Globalist Review

A New Order for this Century and the Next

-America's role in the 21st century-
-Balancing social and economic growth-
-The next stage of our economy; sustainable capitalism-
-Engaging our enemies and allies-
-Recovering and maintaining moral leadership-
-The role of soft and hard power-
-Unilateralism or Multilateralism-
-Empire or Hegemony-

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Integrating the Rising Powers

Political life in a global system is nuanced and fundamental to the growth of nations in today’s world order. Clearly rising powers will both integrate and further adapt the international system to their needs or there will be a more confrontational assimilation into the world order. As the historian Paul Kennedy notes in his book, The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, a great power can only be properly measured relative to other powers. Today, the rise of new powers, with specific respect to those in the East, is a benefit to the world system but also a threat to western hegemony. Even more, the increase in regional trade agreements and security compacts is a menace to global order and must be countered by a renewed emphasis on the benefits and stability of existing institutions.

It is essential to prove that there is more to gain in what exists. World growth ultimately translates into new capital and consumer markets but also new economic and political cultures and coalitions. In this process of integration and growth, economic and social developments are still defined on western terms, through western institutions and universal values continue to be defined primarily through western political traditions. It is at this time in history that the west has the critical opportunity to reinforce the stability of the world system and the founders of that system.

In G. John Ikenberry’s January/February Foreign Affairs piece, “The Rise of China and the Future of the West,” Ikenberry notes that “China faces an international order that is fundamentally different from those that past rising states confronted. China does not just face the United States; it faces a Western-centered system that is open, integrated, and rule-based, with wide and deep political foundations.” New world powers cannot contend with a western coalition and the system it dominates but they can be further welcomed in.

History is in the West’s favor. The progressive values, alliances and the linear development of the global order can and should be sustained. Continued integration goes hand in hand with the significant precautions that must be taken to reaffirm global economic stability- expansion of regulatory control over global finance is a central concern, along with energy independence/alternatives. The past illustrates all too well the crushing market cycles of a growing and volatile world economic system but also that the system can be repaired and grow stronger. This strength can only be found through leadership. Now the world needs its leader to rise to the challenge.

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