Reorienting the world order

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  • What we have now is the rise of far right in international politics

It was Richard Nixon who said that it took about a hundred years for a political paradigm shift to take place. The world we know now is changing drastically. The New World Order that formulated and incepted itself at the end of World War I, but more formally came to describe the zeitgeist of a post-war, free world has only existed for around three decades — the relevance of which seems to be fading now. The most prominent examples of this are the exit strategy by the US in its attempt to pull back from its extensive overseas engagements and the decision by UK to opt out of the European Union.

While both are independent events; these two have been the epoch of a free world in this 20th century. Initially, the US intervened in weaker states to halt the progress of a global communist expansion, which it proclaimed would make the states fall as dominoes under the influence. The UK led an economic bloc which allowed for free cultural exchanges and improved the living standards of an average European to unprecedented levels.

Where the two went wrong is with their over reliance on this hyper globalism that has put a strain on their economies.

While it is a common idea that most people don’t vote for candidates based on the candidates’ views on foreign policy decisions, in the last US presidential elections the opposite has been true. In a country where Obamacare became a household name, people opted for a populist rhetoric which they thought would dedicate more resources to them. In it was the promise of a better America, which would tailor its policies for its people – halting the flow of illegal immigrants and pulling out from overseas operations. Work around these two have been at the centre of Donald Trump’s administration, who has since his election, been formulating policies around these, though to little effect.

The UK faces a similar crisis where people want their state to provide more economic opportunities for them. And because of this, the majority of Britons have voted for Brexit, and those in power are trying hard to strike a good deal out of this.

What we have now is the rise of far right in international politics, perpetrated by what the pioneers of the free world described as a movement away from state-ism. As some wise people would say, “too much of anything is a curse”, extensive globalisation has exacerbated the global issues that it set out to prevent and solve. Socio-economic dependency was supposed to eliminate chances of conflict and competition between states, but we have ended up with a plummeted global economy and more conflicts than the combined resources of the free world can solve.

It hasn’t been 100 years and we already see a drastic shift in international relations. This can be partially attributed to technology which has facilitated the transmission and absorption of ideas

The Arab Spring Revolution followed by the planned melting down of states’ boundaries and successive humanitarian interventions have caused the global refugee crisis — uninhibited in its sprawling. What began in 2001 in Afghanistan, went to Iraq in 2003, and manifested itself as a calculated risk in Arab Spring Revolution of 2011 has now merged into a much bigger threat where US’ position as a global hegemon has started to fade. These mighty interventions and the forces they have engendered are self-invigorating, and adopting the phenomena of a borderless world, are far-reaching in their influence.

We have groups of insurgents holding states hostage and threatening the very existence on which international cohesion and security rests. And this has only been possible because those states that felt ideologically threatened by the spread of free world, built a counter narrative in the war theatres where the humanitarian interventions had left a political vacuum. Again, exploiting the bounds of borderlessness, these groups have fostered consensus in the international arena; and today they negotiate sitting at the same tables where years ago resolutions were passed condemning them. And we see the world seeing them as national political representatives of states and as able persons for the realisation of an armistice.

It hasn’t been 100 years and we already see a drastic shift in international relations. This can be partially attributed to technology which has facilitated the transmission and absorption of ideas and the formation of ideologues which continues sustains the counter narratives.

These counter narratives, in retaliation to the penetrative regimes of the free world, are nationalistic in orientation and aim to serve the populist demands of their people. Now the question is how the world would come about, now that the main precepts of the Old World are crumbling.