay of cooperation and competition, ensuring stability and peace in an increasingly multipolar world.

Security Challenges invites scholars and practitioners to reflect upon these challenges and their impact and implications for states, non-state actors, or regional organizations.

Contributors are encouraged to address the topics below:

  • The ‘Thucydides trap’ and management of shifting balances of power
  • The role of middle powers in shaping 21st century multipolarity
  • Feasible reform of the United Nations to equip it for 21st century multipolarity
  • Assessment of regional architectures (eg, SCO, QUAD, SAARC, ASEAN, EAC)
  • Lessons and relevance of the Non-Aligned Movement

Both normative discussions and empirical studies are welcome. Papers are expected to have an empirical link to the wider security questions mentioned and offer policy implications and recommendations for the region and beyond.

The domain editor Associate Professor Zahid Shahab Ahmed is open to discussion of topics as well as formats and can be reached under

Word length for submissions:

  • Research Papers: 2,500 to 7,000 words
  • Commentary: 1,500 to 3,000 words
  • Book Reviews: 500 to 1,500 words
  • Letters to Editor: Up to 750 words*
  • Abstract: 100 words
  • Author details: 50 words (100 words for joint authorship)

*Submissions seeking to provide a detailed response to a published article may be submitted as a commentary piece in terms of word length.

Articles, Commentary and (relevant) Book Reviews, are invited and may be submitted to following publication guidelines which can be accessed here.

Papers must be submitted in English, but versions may be submitted in the national language(s) of the author if the paper is accepted, and once edited.

Papers from young researchers may be considered for a Security Challenges prize, details of which can be found here.

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