The end of the old multilateralism marks a significant turning point in global affairs. As traditional international institutions and alliances face mounting challenges and shifting priorities, a new world order is emerging. This transformation is characterized by a growing emphasis on multipolar diplomacy, regional power centers, and an increased role for non-state actors. The rise of this new world order brings both opportunities and uncertainties, as nations seek to navigate the complexities of a changing geopolitical landscape. To effectively address global issues and ensure stability in this evolving environment, international cooperation and diplomacy must adapt to these emerging dynamics, acknowledging the evolving roles and voices of various stakeholders. In this era of transition, the effectiveness of multilateralism will depend on its ability to embrace diversity, accommodate different interests, and foster a more inclusive approach to addressing global challenges.
Tag: GS-2 International relation- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
Multilateralism; Multilateralism in in Post-Cold War world; End of traditional multilateralism; Impact to China’s aggressive policies on multilateralism; Features of New Multilateralism
Post Cold-War multilateralism, characterised by global cooperation and coordination on issues such as trade, security, human rights, and environmental protection, has reached its lowest point. This is being witnessed in the declining cooperation in East Asia Summit in Jakarta and G20 summit in Delhi.
Decoding the Editorial: About Multilateralism:
- Multilateralism can be defined as a philosophy of increased regional and global cooperation and coordination in the period after the end of the Cold War in 1991.
- This was facilitated by the absence of major conflicts between the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, and their respective allies.
Multilateralism in in Post-Cold War world
- End of Cold War: It facilitated in creating favourable conditions for an intensive phase of multilateralism.
- Evolution of European Union: Europe moved towards rapid regional economic integration and expansion under the banner of the European Union.
- Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Asia, provided the framework for intensifying regional economic and political cooperation.
- End of Power Rivalry between Europe and Asia: Increased regional cooperation and growth in multilateralism in Europe and Asia was facilitated by the end of the great power rivalry in both continents.
- Engagement of Russia with Western countries: Russia was drawn into the Group of Seven leading Western countries, making it the G8 and also engaged in consultations with NATO.
- China-USA partnership: China became a close partner for the US on economic and political fronts. Integration of China into the WTO in 2001 gave a huge boost to Beijing’s economy.
End of traditional multilateralism:
- Russia’s annexation: Russian occupation and annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 marked the first major crisis of the post-Cold War security order in central Europe.
- The current Russia- Ukraine conflict has further been a huge blow to the multilateral philosophies.
- China’s aggressive border policy: Over the last decade, China’s growing unilateral efforts to alter the borders with neighbours has created suspicion and reduction in trust for multilateral policies to continue.
- Economic Leverage: China has tried to use the world’s dependence on its economy for political and strategic gains, causing distrust.
- Shift in Chinese policies: Xi Jinping’s reversal of policies from the 1980s, which aimed for a peaceful periphery and shared prosperity, has negatively impacted regional and global institutions.
Impact to China’s aggressive policies on multilateralism:
- Rise of new security institutions like the Quad, the AUKUS that brings together Australia, Britain, and the US, and the trilateral compact in Northeast Asia between the US, Japan and South Korea.
- Decline in centrality of ASEAN: ASEAN-led regional institutions struggle to cope with China’s aggressive territorial expansionism. Furthermore rise of security institutions raises questions about continuing centrality of the ASEAN in shaping the regional order in Asia
- Economic Diversification: Nations like Japan and the US are trying to reduce their economic dependence on China by diversifying trade partnerships.
- Increased engagement of India with USA: It became clear that it was in the interest of India to have a “unipolar world” led by the US, rather than a “unipolar Asia” dominated by Beijing.
Features of New Multilateralism
- Regional stability through Quad Collaboration: At the Jakarta meeting, India emphasised that Quad is not in competition with ASEAN but will complement its efforts to promote regional stability through more bilateral and minilateral security cooperation.
- Re-globalization: India is focusing on a diversified and democratic globalisation characterised by multiple centres of production and not just of consumption.
- Push for collective solutions despite crisis in multilateralism: India’s G-20 efforts to pursue a range of consequential issues, like modernising the global tax regime and reforming the multilateral development banks.
- Voice of Global South: India prioritises the concerns of the Global South in the G-20 agenda, aiming to enhance cooperation between developed and developing nations, rather than reviving old confrontational politics.
Source: Indian Express
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is meant by the “end of old multilateralism”?
A: The “end of old multilateralism” refers to the changing dynamics and challenges faced by traditional international institutions and alliances that were established after World War II. These institutions, such as the United Nations and NATO, are encountering difficulties in adapting to the evolving global landscape.
2. What characterizes the rise of the new world order?
A: The rise of the new world order is characterized by the increasing prominence of multipolar diplomacy, the emergence of regional power centers, and a greater role for non-state actors. It represents a shift away from the dominance of a single superpower and towards a more complex and interconnected global system.
3. How will the new world order impact global stability and cooperation?
A: The impact of the new world order on global stability and cooperation is both promising and uncertain. It offers opportunities for more diverse voices and perspectives in international affairs, but it also presents challenges as nations adapt to this evolving geopolitical landscape.
4. What role will traditional international institutions play in the new world order?
A: Traditional international institutions will need to adapt to the changing environment to remain relevant. They may need to become more inclusive, accommodate a broader range of interests, and cooperate with regional organizations and non-governmental entities to address global issues effectively.
5. What can nations do to navigate the complexities of the new world order?
A: Nations can navigate the complexities of the new world order by fostering robust diplomacy, building alliances with like-minded partners, and actively participating in international forums. Flexibility, adaptability, and a willingness to engage in dialogue and cooperation with a variety of stakeholders will be essential in this evolving global landscape.
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