Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor, International Relations Department, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Ph. D. Student, International Relations Department, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Of the important indicators in identifying power dynamics in the East Asian region is the recognition of the situation of “power transition”, namely, the status of Asia in becoming the center of world politics. The purpose of this article is explanation of how the rise of the very new power dynamic is impending in East Asia by assessing two rival theoretical approaches of “balance of power” and “power transition”. Data show more explanatory strength of the latter in comparison to the previous. The innovation of the paper is that that in spite of explanatory strength of “transition power”, traditional understanding of transition power theory is incapable of explaining today's complex international system. So, it requires revision in its concepts and components to make it consistent with today’s international system and region. According to this, the hypothesis of the paper is that complexity and a nonlinear character prevailing in the international system has led to bifurcation of transition in today’s system, as if it was shaping Dual hierarchical order with US leadership in security and China in economy in East Asia. Given this, the methodology of the article is inductive-deductive which involves using theory and quantitative methods in assessing the application of the theory based on the World Bank, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Stockholm Institute for the Study of Peace (SIPRI) databases.


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