Why the Liberal World Order Will Survive

| March 9, 2018
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Abstract: The crisis of the American-led international order would seem to open up new opportunities for rising states—led by China, India, and other non-Western developing countries—to reshape the global order. As their capacities and influence grow, will these states rise up and integrate into the existing order or will they seek to overturn and reorganize it? The realist hegemonic perspective expects today’s power transition to lead to growing struggles between the West and the “rest” over global rules and institutions. In contrast, this essay argues that although America’s hegemonic position may be declining, the liberal international characteristics of order—openness, rules, and multilateralism—are deeply rooted and likely to persist. And even as China seeks in various ways to build rival regional institutions, there are stubborn limits on what it can do.

Keywords: hegemony, American power, rising states, liberal international order, liberal internationalism, multilateralism, power transitions

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Category: Issue 32.1, Special Issue: Rising Powers and the International Order, Uncategorized

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