Liberal Order in a Post-Western World
This report examines how best to maintain a rules-based international system as the material and ideological hegemony of the West wanes. As Europe’s and North America’s share of the global economy shrinks, the emerging powers, both democratic and non-democratic, remain reluctant to align themselves with the West and with the rules of the liberal order it constructed after World War II. The authors argue that the West must take steps to solidify itself as a “liberal anchor” to protect an order that has proved remarkably successful in advancing the cause of peace, freedom, and prosperity. However, Western democracies must recognize that their own liberal international order will not be universalized, and should seek to find common ground with emerging powers and forge a normative consensus on a new rules-based order. Peacefully managing the onset of a polycentric world will require compromise, tolerance, and recognition of political diversity.
This report represents the collective efforts of the sixth group of Transatlantic Academy fellows. The report examines ten specific issue areas, outlining the perspectives of the West and of select emerging powers. The subjects covered are: global economic governance; transatlantic economic relations; foreign development assistance; cybersecurity and Internet governance; Brazil and liberal order; India and liberal order; South Africa, Nigeria, and liberal order; China and liberal order; the potential for security cooperation between China and the Western democracies in the greater Middle East; and multilateralism and partnerships. Each chapter identifies areas of convergence and divergence among Western countries and emerging states and maps out the prospects for building common ground.