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Daily Editorials

Decentralised international order/ World Order


  • The International Institute for Strategic Studies puts the overall estimate of China’s military budget at $230 billion. The intentions for global supremacy are apparent, chiefly to outrun the America.

  • Primary geopolitical rivals: The primary geopolitical rivals, namely Russia and China may possibly provide the strategic and tactical counterbalance to the hegemony of America.

  • Moreover, the international order is under threat of the rising economic power of the BRICS nations, with China dominating in its economic and military capacity.

  • Decentred and pluralistic global order: The world is, as a result, witness to a more decentred and pluralistic global order by long-term structural shifts in the global economy, indicating change of status in international politics, especially in the context of the rising impact of Asian Regionalism on international trade and commerce.


  • Military prowess: Though it is a far cry from surpassing the United States in its military prowess, particularly Russia which has no ambitions of a global outreach.

  • Future of global politics: It is apparent that the future of global politics requires rising powers to aggressively building a parallel economic order envisaging new centres of hegemonic power.

  • Decline of American ascendency: It forebodes the final decline of American ascendency that began after the end of British imperialism in the aftermath of the Suez Crisis (1956)

    • When a wrap on the knuckles by America led to the withdrawal of Britain and France.

    • Pax Britannica gave way to Pax Americana.

  • European hegemony: From the Renaissance period onwards, 14th-15th century Europe began its hegemonic ambitions through trade and commerce, taking almost 500 years to colonise and influence nations across the world.

  • Interrogation of Eurocentrism: The tectonic shifts in the postcolonial era saw the interrogation of Eurocentrism and its biased accounts of the East, especially with the appearance of

    • Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth and

    • Edward Said’s Orientalism.

  • Bandung Conference of 1955: It was the Bandung Conference of 1955, a meeting of Asian and African states, most of which were newly independent, that set the schema for the rise of Asia, politically and economically.

  • The confrontational stance was therefore the expected corollary in third world struggles to create a parallel order.


  • Prime role in international affairs: Nevertheless, in all likelihood, America will continue to play a prime role in international affairs.

  • Universal brotherhood Image: It has sharply declined under the Trump regime, particularly his foreign policy of threatening to withdraw/withdrew from:

    • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and

    • Paris Agreement on climate change

    • UNESCO

    • WHO

  • Racism and Immigration: Furthermore, his bare-faced racist obsession and his handling of the marginalised immigrants has left the democratic world aghast.

  • Dent to Liberal democracy: The rising tide of far-right ultra-nationalism and ethnic purity experienced in the Brexit phenomena, has set in motion the wearing down of liberal democracy.

  • Other threats: Such as terrorism, ethnic conflicts and the warning of annihilation owing to climate change necessarily demand joint international action where American “exceptionalism” becomes an incongruity and an aberration.

    • This indeed has chipped away at the American global supremacy.


  • Emerging economies would rise to meet the American-led liberal hegemonic world order.

  • Asian regionalism: With China spearheading Asian regionalism, a serious challenge is possible but there is deep scepticism about China’s self-enhancing economic and military greed reflecting its personal economic rise.

  • Regional multilateral institutions: China must strengthen the opposition to the West through the promotion of regional multilateral institutions.

  • Self-centred promotion of building its own stature through the recent concentration on principle of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Silk Road project has, indeed provoked an understandable clash with India and Japan.

  • Multilateral v. individual affiliations: More than having individual partners or allies, China must embrace and give a push to multilateral affiliations in order to not further exacerbate regional tensions.

  • Power rivalry in a multipolar world:  It would remain a possibility with military conflict not ruled out.  

  • Regional military activity: It can be seen in

    • Russia’s assertion of power in Georgia and Ukraine,

    • Turkey in the east of the Mediterranean,

    • India’s disputes with Pakistan and

    • China’s infiltration into India as well as its rivalry within its periphery.

  • Muscles flex & once economic rise: History is a witness to nations beginning to flex their muscles once economic rise is assured and recognised across the world.

  • Rising economies: However, the capabilities of the rising economies cannot be underestimated.

  • China and India clearly have the age-old potential to lead as, historically, they have been pioneers of some of the oldest civilisations in the world.

  • Whereas, China’s military capabilities must not make China lose its bearings, economically it must spearhead the challenge to the established western world that has ingrained its superiority in the consciousness of the developing world for centuries.

  • China led union: Indeed is a valuable bedfellow for the launching of a union which could be a formidable challenge to the West.

  • Fragmentation of global governance: It can no longer be handled solely by America.

  • China a serious rival to the USA: China is indisputably a serious rival to the U.S. in the South China Sea,

  • A world leader in renewable energy, and

  • A formidable actor on the global stage of investment and trade, penetrating India, Israel, Ethiopia and Latin America.

  • Absolute sovereignty model: China has risen in its global power by “adopting the idea of absolute sovereignty and following the nation-state model, which is in conflict with the Western ideal that human rights override sovereignty.

    • But it cannot continue to rise by doing what it has been doing and it must eventually follow the liberal democratic models”.

    • China must remember that its growing power has compelled Anthony Blinken, the current U.S. Secretary of State, to encourage NATO members to join the U.S. in viewing China as an economic and security threat.


  • The emphasis, therefore, would be a move towards restructuring and advancement, as well as adopting an oppositional posture as a robust replacement of subservience to western hegemony.

  • The challenges of the 21st century can be met head on through mutual sharing of knowledge and more ground-breaking inclusive treaties.

  • It is feared that there could be a possibility of a multipolar world turning disordered and unstable.

    • But it is up to the rising nations to attempt to overcome territorial aspirations.

  • Interestingly, the sun is now setting on the empire and the rising nations are gradually waking up to a new experience of freedom and self-confidence.

SOURCE: The Hindu