More than twenty years ago Francis Fukuyama declared about the end of history. The Cold War showed the absolute dominance of Western system of liberal democracy. However, today we can evidently observe the new systems initiation. In the article We Friends of Liberal International Order Face a New Global Disorder the British historian and commentator Timothy Garton Ash discusses modern tendencies of the international relations. The political evolution had not stopped yet with the end of the Cold War. Market democracy as “the final form o human government” faces with numerous problems (Fukuyama 1993, p. 11). Nevertheless, history lives on. Garton Ash indicates two issues of the modern international relations: transnational terrorism and growing Chinese and Russian economies based on authoritarian capitalism.
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According to the modern theories of international relations, global terrorism can be considered as international and transnational. International terrorism is directed by one nation against another and maintained by a state sovereign. Transnational terrorism is autonomous structure that functions without the help of state and can be directed against the whole world. 9/11 is an example of such transnational terrorism.
Talking about the war on terrorism, Timothy Garton Ash emphasizes that even today after several years past 9/11 the problem is not solved yet. Some scientists suppose that the reasons of transnational terrorism can be found in the globalization which opens all borders (Beeson 2010, p137). Why this might be so? In the countries where global influence led to the serious changes in different areas from the economy to culture transnational terrorism was exacerbated. Transnational terrorism aggravates by the cultural resistance to the influence of globalization (Brown 2009, p. 114). The polarization in the society is a result of the economical instability. Countries that have not integrated to the new liberal economy gave rise to the terrorism (Burchill 2009, p. 57). The end of the Cold War led to the massive ascent of Islamic terrorism.
Transnational terrorism nowadays is an important issue of the international relations which influence many political structures (Baylis 2007, p175). Garton Ash says that the popularity of the talks about the war on terrorism in the American society today goes down. However, Jørgensen supposes that the influence of the US/UK war on terrorism and non-democratic states impacts the theorizing in 21st century (2010, p. 188).
The second key aspect of the article is the rising of China and its 8/8 manifest.
Obviously, China today is one of the most value players on the international politics field. The Chinese communism, or rather authoritarian capitalism dominates the 21 century. Many scientists agree with this assertion. The proclamation of Chinese rising Timothy Garton Ash sees in the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games. He named it 8/8 time (Garton Ash, 2008).
We can’t deny that Chinese authority today dictates the economic dominance of the west. Chinese brand of state capitalism deploys over the Western system. Chinese example shows the world that strong economic can be achieved under the control of the state (Griffiths 2007, p. 139). Garton Ash position is similar to the opinion of many scientists.
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The Chinese model of economy is criticized for the lack of safety, health crises, and massive demographic problems. All those problems are the effects of the economic growth. The piecemeal and brutal way characterizes the authority regime. However, dynamics of the economic growth shows the competitiveness of this system. China’s government demonstrates the ability to manage present problems. Dunne predicts that the rising Chinese system and the US will engage in a new war competition (2010, pp. 80-83). Perhaps, the Chinese authoritarian-capitalist project will start the new armament drive. Thereby, the position of Garton Ash is completely valid.
Garton Ash expresses the negative thoughts concerning the Russian model. The authoritarian-capitalist model in Russia is similar to Chinese one. Although Russia shows the ambitions on the global stage, its interior problems cannot be solved by the authoritarian policy. The sovereign democracy of Russia is only outer sheath which covers the numerous problems. The Soviet system exhausted its economical capacity. However, today Russia bases its economy on resource which allows dictating the conditions on the global stage. The influence of China and Russia is weighty not only among ex-Soviet and eastern countries. China provides multiplex support to regimes in Sudan, North Korea, and Zimbabwe. Russia supplies antidemocratic reforms in Ukraine and Georgia (Goldstein 2008, p. 476).
Today, Western system faces with the challenges produced by the rising of authoritarian capitalism in China and Russia. Garton Ash emphasizes the importance of Western system as the last barrier on the terrorism and authority expansion. During the 20th century, the US was the guarantee of democracy. However, today the US basically cares only about the war on terrorism.
Modern researchers of the international relations emphasize the perspectives of growing power of terrorism as a reaction on the global changes in the society. Considerable success of the authoritarian system of China and Russia is an example of another substantial tendency of the international relations. Garton Ash completely right indicates two fundamental issues of the modern international relations: transnational terrorism and the economy based on authoritarian capitalism.
- Baylis, J., Smith, S. & Owens, P. 2007, The Globalisation of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations, 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Beeson, M. & Bisley, N. 2010, Issues in 21st Century World Politics. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
- Brown, C. & Alley, K. 2009, Understanding International Relations, 4th ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Burchill, S., Linklater, A., Devetak, R., Donnelly, J., Peterson M., Reus-Smit, C. & True, J. 2009, Theories of International Relations, 4th ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Dunne, T., Kurki, M. & Smith, S. 2010, International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity, 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Fukuyama, F. 1993, The End of History and the Last Man. New York: Harper Perennial.
- Garton Ash, T. 11 2008, ‘We Friends of Liberal International Order Face a New Global Disorder’, The Guardian.
- Goldstein, J. S. & Pevehouse, J. C. 2008, International Relations, 8th ed. New York: Pearson Education.
- Griffiths, M. 2007, International relations Theory for the twenty-First century: An Introduction. London: Routledge.
- Jørgensen, K. E. 2010, International Relations Theory, Basingstoke: Palgrave.