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Diversity Management: Regionalism and the Future of the International Order


The ongoing redistribution of power on the international stage points to a more decentred international system featuring a multiplication of governance arrangements. A larger range of pivotal countries have the capacity and the confidence to pursue different priorities, a development that questions the prevalent post-Cold War expectation that the liberal international order would grow both wider and deeper. The central challenge for the future of the international order is managing diversity in ways that minimise conflict and leverage the benefits of interdependence. The evolution of regionalism and regional orders will be a critical dimension of the realignment of power, interests and normative agendas at the global level. Both more competition and more cooperation are likely to take place at the regional level, with the mix changing in different parts of the world. Provided that it is not merely a cover for coercive hegemonic aspirations and that it is designed to complement other levels of cooperation, regionalism can play an important role in preventing a more polycentric world from becoming a more fragmented and unstable one.
Keywords: Liberal order, US foreign policy, global governance, multipolarity, multilateralism, regionalism