Presidents usually respond to provocations. Trump likes to produce them: in June his surprise tweets in support of the Saudi Arabia—led campaign to isolate Qatar elevated a simmering rivalry between two U. On Aug. They feel like Ahmadinejad is in Washington. Contact us at editors time. Venezuelan soldiers staged a show of force in Caracas on Aug. Will there be a direct-listing IPO?
Sign up for a daily newsletter defining what matters in business and markets Email. The causes: China eagerly and systematically asserting itself as a global force with trade deals, investment and posturing. The nation, despite all its flaws, is rising. Trump abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership , the multinational trade deal, gave China huge political and economic openings in its neighborhood. Trump eagerly and systematically shaking up U. Bremmer: "To the extent that Trump has had any impact on the global stage, by far the most important of those impacts is the opportunity he's provided for the Chinese president.
Europe's influence is on a clear decline. Leadership-sharing between the Western powers and the emerging powers is more attainable than hard power-sharing. A world less dependent on U.
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It will still come together in crisis, as happened at the G summit after the global financial crisis, or to combat common perils, as happened with the Paris Agreement on climate change. Importantly, the agreement avoided the traditional Western legalistic sanction-based approach in favor of a softer, voluntaristic approach that is characteristic of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
A multiplex world is a G-Plus world, featuring established and emerging powers, global and regional institutions and actors, states, social movements, corporations, private foundations, and various kinds of partnerships among them.
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There are several things that should be kept in mind by the international community in general and the Western nations in particular to help manage the transition to a multiplex world. First, stop pining for the return of liberal hegemony, by which I mean the post—World War II world order created and dominated by the United States and centered around Western interests, values, and institutions.
That order might have delivered much good as well as lots of bad to the world, and some of its institutions such as the UN system will continue, but the particular historical circumstances behind the rise of liberal hegemony are gone. The global power shift is for real and here to stay.
Second, unless and until the Trump administration radically changes course or is replaced, prepare to live without significant U. Under Trump, this support might come selectively and sparingly, but its absence should not deter international cooperation if other major players participate or offer support.
Third, the end of U. Demand for global governance has and will continue to be varied depending on the issue area. Such demand is driven by a mix of strategic, functional, and normative motives as well as a domestic political calculus. Some forms of international violence, such as interstate wars, are on a long-term decline. In , for example, only five countries—Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Syria—accounted for 72 percent of deaths from terrorism worldwide.
Also notable, just four groups were responsible for 74 percent of all these deaths: the self-proclaimed Islamic State, Boko Haram, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. Examples here might include the U.
Further, as some have argued, the Libya case may have been partly responsible for the subsequent failure to intervene in Syria. Estimates published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies found that out of the total , conflict-related fatalities worldwide in , Iraq and Syria accounted for nearly half. Fifth, give due credit to the contribution of non-Western actors to the marketplace of ideas for global cooperation.
Latin American countries championed human rights before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and had developed a tradition of regional norm and institution building before the EU was conceived. The ideas of human development and human security were conceived by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq, while the Responsibility to Protect concept was to a large extent an African contribution.
Sixth, encourage pragmatic globalism in place of ideologically-charged liberal internationalism, a term that is deeply associated with Western hegemony and hypocrisy. History provides many examples of practical, non-ideological, issue-based cooperation among nations of diverse political composition to uphold international stability. Seventh, embrace G-Plus global governance.
The growing complexity of global governance is inevitable due to the proliferation of a variety of new actors and transnational issue areas. It is impossible for the state-centric bureaucratic institutions crafted in the s to cope with these changes.
The ongoing fragmentation in global governance creates new opportunities for closer partnership between intergovernmental institutions, civil society, and the private sector. Eighth, take regional powers and regionalism seriously. Regions are crucial sites for both conflict and cooperation. In considering ways to develop a new world order, one should not focus too much on the big emerging powers while neglecting the role of other regional powers in the developing world, such as Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey.
Not all forms of regionalism are harmful to global cooperation; indeed, they may contribute to it. Many regional organizations share normative concerns about peace and justice and deserve their space in any meaningful scheme for global order. The traditional liberal universalist tendency to associate regionalism with spheres of influence or power balancing is misplaced, since many examples of regionalism today are open, interactive, and inclusive.
In sum, the stability of a multiplex world will require many Western nations to give up their free-riding on the United States and accept shared leadership with the rising and regional powers. It will require greater partnership between global and regional bodies, as well as public, private, and civil society groups. A G-Plus world requires a genuinely reformed system of global governance that accords sincere recognition to the voices and aspirations of all. America and its Western allies must give up exclusive privileges such as the French leadership of the IMF, American presidency of the World Bank, and Japanese presidency of the Asian Development Bank in return for the trust and cooperation of the rest.
The complexity of international politics today calls for a greater questioning of the existing theories and vocabulary of international relations, especially of liberalism and realism. Yet these ideas and practices can be found in other, non-European civilizations, including but not limited to Islamic, Chinese, and Indian.
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Liberal theory has shown little acknowledgement of the multiple sources of and contributions to the development of its ideas and practices. With liberalism now under challenge at home, it will be even harder to sell it to the rest of the world. When facing the future, while liberals remain in denial, realists return to the past. The world today is a far cry from the nineteenth-century multipolar era; it is even more distant from the self-styled and limited geopolitics of the Greek city-states.
The era of liberal hegemony is past. The liberal international order will be just one of many crosscutting systems, and it will have to compete or enmesh with other ideas in a world of growing complexity and interconnectedness. International relations scholars should be wary of conventional wisdom and be open to new concepts and theories, and hence to new possibilities of world order that have no precedent in history.
Keohane was right: A hegemon is neither necessary nor sufficient for global order—and neither, it turns out, is an unchallenged liberal ideology. In a multiplex world, scholars and practitioners alike will have to embrace the complexities of this new system. The future may very well depend on it.
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