Is International Liberal order really collapsing?
The end of second world war brought drastic and necessary changes in the international relations. It did not only end war, but also raised hope for peace and international cooperation in trade, politics and proliferation of cultural values and mutual respect for the nations. However, the United States and its allies were seen on fore front to design the world according to their own values and rules. They tried o establish international order based on the liberal democracy, free-market economy aiming to promote peace and avoid any war in future. The new international liberal order was liberal as it was aimed to promote human rights, respect for countries, lifting the poor economies and enhancing global trade. To ensure the new liberal world order, the powerful countries managed to establish global institutions such as the United Nations Organizations (UNO), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund(IMF), and World Trade Organization to influence the countries across the world.
Moreover, the United States with its allies also formed a military alliance-The NATO- which ensured military support to the new liberal democratic order. The United States and its allies had abundant legitimacy in the years immediately after the Cold War ended. Not only did they win that protracted conflict, but there seemed to be no viable alternative to liberal democracy, which looked like the optimal political order for the foreseeable future. It was widely believed in the West at the time that eventually almost every country in the world would become a liberal democracy, a belief that led Francis Fukuyama to conclude that this might be “the end of history.”
During the 1990s and the early 2000s, the United States and its close allies appeared to be well on their way to fashioning a full-scale international Liberal order. There were certainly problems, but generally speaking the emerging order was working nicely.
Moreover, the wide array of international institutions that had helped produce abundant prosperity in the West during the Cold War appeared to be ideally suited to take globalization to the next step. It looked like the United States was well positioned to pursue liberal hegemony, a foreign policy that called for building a world order based on liberal principles.
During the 1990s and the early 2000s, the United States and its close allies appeared to be well on their way to fashioning a full-scale international Liberal order. There were certainly problems, but generally speaking the emerging order was working nicely. Few people expected that it would begin to unravel a few years into the new millennium, but that is what happened.
Therefore, the military and economic might was supposed to back the new world order led by the United States and its allies. However, initially this order faced threat from the countries which had different ideals than that of the US and its allies. For instance, Soviet Union had fundamentally different political order. However, the recent upsurge in populism, increased authoritarianism and extreme nationalism are the growing threats to the existing liberal democratic order.
It is noteworthy that after the cold war ended in 1990, the world had experienced a unipolar world order which strengthened what actually the values were set and propagated by the Western mighty countries. Everywhere the world is seeing in anger, rising populism in America, and Europe, the surging protectionism policies across the big economies. The overwhelming human right violations, overnight trade wars show that the prevalent liberal democratic world order is collapsing. Growing populism and post-truth politics have been gaining ground in the world. The recent example of this fact is Hindutva ideology propagator Narendra Modi has been elected for second time in India. The same prevails in the Europe where Boris Johnson has been elected as the PM, while the same is seen in the United States that is ruled by Donald Trump evidently saying ‘America First’ indicate the liberal democracies have sparingly become fragile and are non-compatible in the modern world state.
Moreover, there is no apparent path to victory for the United States. In addition, Washington and its allies pursued regime change in Libya and Syria, which ended up helping precipitate deadly civil wars in both countries. Furthermore, in the process of helping wreck Iraq and Syria, the Bush and Obama administrations played a crucial role in creating the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which the United States went to war against in 2014.
The Oslo Peace Process, which once seemed so promising, has failed, and the Palestinians have virtually no hope of acquiring their own state. With Washington’s help, Israeli leaders are instead creating a Greater Israel, which, as two former Israeli prime ministers have said, will be an apartheid state.
Europe, which appeared to be the brightest star in the liberal galaxy during the 1990s, was in serious trouble by the late 2010s. The EU suffered a major setback in 2005 when French and Dutch voters rejected the proposed Treaty for Establishing a Constitution for Europe. Even more damaging was the Eurozone crisis, which began in late 2009 and lingers on. Not only has the crisis exposed the fragility of the euro, but it also created intense animosity between Germany and Greece, among other political problems. To make matters worse, Britain voted in June 2016 to exit the EU, and xenophobic right-wing parties are growing more powerful across Europe.. This problem has been compounded by the resurgence of Russia, which is once again a great power, although clearly a weak one. With the rise of China and Russia’s comeback, the international system has become multipolar, which is a death knell for the international Liberal order. To make matters worse, neither China nor Russia has become a liberal democracy.
The US-Afghan peace deal shows nothing but a complete failure of the USA foreign policy to contain the surge of terrorism and bringing peace in the country. This depicts failure of the liberal order that the USA has been propagating.
The situation after revoking the article 370 of the Indian constituency in the Indian Occupied Kashmir is burst blow to the human rights by its any definition . Mere statements are not enough by the global leaders. It has been 10 months that the Kashmiris are deprived and divested of basic human rights. The world has faced to condemn the act of India beyond words and speeches. The human rights promoting slogan is too crushed in the existing system of world order ranging from Iraq to Syria, Palestine to Kashmir and Rohingya Muslims in Burma.
During the outbreak of the Covid-19, China has been taking lead in its outreach to other countries for assistance, while the USA and its allies for battling with the lethal virus and are confined to domestic policies. An other episode that the US president Donald Trump has denied funding the World Health Organization, while China ensured its full financial support to the global health organization. Meanwhile, the growing soft image of China in the Asian countries and their people sow China being ambitious lead the new global world order, whatever it be, with its Asian allies taking over the existing liberal democratic world order.
About Author: Mr. Abdul Ghani is graduate of School of Economics, Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad. He is an independent researcher and columnist based in Islamabad. His interests include studying the political economy and politics of national and international affairs. He tweets @abdulghani2018