World Order or World Anarchy: A Look at the Modern System of International Relations
Russia Will Be Forced to Fight for Global Resources
Russia needs a world order in which its opponents cannot monopolize global sources of growth and restrict access to them should political differences arise. Multi-polarity has acquired a completely new meaning. In the past, it was understood as the co-existence of several great powers; but now it is seen as the presence of alternative sources of growth and development.
In the run-up to the XI Annual Session of the Valdai International Discussion Club, the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) – one of the club’s co-founders – has published a report by RIAC Programme Director Ivan Timofeev entitled "World Order or World Anarchy: A Look at the Modern System of International Relations."
The situation in Ukraine and the crisis in international relations have again raised questions about what kind of world we live in. Is there such a thing as world order? What are its foundations? How should Russia proceed in an increasingly competitive global environment?
This global environment, according to the report, is extremely uncertain. And it is this uncertainty that causes the key global players to be in constant fear of hostile actions on the part of the others. "In this context, a conflict breaks out even when the parties are objectively not interested in it," notes Ivan Timofeev. Perhaps this is why the Ukrainian crisis has not yet been resolved, despite the fact that it has not brought any tangible gains to either side.
As for Russia, the author writes that its "position among great powers today is fairly vulnerable." This is due to its limited ability to convert its political resources in the international arena into socio-economic development. The situation is made even worse by Russia’s opponents, who will try to block Russia’s access to the global sources of growth and development.
Russia cannot let itself slip into a fierce confrontation with the West. Nor can it afford to make significant concessions. Moscow is interested in the kind of multi-polarity in which the country has access to sources of growth. And one of these sources will inevitably be China. However, independence from the United States and the European Union should not develop into dependence on China. The only way for Russia to successfully steer clear of such a situation is to take the pragmatic approach and "play on several chessboards at once", while at the same time turning itself into a source of development.
The XI Annual Session of the Valdai International Discussion Club has been given the title "The World Order: New Rules or a Game without Rules?" Around 100 participants from over 25 countries will put their heads together to work on new approaches to issues on the global agenda. Among them will be RIAC President Igor Ivanov, Director General Andrei Kortunov and Programme Director Ivan Timofeev.
The XI Annual Session of the Valdai International Discussion Club will take place in Sochi on October 22–24.
Broadcast of the Valdai Club’s 11th Annual Meeting