ABSTRACT

After Disruption: 'Historical Perspectives on the Future of International Order'   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Introduction: "The Covid-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic has intensified the debate about whether world order is undergoing a fundamental change. States are reevaluating the costs and benefits of an open international system. [...] Periods of disorder like today naturally give rise to questions about how past orders came about, why they broke down, and most importantly, how they are replaced. [...] In this moment of contingency, the Project on History and Strategy convened a group of international historians to answer these questions and excavate the past for insights about the relationship between disorder and order. Over the course of seven workshops spanning four centuries of history, they studied the disruption-order dynamic through the lens of their deep expertise. They took an ecumenical approach examining wars, pandemics, and economic shocks. Less important than the particular sources of disruption was the fact that from disorder came an effort to remake the world. We looked not just at the post-1945 era--which is where much of the focal point of order-making in public debate now centers--nor even predominantly at events in the twentieth century. Our goal was not to provide direct lessons but to frame the types of questions that might help us understand where we are today and how we can anticipate debates about the developing future of international order and navigate toward a better world."

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Date:
2020-09
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2020 Center for Strategic and International Studies
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Center for Strategic and International Studies: https://www.csis.org/
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application/pdf
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