Sergio Fabbrini and Raffaele Marchetti, editors of Still a Western World? Continuity and change in global order (Routledge 2017), have taken on an ambitious goal: to analyze dynamics of international relations while looking toward current challenges and those in the near future, both on the level of main protagonists of the global scene (America, Russia, China, the European Union), as well as macro-regions and a variety of non-state actors.
The theme is extremely complicated. After the end of the Cold War and more than a decade of nearly absolute American dominance, the new millennium has presented a plurality of contrasting tendencies that have altered world order, creating new spinning forces destined to produce great changes. Terrorism and war have redesigned balances and called American leadership in question. Economic crises have fractured unions of liberal-democratic societies and Europe seemed unable to establish influence on the international chess board. New centers of power are rising (China and Russia and, to a lesser extent, India and Brazil) while new players from NGOs to multinationals, and even criminal and terrorist networks, have arrived on the scene and increased in strength.
A complex and multifaceted scenario is thus advancing. The fragmentation of international relations and the West’s relative loss of its leading position must be examined considering recent global changes and the growth of emerging powers, as well as the inability of the United States and European Union to face such events, apparently due to internal limits of the American and European systems and poorly functioning decision-making mechanisms.
The studies collected in the publication seek to define analytic parameters to explain these complexities and future developments through a new conceptualization of the dynamics of international relations and a genuinely global (non-Western) perspective.