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The Coming Anarchy? Global Orders, Rising and Descending Powers, Polarities and Traps


Dozent/inProf. Dr. Klaus Segbers
SemesterWintersemester 2018
Veranstaltungsumfang2 SWS
RaumGarystr. 55 Hörsaal A

Di. 16:00 - 18:00

It is much debated if, and why, the post- World War 2 world order, broadly considered as a ‘liberal’, is not only weakened but may be in demise. The same can be argues for the post-Cold War order, as symbolized by the Paris Charter from 1990. Their core organizations (U.N., EU, Bretton Woods organizations, WTO, Kyoto Protocol, etc.) and rules/ institutions are disputed, and facing challenges. The hegemon of this order, the United States, has moved from its guarantor into a risk. The EU, the living proof that states may cooperate over time, is getting weaker as well, challenged from within and from external attacks, among them from populist movements. The world may have passed the tipping point from a rule-based multilateral order to something else that is still difficult to define. But it doesn’t look good. One may frame this new constellation as a bilateral rivalry between the U.S. and China, in which case we have to consider Allison’s ‘Thucydides Trap’. Or we may take it as a multi- or non-polar configuration, or as anarchy. In any case, the move away from the post-WW 2, and also from the post-Cold War systems produces and increases uncertainties, and anxieties. This course will look at these processes a) from a comparative historical perspective, we will look at defining criteria for past empires; b) from different IR angles, we will reconstruct what they have to say on empires; and c) using a social view, we will explore elements of social support for (or resistance to) empires.”

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