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The New Geopolitics

Although Russia's brazen challenge to the Western-led international order has not gone as planned, it nonetheless has demonstrated the malleability of global politics. A common set of neutral rules is giving way to a new competition for root access to the global system.

LOS ANGELES – Recent crises highlight the need for fresh thinking about geopolitics, especially in the West, and nowhere more so than in Europe. Above all, the war in Ukraine exposed a fundamental misunderstanding in the way Western democracies think about technology. Far from bringing about an end to state conflict, modern technological development raises the stakes of conflict and is likely to intensify it.

The European Union is so fundamentally modern that its political essence can be described as technological. We often call the EU technocratic, which tends to carry the same meaning. Read any legislative text coming out of Brussels and you will find ample references to the latest economic and scientific research on the matter at hand. At the heart of the European project is the belief that politics is about finding the most efficient means of reaching socially desirable goals.

Politics as technique should not be depressing or uninspiring. There is nothing wrong with elevating the promotion of knowledge and the exchange of ideas as the primary means and goals of political life, both domestically and globally.