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HomeGlobal Perspective & Critical ResearchThe Illiberal Tide: Why the International Order is Tilting toward Autocracy

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

Author: 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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