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The Liberal Order and its Contestations. Great powers and regions transiting in a multipolar era


The notion that we are experiencing a change in times, whereby an old global order is giving way to a new one, has been gaining legitimacy in international debates. As US power is waning, the argument goes, so is the set of liberal norms, rules and institutions around which the Unites States organised its global supremacy. Ideational contests, power shifts, regional fragmentation, and socio-economic turmoil paint a broad picture of complex and often inter-related challenges that fuel contestation of the liberal order, both as a normative project and as an emanation of US power. Major players – China and India, Europe and Russia, and the United States itself – are all engaged in a process of global repositioning, most notably in areas where the liberal project has only fragile roots and order is contested: Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. This volume aims to provide critical frames of reference for understanding whether geopolitical and ideational contestations will eventually bring the US-centred liberal order down or lead to a process of adjustment and transformation.

Published also as a special issue of The International Spectator, Vol. 53, No. 1 (March 2018).

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