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
So far, the year 2014 has been a tumultuous one, as geopolitical rivalries have stormed back to center stage. Whether it is Russian forces seizing Crimea, China making aggressive claims in its coastal waters, Japan responding with an increasingly assertive strategy of its own, or Iran trying to use its alliances with Syria and Hezbollah to dominate the Middle East, old-fashioned power plays are back in international relations.
The United States and the EU, at least, find such trends disturbing. Both would rather move past geopolitical questions of territory and military power and focus instead on ones of world order and global governance: trade liberalization, nuclear nonproliferation, human rights, the rule of law, climate change, and so on. Indeed, since the end of the Cold War, the most important objective of U.S. and EU foreign policy has been to shift international relations away from zero-sum issues toward win-win ones. To be dragged back into old-school contests such as that in Ukraine doesn’t just divert time and energy away from those important questions; it also changes the character of international politics. As the atmosphere turns dark, the task of promoting and maintaining world order grows more daunting.
But Westerners should never have expected old-fashioned geopolitics to go away. They did so only because they fundamentally misread what the collapse of the Soviet Union meant: the ideological triumph of liberal capitalist democracy over communism, not the obsolescence of hard power. China, Iran, and Russia never bought into the geopolitical settlement that followed the Cold War, and they are making increasingly forceful attempts to overturn it. That process will not be peaceful, and whether or not the revisionists succeed, their efforts have already shaken the balance of power and changed the dynamics of international politics.
A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY
When the Cold War ended, many Americans and Europeans seemed to think that the most vexing geopolitical questions had largely been settled. With the exception of a handful of relatively minor problems, such
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