The horrific death count that World War II had on human life compelled the United States to support the creation of organizations, laws, treaties, and accords. That would govern fundamental international concerns including commerce, health, environmental protection, and others.
This “world order,” which has developed during an era of American dominance and was based on a multilateral approach to global issues. It had the intention to promote stability, and guarantee the resolution or containment of conflicts. And prevent situations of violent anarchy where “might makes right.”
This global order’s boundaries changed throughout time. The Cold War was its most notable aspect until the Soviet Union was destroyed (and concomitant efforts to prevent a nuclear war). After the fall of the USSR, the world experienced the American Moment.
A pivotal time when America had almost full worldwide dominion. This “moment” has already gone; China has demonstrated incredibly quick economic development, and Russia has reemerged as a powerhouse.
Conflicts due to World Order
The international order that emerged after World War II was a reflection of the ongoing conflicts. And also the rivalries between the forces of liberal democracy and authoritarianism. The “players” in the international system behaved in a way that had largely motivated by their interests and governed by rules. However, Western countries, notably the United States, made efforts to advance universal principles. And also the behavioral standards are in line with democratic and liberal objectives, with varying degrees of success.
Trend reversals during the past ten years have raised concerns about the durability of the present international order. First, several of the pillars of the current order are currently facing issues by the major nations, especially the United States.
Second, there is a crisis within the liberal-democratic ethos, with threats coming from both insides (the Western nations) and beyond. Indeed, according to Freedom House rankings, there has been a persistent decline in political and civil rights all around the world during the past 13 years.
Although experts disagree on whether this is a long-term trend or a one-off incident, Israeli and Jewish governments must nevertheless be vigilant and take appropriate measures despite this disagreement. Of course, these politicians do not have the authority to alter current world patterns.
However, it is their responsibility to take into account the phenomenon’s potential effects on Israel and the Diaspora. If practical, plan for dangers and seize possibilities.
Effect of liberal-democratic mentality on the existing world order
After the Second World War, the United States set out to create a new world order. With the stated goal of advancing safety, stability, freedom, free trade, open markets, human rights, the rule of law, equality before the law, fair elections, freedom of expression, humane treatment of minorities and immigrants, gender equality, the abolition of racism, and more.
A type of Westernized form of Tikkun Olam, the worldview on which this tradition is built sees democratic and liberal ideals. As stabilizing factors in international affairs and as the means of achieving the public good.
Cooperation between states, security accords, international commerce, and tackling issues of a regional and global nature. And are all seen as win-win situations in the liberal-democratic perspective. This theory holds that countries that support democracy and preserve freedom and human rights as fundamental principles will experience lasting peace.
Where this takes place, economies are able to grow, which raises the motivation to uphold peace and stability. In fact, this vision stresses the ideals of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. It was this vision that inspired the creation of organizations like the UN, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization (which replaced GATT), and NATO after World War II. These institutions and beliefs, together with the technical advancements. That made the globalization age possible, is largely responsible for its inception.
Naturally, making generalizations should be avoided. It would be incorrect to assume that liberal-democratic principles and humanitarian concerns have been the only or main driving forces behind free-world foreign policy during the many years after World War II. Major intra-Western disagreements between idealists and realists had sparked by a variety of other interests and factors that exercised a strong effect.
Over the years, the U.S., the principal supporter of the post-World War II order, has backed a number of dictators when those dictators benefited American interests. However, the liberal-democratic outlook has significantly influenced the Western world’s spirit of the time as well as its actualizations on the global stage.
What elements have weakened the present world order?
There are many elements that have an effect on the present world order. A few of them are mentioned below:
A progression of mistakes
The promised vision of peace, stability, freedom, and prosperity has not yet been fully achieved by the existing international order. Additionally, liberal-democratic principles no longer have as much appeal. The 2008 financial crisis, and rising social inequality brought on by globalization. The demise of the hopes sparked by the Arab Spring, a declining sense of personal security.
And the erosion of the open-borders ideal and the cosmopolitan mentality in the West in the face of Islamic extremism, terrorism, and waves of immigration from the Middle East and Africa are just a few of the failures and challenges on a long list that are not necessarily listed in order of importance.
