Outlook 2017: An International System in Flux
December 29, 2016
The collapse of the Soviet Union ushered in a historical moment where all the stars aligned in favor of the United States: its political system was vindicated, its military was unrivaled, and its economy was strong enough to dominate a yet unglobalized world. What followed was a period of American hegemony that lasted a quarter of a century – the era of the US ‘globocop.’ Those who grew up in this era could be forgiven for believing in an innate American exceptionalism vis-à-vis international law, or that Washington should have a say in every regional forum and every far-flung conflict.
But it appears that’s all in the past now.
The international system is changing, and these changes will accelerate in 2017. Broadly speaking, the shift is driven by competitors catching up to the United States in economic and military terms, and states increasingly ‘opting out’ of the US-led, post-WWII order.
Here are some of the main trends to watch in 2017: