The Economic Tasks of the Postwar World [Excerpt]
Bretton Woods and International Cooperation [Excerpt]
The Illusion of World Government [Excerpt]
Widening Boundaries of National Interest [Excerpt]
The Myth of Post–Cold War Chaos [Excerpt]
The Real New World Order
Globalization and Its Discontents: Navigating the Dangers of a Tangled World
NATO at Fifty: An Unhappy Successful Marriage: Security Means Knowing What to Expect
The Unruled World
The Case for Good Enough Global Governance
The Return of Geopolitics
The Revenge of the Revisionist Powers
The Illusion of Geopolitics
The Enduring Power of the Liberal Order
The Reform Reformation
International Organizations and the Challenge of Change
The End of the G-20
Has the Group Outlived Its Purpose?
Will the Liberal Order Survive?
The History of an Idea
Liberalism in Retreat
The Demise of a Dream
The Once and Future Order
What Comes After Hegemony?
Why Trump’s Victory Was 30 Years in the Making and Why It Won’t Stop Here
Trump and World Order
The Return of Self-Help
Walter Russell Mead paints a disturbing portrait of the United States’ geopolitical predicament. As he sees it, an increasingly formidable coalition of illiberal powers -- China, Iran, and Russia -- is determined to undo the post–Cold War settlement and the U.S.-led global order that stands behind it. Across Eurasia, he argues, these aggrieved states are bent on building spheres of influence to threaten the foundations of U.S. leadership and the global order. So the United States must rethink its optimism, including its post–Cold War belief that rising non-Western states can be persuaded to join the West and play by its rules. For Mead, the time has come to confront the threats from these increasingly dangerous geopolitical foes.
But Mead’s alarmism is based on a colossal misreading of modern power realities. It is a misreading of the logic and character of the existing world order, which is more stable and expansive than Mead depicts, leading him to overestimate the ability of the “axis of weevils” to undermine it. And it is a misreading of China and Russia, which are not full-scale revisionist powers but part-time spoilers at best, as suspicious of each other as they are of the outside world. True, they look for opportunities to resist the United States’ global leadership, and recently, as in the past, they have pushed back against it, particularly when confronted in their own neighborhoods. But even these conflicts are fueled more by weakness -- their leaders’ and regimes’ -- than by strength. They have no appealing brand. And when it comes to their overriding interests, Russia and, especially, China are deeply integrated into the world economy and its governing institutions.
Mead also mischaracterizes the thrust of U.S. foreign policy. Since the end of the Cold War, he argues, the United States has ignored geopolitical issues involving territory and spheres of influence and instead adopted a Pollyannaish emphasis on building the global order. But this is a false dichotomy.
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