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A More Dangerous Globalism

Today's most important political struggle is not between globalists and anti-globalists, but rather between two models of integration: one is multilateral and internationalist; the other is bilateral and imperialist. Throughout the modern age, the world has seesawed between them.

PRINCETON – “America first,” thumps Donald Trump. “Britain first,” say the advocates of Brexit. “France first,” crows Marine Le Pen and her National Front. “Russia first,” proclaims Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin. With so much emphasis on national sovereignty nowadays, globalization appears doomed.

It’s not. The struggle playing out today is not one of globalism versus anti-globalism. Rather, the world is poised between two models of integration: one is multilateral and internationalist; the other is bilateral and imperialist. Throughout the modern age, the world has seesawed between them.

Since 1945, internationalists have had the upper hand. They advocate cooperation and multilateral institutions to promote global public goods like peace, security, financial stability, and environmental sustainability. Theirs is a model that constrains national sovereignty by binding states to shared norms, conventions, and treaties.

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