In This Review

Diplomacy and the Future of World Order
Diplomacy and the Future of World Order
Edited by Chester A. Crocker, Fen Osler Hampson, and Pamela Aall
Georgetown University Press, 2021, 376 pp

This collection offers a valuable review of the successes, failures, and potential of international peacemaking and conflict management in the still unnamed post–post–Cold War era. Chapters take both a regional and a functional approach to examine the various ways that states, multinational organizations, and civil society groups manage other people’s conflicts in places as disparate as Cyprus and Kashmir, address actual or potential conflicts among major powers in states such as North Korea and Ukraine, and cope with transnational threats such as piracy and terrorism. The conflict management mechanisms discussed include conventional bilateral diplomacy, multinational negotiations, public diplomacy, sanctions, mediation, formal peacekeeping, and, pivotally, the threat or actual use of force. The chapters on the role of international organizations, particularly the United Nations, and on U.S.-Chinese relations are particularly strong. On balance, the editors conclude that the space for international peacemaking and conflict management is shrinking due to resurgent nationalism, a “sovereign backlash” against earlier multinational interventions, and the diminished willingness of the major powers to undertake peacemaking missions. On the other hand, regional organizations and local and international civil society groups can be more active and more effective than in the past.