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Dec

How’s That New World Order Working Out? By Parag Khanna

Foreign Policy (December 2010)

The multipolar moment has arrived – and it’s nothing like Americans imagined.

Looking for a sign of when the multipolar moment suddenly seemed real? You could do worse than mark the day when Brazil and Turkey — two of the world’s most avidly internationalist emerging powers — joined together this May to announce they had stepped in to broker a nuclear-fuel swap deal with Iran that potentially — though sadly not actually — paved the way toward a peaceful solution to the standoff. Turkey and Brazil aren’t superpowers, nor are they permanent U.N. Security Council members. But just as U.S. President Barack Obama came into office preaching a renewed focus on multilateralism, rising powers are reminding us that respect for hierarchy is no longer on anyone’s agenda.

What a difference a couple of decades makes. A little over 20 years ago, then U.S. President George H.W. Bush — who had just witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall and saw the Soviet Union disintegrating before his very eyes — stood at the granite podium of the U.N. General Assembly in New York and proclaimed a “new world order,” a U.S.-dominated international system “where the rule of law supplants the rule of the jungle.” Two decades later, the “new new world order” we are in fact living looks almost nothing like what Bush — and most Americans — imagined or hoped. Read more…

As published in http://www.foreignpolicy.com

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