The Illiberal Tide: Why the International Order is Tilting toward Autocracy

by Taqwa Nedal

Authors: Alexander Cooley
and Daniel H. Nexon

Affiliation: Barnard College and Director of Columbia University’s Harriman Institute. Edmund A. Walsh
School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University
Organization /Publisher: Foreign Affairs
Date/Place: March 26, 2021/USA
Type of Literature: Analysis
Word Count: 5559
Keywords: Liberal, U.S, International Order
In this article, the authors talk about the crisis facing the “liberal international order,” as it is under severe
pressure. Although its supporters welcomed the defeat of former US President Donald Trump, the order
still faces significant challenges at home and abroad. The authors raise an important question about
the type of illiberal regime that may emerge in its wake. Does illiberal order necessarily mean
competition for abstract power between growing nationalist great forces, rampant protectionism, and
a world hostile to democratic rule? The growing influence of reactionary populism and authoritarian
regimes’ assertion erodes the international system’s ability to uphold human, political, and civil rights.
Similar developments point to a future in which liberal economic arrangements are used for oligarchy
and kleptocracy rule. The authors provide a historical explanation of political systems’ development
until they have reached what they are today. Democratic states must focus on shaping the changing
international order to protect their values better. Most of what in the global system is now under threat is
political liberalism. The authors believe that all the projects that seek to reformulate human rights now
would only make the task of authoritarian authorities much more accessible.
By: Taqwa Abu Kmeil, CIGA Research Assistant

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