Saturday, February 13, 2016

Discord and Diplomacy

Anne-Marie Slaughter

Is an Asian cold war brewing between China and India? Has the European Union’s sovereign-debt crisis fatally wounded it as a global model for regional integration? Is authoritarian capitalism sustainable over the long term? Can sanctions stop countries from pursuing repugnant or dangerous policies?

Global diplomacy today is more dynamic and fluid than at any time since the end of World War II. America’s withdrawal from Iraq and NATO’s efforts to leave Afghanistan come at a time when European unity is under threat and the global center of gravity is shifting to Asia. Moreover, alongside the rise of new world powers like China and India, regional players like Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa, and Turkey yearn for a higher profile in international affairs. And the search continues for a global financial architecture that takes account of the shift of economic might to emerging markets.

In such novel circumstances, the classic concept of collective security, which has helped to maintain peace for decades, is difficult to apply. Daily experience belies the assumption that all countries share an interest in maintaining peace, and that well-conceived institutions can mobilize the international community on its behalf – let alone to adopt global rules and governance on key issues, including nuclear proliferation.

No one knows this better than Anne-Marie Slaughter, who served as Dean of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs before becoming Director of Policy Planning in theUS State Department during the Obama administration. As a diplomatic strategist and scholar who is now Professor of International Relations at Princeton, Anne-Marie Slaughter has both studied and helped to navigate our tumultuous times.

Every month, in Discord and Diplomacy, written exclusively for Project Syndicate, Anne-Marie Slaughter applies her wide-ranging knowledge and practical experience of world affairs to understanding today’s unprecedentedly precarious conditions for international security, international law, and the global economy.

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