The USA in a ‘Post-West’ World: Difficulties of Adaptation and Implications for International Order and Global Governance
The USA is in the midst of a very difficult and protracted revision of its place in the international system. Its role as a global leader, a major pillar of international security and centre of the global economic and political order is unsustainable and is increasingly rejected from both outside and within. Adapting to this new role will not be linear and will develop at different paces in different regions. In the middle term, it will proceed with a harsh and prolonged confrontation with Russia and China as well as with a substantial increase in the US foreign policy unilateralism. The latter will fluctuate from administration to administration, but the common denominator will be a less multilateralist and benign approach than that in the Obama era. Because the USA remains the most powerful player militarily, and diplomatically, retains the dominant position in global finance and has been the centrepiece of the prevailing global governance system for decades, both the international order and global governance will suffer negative consequences until the USA completes its transition to new modalities of participation in the international system. Only when the USA finally accepts rules for equal relations with the other poles can a new international order and a new pattern of global governance emerge.