Welcome to the World Without the West

November 12, 2014 Topic: Foreign PolicyGreat Powers Region: United States

Welcome to the World Without the West

"What is happening is a concerted effort by the emerging powers to construct parallel multilateral architectures that route around the liberal order, and will likely reshape international politics and economics in fundamental ways."

Thomas Kuhn taught us long ago that paradigms die hard. In this instance, let’s hope that the clear emergence of the World Without the West will finally serve as a wake-up call that it’s time to move beyond the way we’ve traditionally thought about the choices facing rising powers. The United States cannot afford to sit back and wait for China to either join or challenge the liberal order, while in the real world Beijing is incrementally building an alternative order.

Naazneen Barma is Assistant Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School.

Ely Ratner is Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS).

Steven Weber is Professor at the University of California, Berkeley in the Department of Political Science and the School of Information.

The views in this essay are their own.

Image: Wikimedia Commons/Gobierno de Chile/CC by 2.0