When democratic values come under attack and the press and civil society are neutralised, the institutional safeguards lose their power. Under such conditions, the transgressions of those in power go unpunished or become normalised. The gradual erosion of checks and balances thus gives way to sudden institutional collapse.
China has always said it is not seeking to overthrow the global order. We should listen. Why would China go to the trouble of capsizing the global order when it can simply take it over, whole and intact? … Far from opening up a new battleground, China’s plan is to fight on familiar territory. Its message to the world is simple: China is ready to pick up the slack, as the United States retreats from its global responsibilities. For a world exhausted and impoverished by the pandemic, it’s a seductive proposition.
We face a conundrum when trying to understand and manage this new world. We must avoid the temptation to simply rely on past practices and institutions to deal with emerging challenges. We must also recognize that these changes, though destabilizing and occasionally frightening, have brought profoundly positive changes to the world. The remarkable global revolution of the past few decades has generated wealth and massively reduced poverty, helped eliminate disease, increased individual tolerance and freedom, provided access to unimaginable levels of communication and information, and dampened the dark cloud of war and violence.
Coming full circle on its 50th anniversary, ASEAN is now caught in a regional strategic environment similar to one that existed at its founding, defined by volatility, hostility, and superpower rivalry that pose a serious existential threat to the organization. Can ASEAN maintain its autonomy and reputation as a credible and cohesive unit capable of regional resilience in the 21st century?
India is frequently described as the world’s largest democracy, thus leaving the impression that the country has nothing in common with a place like Turkey. In just the past year, the latter has weathered an attempted coup, a large-scale purging of key institutions by the ruling regime, and a president who seems increasingly unstable.
But if Mr Trump is prepared to go around his departments and media, ignore diplomatic protocols and sideline the US Military, will he really obey the will of Congress and the Supreme Court when they start trying to put limits on his power? What it means is that much of the conventional thinking about how Mr Trump’s presidency will play out needs to be completely rethought.
The collapse of Afghanistan’s political order, compounded by an array of economic, environmental, and security challenges, has become a growing fear for many in the country. The current instability stems from closed-door political dealings among the Afghan elite and external actors with no consideration for the will of the Afghan people.
A new and different kind of global power is on the rise – one that is informal and citizen-based. Attitude surveys indicate that citizens in rich as well as poor countries – aided by dramatically falling costs of communication, participation, and coordination – are aware of the risks a hyper-connected global market system creates, and the potential for global cooperation to minimize those risks. They are demanding change.