The following you can add to this list: the declining capacity of governments to address domestic and international issues (due to a shift in power and resources from the state to international corporations); the European identity and economic crises; Brexit; the U.S. military’s failures in Iraq and Afghanistan; Iranian subversion and the problematic nuclear agreement (JCPOA) from which the U.S. has withdrawn; the North Korean nuclear threat; and a feeling of helplessness in the face of the Syria crisis.
Political Revival of Far-right movements
Populism, hostility toward elites (often associated with the liberal-democratic ethos), protectionism, trade wars, political extremism on both the left and the right, and the political revival of far-right movements. And an intensified “tribal” impulse to fortify the nation-state as a unit with a strong, cohesive identity and borders are trends that undermine the liberal-democratic ethos.
Additionally, groups that detest quick lifestyle changes have threatened the rapid rate of technological progress (social media, information exchange, etc.). Their support for political forces that stress conservatism and national identity grows as a result.
A new choice has emerged. It is becoming more appealing as the liberal-democratic global order has begun to show signs of deterioration and catastrophe. China presents an alternate form of government to the West: fast and continuous economic growth without dedication to preserving democracy or human rights. In this system, a leader’s legitimacy is determined by their accomplishments rather than by popular vote. The Chinese model’s appeal may decline should the nation’s current economic difficulties worsen.
A significant shift in the relative importance of the various players in the international system
The United States, for the most part carried the burden of maintaining the global order. It has grown weary of this role and is now concentrating more on itself. Instead of using military force, it prefers to use economic and political power, sometimes even when it is directly in its own interests.
China and Russia, two authoritarian governments that compete with the United States in the great-power equation, are becoming more significant. These countries reject the logic of a Western-imposed international system that downplays their strength because they saw themselves historically as superpowers.
They are acting more assertively strategically in the military, economy, and cyberspace, claiming that their standing. And interests are equal to or greater than those of the United States. The concern that Western ideas would threaten their internal stability is another factor in Russia. And China’s hostility to a global order based on liberal-democratic principles. From their perspective, the liberal-democratic system is only a cunning plan to meddle in their internal affairs, curtail their authority, and maintain Western hegemony.
What would the world order of the future look like?
Leading scholars of international affairs disagree on the breakdown of the liberal-democratic ethos. And the present world order marks a turning point in history or only a temporary response. Many would rather refer to the current state of affairs as “world chaos”. Or an interim state before a new, more stable order is established. In any event, the nature of the world order or disorder is dynamic.
Since it reflects shifts in the balance of power among participants in the international system, including innovations in technology that challenge the status quo, etc. There are now two possible world orders, one of which is functioning and the other not.
The functional multipolar organization built on great-power rivalry
This sort of system is based on great-power competition. It provides greater weight to the rising strength of Russia and China. The United States declining desire to rule the globe is a functional multi-polar global order. Such a system would demonstrate the liberal-democratic ethos’ waning power.
Although a system of this kind would improve great-power relations and might encourage great-power cooperation on global issues. Such as the proliferation of nuclear weapons, space regulation, global warming, etc. Russia and China would have more freedom than in the past to enlarge their influence. And the barriers that prevent them from threatening to use or actually using their military might in regional contexts would weaken.
Continuing global disorder
Violence, unpredictable security, and economic crises, the threat of great-power conflicts. It is a continuing lack of collaboration on international issues. Such as the development of unconventional weapons and global warming, describe the ongoing global disorder, or “the jungle sprouts back.”
Repercussions for the Jewish people and Israel
Israel has had effects from the post-World War II global order, some beneficial and some detrimental. On the one hand, Israel has been protected by an American strategic umbrella. That has increased its might and deterrence, bringing about advantages to the economy. And promoted an image of being a member of the club of liberal democracies as the outlier in a non-liberal and anti-democracy area.
On the other side, Israel has experienced institutionalized prejudice in the UN. That serves as a representation of the current global order. Israel’s legitimacy has been weakened by the majority of the UN. That is made up of numerous countries with authoritarian governments.
Israel has thus faced a variety of difficulties, threats, conundrums, and possibilities as a result of the deterioration of the present global order. All of these elements are perceived in various ways that reflect political and ideological divisions within Israel.
For example, some would say that it is not in Israel’s best interest to take advantage of more advantageous circumstances for settlement construction. While others might view such expansion as an effective move. The presence of these disagreements does not, however, allow us to ignore the shift in the global order.