Asan Plenum

RELEASE EMBARGO DATE: April 23, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Panel: Future of Liberal International Order (GB1)
Date/Time: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 / 15:30-16:45
Talking Points for: Francois Godement, European Council on Foreign Relations

What is the liberal international order? A set of rules above nations? A concert of democracies leading the pack? Is it functional, or ethical? Is it about what should be done, or about what cannot be done? Is it a zero tolerance compact, destroyed by « double standards » ? Or can it be incremental, and à la carte?

For all the talk about the rest succeeding the West, « the rest » is not an order, it is a g-zero world. Take out rules and arbitration, and what is left is an inherently unstable multipolar world, hovering between unipolar moments and a fractal curve. Finally, this paradox: the liberal order is a tyranny of rules, based on the freedom of the individual. Authoritarian regimes support freedom from rules for the states. Long after the West may have become a relic in economic history, this dilemma will stay alive.


The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.