A New World Order?

The war in Ukraine. The rise of China. The weakening of democratic norms. We asked BC experts about the future of the liberal world order. 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the largest attack in Europe since World War II, has set off waves of speculation about whether the international order that has regulated the planet for three-quarters of a century is beginning to crumble. An ascendent China is challenging America for global primacy. The West’s commitment to democratic norms seems more fragile than at any time in memory. And Russia, long recognized as one of the world’s superpowers, is suddenly looking more like a paper tiger. What does all of this mean for the future of the world order? We asked a number of BC experts, and ahead we present their thoughts on the future of everything from the United States and China to Russia, NATO, and nuclear nonproliferation.

On the World after Ukraine

By James E. Cronin, research professor in history
For three-quarters of a century, the international order has persevered. Now it suddenly finds itself challenged by Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. The order has now suffered a serious rupture that will not be quickly or easily repaired.
Read the entire essay.

On Russia

By Paul T. Christensen, political science professor of the practice
Putin and his elite allies who currently rule Russia never believed that the cold war ended, and they never accepted the loss of a significant proportion of “Russia’s” territory, population, and influence that the dissolution of the Soviet Union entailed. 
Read the entire essay.

On China

A Q&A with Robert S. Ross, political science professor
China is a major international trading partner, a major market for the world. The question is, will it rival the United States as a great power around the world? I think that, beyond East Asia, it’s going to be simply a global presence, not a global power.
Read the entire Q&A. 


By Seth Jacobs, history professor
NATO has become obsolete. Indeed, Washington’s whole Europe-first orientation is anachronistic, a wasteful, expensive holdover from the cold war that ought to have been abandoned years ago and that distracts us from the true dangers we face abroad.
Read the entire essay. 

On Arms Control

A Q&A with Jennifer L. Erickson, political science associate professor
There’s always the potential for unintended consequences with arm sales, however justified they are. A basic problem for countries that sell weapons is that once you sell them you’ve given up practical control of them. 
Read the entire Q&A. 

On the Middle East

By Ali Banuazizi, research professor of political science
Despite economic hardships and diplomatic pressures, Middle Eastern leaders, while expressing sympathy for the Ukrainian victims of the war, have refrained from condemning Russia’s aggression. 
Read the entire essay.

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