A new world order is taking shape. In the after-math of the World Wars and the Cold War, optimists hoped that the multilateral system envisaged by the UN Charter could finally be realized. Now this vision appears utopian. International cooperation based on a commitment to constitutional government, human rights and the rule of law was a product of eighteenth century Enlightenment and underwritten first by the European great powers and then by the United States. How will it survive the decline of the predominance of the USA and the rise of new power centres in this century?
For the first time two authors from the West and East have attempted to address this question. They foresee neither a League of Democracies nor the advent of a borderless world in which the state will wither away. Instead, they conclude that the context of world politics, rather than its essential nature, will be radically transformed. James Mayall argues for the continuing relevance of nationalism and reflects on the impact that this, together with the resurgence of political religion, will have on the new great powers and the institutions of international society. Krishnan Srinivasan envisages a retreat to a world system reminiscent of the nineteenth century in which a few great powers maintain order in their respective regions by common consent amongst themselves.
Nationalism and World Politics in a Global Era: Reflections on the Future of International Society 9
Conflict and Cooperation in the 21st Century 95