Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Twenty-First Century Imperialism

By   ·  Friday, February 24, 2023

On the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the continuing war indicates that the foundations of a rules-based global order are not just the rules themselves but also the structure of sovereignty that supports those rules. Sovereignty includes both the use of power and the establishment of a legitimating vision of order. The challenges to the Westphalian system of global order consequently come not just from the Russian invasion but also from the Russian idea of its civilizational mission against Western secularism as well as China’s idea of a “shared humanity for mankind.” Telos 201 provides analyses of both of these alternative visions for global order. Matthew Dal Santo, for example, describes Russia’s stance as a defense of a spiritual rather than a secular conception of the basis of order. Gordon Chang analyzes the way in which China has been promoting its tianxia model of unified global governance against the chaos and conflict of separate sovereign nation-states. The frame within which to view these alternative visions is not the struggle between spirituality and secularism or between China and the West, but the global development of nationalism.


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