Global Swing States and the Maritime Order
The “global swing states” — Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Turkey — will play an important role in shaping the future maritime order. The four have been major beneficiaries of an open order of the oceans, as free trade and freedom to use the seas have stoked their economies and broadened their contacts with regional states and distant partners. Unlike major naval powers such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan, the four currently lack a worldwide impact. They do, however, possess a preponderance of regional influence over oceans governance. While the global swing states have a mixed record of promoting a stable and liberal order at sea, they have made strides over the past decade toward accepting some of the diffuse costs of maintaining the maritime order. The four countries now stand at an inflection point. Growing power and increasing regional influence provide them with the opportunity to assume greater roles in a stronger and more open order of the oceans if they choose.