24 October 2019

There is no such thing as a new global international order! Not yet!

Sergiu Medar

Before the 2010-2016 period and after Donald Trump took the power of the US Administration, there was a stable international order, but in need of an obvious change. With US’s withdrawal from some international political and economic organizations, as well as with others’ functioning rules’ modification, the old global international order became out of date and it emerged the necessity of a new version. The parameters of a change were analyzed, but no new version came out yet.

Image source: Mediafax

After Donald Trump took the US presidency, he imposed the Washington administration new options for their international relations.  These changes did not bring anything new on US’s economic or political targets, or on how Trump plans on reaching White House’s objectives.

In order to establish how things were going to work, the US president implemented in White House’s diplomacy the trade negotiations principles he was familiar with. All of these things happened under the label “America First”, also taken from the history of the newest continent. Woodrow Wilson used the same successful electoral slogan. After winning the elections, Trump transformed America First in a work principle for the US foreign relations. Hereof, it was taken also by other powerful states, putting the national interest above anything else in the international relations. Small and medium states had to concede their sovereignty and get under multinational organizations’ umbrella or build strategic partnerships, as they did not want to get involved too much in others’ businesses; these partnerships have, first of all, local or punctual objectives.

Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson have recommended for the US international relations to stay out of international organizations which could totally or partially sacrifice the national interest and favor the regulations and common laws mentioned in their functioning regulations. Starting from this principle, the US withdrew from a series of economic and security multinational agreements or organizations. The new governing principles have pushed the nation to an economic nationalism that only strong state can afford having.

These states, with their participation in international organizations that seek both the national and the collective interest, must give up a part of their national sovereignty and find a balance between independence and limited national sovereignty. According to Russian, but also Western, analysts, this principle is starting to fade away. This is no longer serving stronger states’ interests, which have global ambitions. This is also the reason why Great Britain will, most likely, leave the European Union.

In order to prevent isolationism, states leaving the multinational organizations are replacing them with bilateral agreements. This way, they are rebuilding the influence and interest areas of the strong states.

The only organizations that no member state is planning on leaving are UN and NATO. For different reasons. UN, through its missions, provides world’s peace and the functioning of social national systems. NATO’s mission is the collective defence of member states through meetings and interventions for the defence against any aggressor.

Starting from these premises, it can hardly be established a new global international order. This does not mean that the world if falling. Following the national interest does not necessarily mean that bi or multilateral negotiation partners will take opposed stances. It is impossible for them not to find also a common ground to build an economic or political relation on.

Within an international order mostly based on bilateral relations, partners and even enemies’ credibility and consistency is extremely important. This credibility comes, first of all, from the national culture and inheritance. It can be degraded by some leaders who, being so eager for change, they give state’s evolutions other negative meanings.

The new international relations must keep up with the unpreceded evolution, the dynamic of changes. The quick flux information is being spread with has also an impact on the international order. It can both be a positive and a negative effect. Positive, as it allows making decisions quicker, based on analyzing a big information volume. Negative, because these information can be corrupted by fake news, which seem, most of the times, credible. When information is being analyzed, they are always considering the national legacy, as an index of states’ credibility, but also their leaders’ legitimacy. As for the latter, all intelligence services are part of leaders’ profiling, as possible negotiation partners. This way, they can speculate on their future decisions.

Unlike the 20th century, when there was a well-shaped international order, within unrepeatable circumstances, and a world based on two systems, now, states’ economic and security interests are coming together, and it is more and more harder for them to align to regulations and common laws. It does not mean, however, that there is only anarchy within the international relations, as the Valdai group analysts are claiming. Even if some states withdrew from international organizations, they are still responsible and aware that if they would use the offensive capabilities they have, the world will no longer exist. Also, strong states follow a different ethic, according to which they want to win by following UN Charter’s provisions.

Based on these principles which although they are not governing the world are more or less respected, the new international order is defined by decision-making process’s unilaterality, with or without meetings between the affected states.

The political-economic analysts think differently: some voices claim that there is no other way possible to get out of the actual disorder of the international relations than through violence, and other thinks that these relations will embrace liberalism again.

As stated many times, the US international economic policy is based on competition and competitiveness between world’s states. This process is favoring the strong states, forcing them to be responsible, moral and fair. This way, most likely, the world will be divided in terms of the international relations, just as in Europe where, according to Macron’s ideas, the continent, and then the world, will be divided in 1, 2 or 3 echelon-based states. In order to survive, small and medium states will have to develop their economies in fields to satisfy the supply and demand mechanism following competition and competitiveness. Another solution would be the use of new technologies in order to find niche fields wherein to dominate the market through quality and price.

The true competition will only be between world’s strong states.

We can already observe that states’ leadership are more and more democratic, real and alleged. The presence in the democratic states “cube” gives them the freedom of choosing or validating the decisions, which are confirmed by a forum chosen by the people. This is the only way leaders’ decisions can be legitimate, this way increasing their credibility. The democratic principles, however, cannot be applied in the international relations, but only internally. The best example to that end is UN’s Security Council, where only five states are making decisions for the other world’s states. The Westphalia principles of equal rights and states’ obligations seems to be broken, but this is also revealing that the world has changed and continues to change, in order to get adapted to human kind’s evolution and how this process takes place; the UN Security Council is then transformed into a global governance mechanism.

World’s globalization or multilateralism are different through the preponderance that national interest has comparing to the collective one, in terms of international relations. They still have a common denominator. That’s the interdependence between strong states, but also between big, small and medium states. One of the positive things of it is the impossibility for a large-scale war between states to emerge. The possibility of a kinetical global war, although speculated, is less likely to happen. This is modifying the economic, political and military relations. Although there is a new arms race ahead, admitted globally, we can hardly believe that the new weapons will also have another role than just being a force argument in the coercive diplomacy, more and more extensively applied now.

These statements are offering the sensation of security because, in fact, the non-kinetical threats are becoming more and more aggressive, more and more present through false information’s spread, cyber-attacks and also the new capabilities able to hide the source.

All the arguments above are just parameters that should be considered when making the change, and not solutions. This should be found as quicker as possible. The following economic recession may “bring” some concrete proposals on the new global international order.