Graffiti

Welkom in de 21e eeuw

BERLIJN – Het begin van 2016 is alles behalve rustig geweest. Dalende aandelenkoersen in China hebben markten wereldwijd gedestabiliseerd. De opkomende economieën lijken tot stilstand gekomen. De prijs van olie is in elkaar gestort, wat olieproducenten richting crisis drijft. Noord-Korea laat zijn nucleaire spierballen zien. En in Europa stuwt de voortdurende vluchtelingencrisis een giftige nationalistische vloed die de Europese Unie uiteen dreigt te rijten. Tel hierbij op de neo-imperialistische ambities van Rusland en de dreiging van islamitisch terrorisme, en kometen die ’s nachts de hemel oplichten zijn wellicht het enige dat er nog mist in het plaatje van een jaar dat zich er voor opmaakt er een van profetische doem te worden.

Waar je ook kijkt lijkt chaos te heersen. De internationale orde die is gesmeed in het vuur van de twintigste eeuw lijkt aan het verdwijnen te zijn, en we hebben zelfs nog geen glimp kunnen opvangen van wat hiervoor in de plaats zal komen.

De uitdagingen waar we mee te maken hebben te benoemen is niet moeilijk: globalisering, digitalisering, klimaatverandering, enzovoort. Wat echter niet duidelijk is is de context waarin het antwoord hierop zal komen – als het al komt. In welke politieke structuren, op wiens initiatief, en onder welke regels zullen deze vragen onderhandeld worden – of, wanneer onderhandelen onmogelijk blijkt, bevochten?

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