Bound To Fail: The Rise, and Fall of the Liberal International Order

by CIGA Staff

Brief:

The author sees that the liberal international order built by the US since the end of the Cold War was destined to fail from the start, as it contained the seeds of its own destruction. The purpose of this article is to determine the type of international order that will replace it. First of all, knowing the theoretical background of Mearsheimer’s analysis (The Neoclassical Realism) would help the reader to follow his arguments. After presenting his own distinction to the types of orders (International, Bounded/ Realist, Agnostic, Ideological/ Thick, and Thin orders), the author argues that the United States has led two different orders since World War II. First,the cold war order, which is mistakenly referred to as a “liberal international order.” It was neither liberal nor international. It was a bounded order that was limited to the West and was realist in all its key dimensions. The second was the US-led post-cold war order, which is liberal and international, but destined to fail because the underlying policies on which it relies are deeply flawed. Promoting liberal democracy and reshaping the world in the image of the US represents one of those main policies. Moreover, the rising nationalism in the targeted countries is the main obstacle to the liberal democracy promotion task, which undermines that order at its core. Finally, hyper globalization helped countries outside the uni-polar to grow strongly (such as China and Russia), which would undermine uni-polarity, end the liberal order, and bring the world back to the balance of power politics. 

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