A world without illusions: realities, trends and experiments of the post-liberal era

Issue: UA Foreign Affairs, №4,2020

Doi: 10.46493/2663-2675-2020-4-1


Sergii Tolstov, PhD, head of the department of transatlantic studies, Institute of World History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.,

The world community is slowly and painfully adapting to the multipolar structural model of the 21st century. Current trends in international relations are easier to fix and describe than to try to predict their long-term consequences and results. The new international system is still in its infancy. The defining characteristic of the new multipolarity is the simultaneous aggravation of several main blocks of contradictions between the major powers and interstate associations. Among them, it is appropriate to note the increasingly open and acute rivalry between the main old and new great powers, collapse of ‘Western unity’, intensification of technological competition, reassessment of the importance of military-political alliances, the devaluation of all kinds of guarantees and multilateral obligations. The imbalance of traditional ties is accompanied by large-scale spontaneous migration processes, climate change and the growing vulnerability of the global financial system. Against this background, contrary to the long-standing assertions of the apologists for globalization and the assurances of neoliberal theorists, a significant strengthening of the role and functions of state power is observed. As in the multipolar system of the 18th-19th centuries, the state acts as the ultimate guarantor of national interests and social stability of competing states and their socio-political systems. These trends can be considered as a quite natural result of the completion of the historically short-term period of US global hegemony in the period 1994-2008. Acceleration of the dynamics of world processes means the formation of a new framework for world politics that forces regional states to adapt to new conditions of global competition. Ukraine’s contemporary position looks as extremely vulnerable. It is characterized by the loss of control over part of the national territory, economic stagnation, deformation of the economic structure, violation of traditional economic ties, the instability of the political system, and the absence of an intelligible state development strategy. The conflict in Donbass which remains a permanent destabilizing threat increasingly acquires the character of Ukrainian internal problem. In such circumstances the need for a thorough assessment of the country's position is an obvious basis for the successful resolution of domestic contradictions and the formation of a realistic foreign policy program that provides for the restoration of peaceful conditions for national development.

Keywords : multipolarity, rivalry, crisis, foreign policy, adaptation, strategy, development

Language of the article : Ukrainian

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