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The State of the International Order

The State of the International Order

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Published by Silendo
The State of the International Order
The State of the International Order

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Published by: Silendo on Mar 04, 2014
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05/18/2014

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Foreign Policy 
at BROOKINGS
B J   W  J S  R K
Te State of the International Order
 
POLICY PAPER
Number 33, February 2014
 
F
OREIGN
 P
OLICY 
 
AT
 B
ROOKINGS
T
HE
 S
TATE
 
OF
 
THE
 I
NTERNATIONAL
 O
RDER
i
T
ABLE
 
OF
 C
ONTENTS
Executive Summary....................................................................iiIntroduction wo Anniversaries .........................................................1C1: What is the International Order Supposed to Do?...................................3C2: A Snapshot: Six Rorschach ests of the State of the Order .............................81. Changing Balance of the Global Economy ...........................................82. Carbon Emissions and Fuel Imports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93. Asia rade Integration, and Military Spending ......................................10 4. rends in War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .115. Poverty, Development and Population ..............................................12 6. Democracy and Access to Information echnology ....................................13
C 3: Eleven Characteristics of the International Order...................................141. Te Global Economic Order Survived the Crisis but Fault-lines Remain ....................142. Europes Lost Decade...........................................................153. Te Changing Pattern of International rade—the Rest Rises and the West Stagnates...........174. But, Teres rouble on the Horizon for the BRICs ....................................195. Te Return of Geopolitical Competition and the Risk of Great Power Conflict...............206. rouble At Sea ................................................................227. Te Use of Force and New Rules of Conict .........................................248. Human Security Improving Everywhere Except the Middle East ..........................259. Responsibility to Protect Hangs in the Balance........................................2710. Te New Geopolitics of Energy ...................................................2911. A urbulent Gulf ..............................................................30Conclusion .........................................................................32Endnotes...........................................................................34 Acknowledgements ...................................................................36 Authors............................................................................37
 
F
OREIGN
 P
OLICY 
 
AT
 B
ROOKINGS
T
HE
 S
TATE
 
OF
 
THE
 I
NTERNATIONAL
 O
RDER
ii
E
 XECUTIVE
 S
UMMARY 
T
his report assesses the state of the international order five years after the international financial crisis and over a decade after the invasion of Iraq. We ask two questions: 1) what are the material realities shaping the options faced by the great pow-ers (both traditional and emerging), and 2) what are the interactions that are revealing or shaping the content of great power relations and international order more generally? Te report identifies eleven characteristics of the contemporary order:
1. Te Global Economic Order Survived the Crisis but Fault-lines Remain
Te global economic order responded effectively to the immediate financial crisis of 2008—espe-cially when compared with the response to the Great Depression—but significant fault-lines re-main that will impede a return to robust growth and may threaten additional instability. Te long term challenges are twofold: 1) building a deeper set of protections against financial insta-bility; and 2) adapting global financial and trade systems to the complex new reality of the top economies having very different structural di-mensions and levels of per capita development.
2. Europe’s Lost Decade
Te Eurozone avoided the collapse of the Euro,  which could have destabilized the entire glob-al economy, but appears destined for a period of protracted stagnation with very low growth, zombie banks, and high levels of unemployment on the periphery. Tis lost decade is the direct result of structural shortcomings—especially a lack of fiscal and financial union—and policy mistakes. Te Eurozone is unlikely to collapse but the unresolved issues will be a drag on the European and global economy and will reduce Europe’s capacity and will to influence the di-rection of the emerging global order.
3. Te Changing Pattern of International rade—the Rest Rises and the West Stagnates
Developing and emerging economies account for a much greater share of international trade today than a decade ago. Tey have surpassed the rest of the West as the largest trading partner for both Europe and the United States. Teir rise is a positive trend that benefits the global economy but the relative lethargy of Western countries on trade is a source of concern. Te progress made on mega FAs, such as the rans-Pacific Partner-ship and the ransatlantic rade and Investment Partnership, is a hopeful sign that the West may be beginning to get its act together.
4. But, Tere’s rouble on the Horizon for the BRICs
 A decade ago the BRIC countries were hailed as the new economic powerhouses destined to bring the global economy into the 21st century. Tey fared better than Western economies after the 2008 financial crisis. But, they are now running into serious economic trouble. Confronted with poor growth prospects for the first time in years and the potential to fall into the middle income trap, the BRICs are now facing disenchanted populations and must deal with their increasingly apparent lack of coherence as a group.
5. Te Return of Geopolitical Competition and the Risk of Great Power Conflict 
Since 1991, the world has enjoyed a great pow-er peace where war between the major states  was highly unlikely. Unfortunately, this period appears to be ending. Several major powers are engaged in a robust security competition. Te greatest risk stems from the rivalry between Chi-na and Japan in the East China Sea but rivalry also exists in Southeast Asia, between the United States and China, and to a lesser degree in East-ern Europe. Te return of great power security competition not only threatens the peace—it might also complicate international cooperation to tackle common challenges.

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