42:2 - Summer 2018
The Fletcher Forum is pleased to share a sampling of articles from our latest print edition of the journal, focused on the world and its pressing issues in 2030. To read more, we invite you to subscribe to The Forum and thank you for your readership and support.
The Future of American Soft Power: A Conversation with Tim Roemer, former Ambassador of the United States to India
Can the Two-State Solution Be Saved? A Conversation with Dominique de Villepin, former Prime Minister of France
The Crooked Timber of Humanity: How HBO is Redefining Storytelling with Richard Plepler, CEO of HBO
Diagnosing the Fault Lines of Globalisation in a Post-Truth Era by Rodrigo Chacón
Scholars of International Relations (IR) confront the unenviable task of conceiving and representing the world as a whole. Philosophy has deemed this impossible since the time of Kant. Today's populist reaction against "globalism" suggests that it is imprudent. Yet IR must preserve in its quest to diagnose emerging global realities and fault lines. To do so without stoking populist fears and mythologies, I argue, IR must enter into dialogue with the new realism in philosophy, and in particular with its ontological pluralism. The truth of what unites and divides us today is not one-dimensional, as the image of a networked world of "open" or "closed" societies suggest. Beyond anonymous networks, there are principles such as sovereignty; there are systemic dynamics of inclusion/exclusion, and there is the power of justifications.
The Rising (More) Nation-Centered System by Amitai Etzioni
The liberal International Order, formed when the United States was the only great power at the end of World War II, is threatened by national populism and rising powers. The United States will have to allow some redistribution of power or war may well ensue. However, the ways to respond to rising nationalistic populism are much less clear. This article argues that globalist ideals and institutions have progressed more rapidly than public support for them, leading to a major backlash. This is especially evident in the EU but also in the forceful promotion of human rights and democratic regimes in the Middle East. Modification in the way key elements of the Liberal International Order are introduced - regarding trade, immigration, and armed interventions - will allow for a closing of the gap between globalism and the socio-political reality.
Contending Geopolitical Narrative and Global Tectonic Shifts by Andrés Serbin
The international system is undergoing a complex transition characterized by geopolitical shifts, as well as the rise of new global threats and risks. These shifts entail geo-economic and geopolitical reconfigurations on a global scale and have a significant impact on global governance and the liberal international order established since the end of the Cold War. There is a complex struggle between different approaches and visions of the globalized world and an emerging international order. Assessments of these approaches are complicated by political, economic, and military elites of established and emerging powers developing new narratives to legitimize shifts and justify their geostrategic objectives in short and long-term contexts. This article analyses the geopolitical narratives of the contemporary world focusing on Atlantic, Asia Pacific, Indo-Pacific, the Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR) and the Greater Eurasia narratives, to conclude that Eurasianism could redesign of the contours of a new global order.