The world is in a state of disorder.
As we approach the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century, all about us is chaos. The rise of the East is viewed with scepticism and fear by the West. The international liberal order is facing a moment of crisis. With Darwinism (or the survival of the strongest and fittest) having guided the construction and management of international systems of governance for seven decades, it is no surprise that as sweeping change overtakes the world, there are no longer many takers for these arrangements. Globalization is confronted by economic nationalism. Strong leaders are exploiting the grievances of citizens (whether imagined or real) to discard global ideals and champion local interests. And the prospects of a ‘global village’, of the world coming ever closer together, seem to be in reversal. A zero-sum approach to development and the securitization of growth are creating new potential for conflict at a time when the institutions of global governance are weaker than ever before.
The New World Disorder and the Indian Imperative is a major study of this new world order. In tracing the roots of our current predicaments to the inequity of the post-war international structure, it explains the situation that obtains at present. The book identifies the new actors and ideas that will emerge from the remnants of the old dispensation to script the architecture of the twenty-first century. India, the authors argue, has a major role to play in shaping the regimes of the future given its size, growing clout, and stake in practically every major multilateral organization. India’s sustained commitment to constitutional democracy and its unique identity as a non-hegemonic global power will be central to its leadership role.
In today’s multipolar, contested, and uncertain world, India may well be the only country with the credentials and capability to script an equitable ethic for a new international order.