The Birth of a New International Order
The remnants of the twentieth century’s bipolar order are finally disappearing, making way for a new global pentarchy. The United States and China will be the dominant players in the twenty-first century, but Europe, Japan, and India will also be able to exercise meaningful influence over large swaths of the planet.
BERLIN – We are witnessing an unprecedented confluence of major and minor crises. From the COVID-19 pandemic, surging energy prices, and the return of inflation in developed and developing economies, to fractured supply chains, Russia’s criminal war in Ukraine, and climate change, many of these crises are signs not just of decay but of a new world order being born.
As the remnants of the twentieth century’s bipolar order finally disappear, a new global pentarchy is coming to the fore. The United States and China – this century’s two military, technological, and economic superpowers – will be the dominant players, but Europe, Japan, and India will exercise meaningful influence over large swaths of the planet.
A big question mark hangs over Russia, because its future status, capacities, and strategic posture will depend on the outcome of its reckless war of aggression. Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia has clung desperately to the past, seeking to recreate the twentieth or even the late nineteenth century. But with its catastrophically misguided effort to destroy Ukraine, it ultimately is destroying itself.
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