A struggle for ideas and values of the future world

22 July 2020

On July 21, the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund hosted online discussion “An ideological value-based factor of the modern system of international relations and post-COVID global processes” by senior research fellow at IMEMO RAS, member of the Gorchakov Club Vladimir Avatkov.

According to him, events taking place today on the international arena can be characterized as a fight without rules and limits, a struggle for ideas and values of the future world. The coronavirus pandemic accelerated certain processes, which were established by the whole post-bipolar system of international relations, and made them more noticeable. The usual centers of instability – the Middle East, the Balkans, and Southeastern Asia – have been joined by new ones.

“The world has become global. We are used to the fact that the system of international relations is changing relatively slowly and all the previous systems are interconnected with each other. That is why we are not able to follow how fast the system settings are changing today”, believes the expert. There are several approaches to the world we live in today: post-bipolar world, polycentric multipolar world, and nonpolar world. Also, pro-American experts, who consider Russia as a middle and regional power, hold a view, according to which the world has moved to a new stage of bipolarity where centers of power are not individual counties, but their alliances; however, there is no place for our country in that extensive confrontation. Of course, such an opinion cannot be considered as true.

75 years have passed since establishment of the United Nations and in the nearest future we can expect a meeting among the leaders of five countries-founders of the organization, which should take place after a formal meeting. The goal of the meeting should be development of new game rules in order to avoid conflicts escalation and chaos as a result of the weakening role of the UN in conflict resolution.

Today, we can see many trends, which had existed before World War II and previously could not develop after creation of the Westphalian system of international relations based in the principle of balance of power, but now they have become effective again. With the development of the Westphalian system individual countries, but not religious structures, began identifying the global agenda. As a result, today the role of religious and national problems has become dominating once again. The growth of nationalism and egoism is the main trend.

The next trend is breakdown of all rules of the game. We have run into an era of destruction of standardized rules when the fight without rules is becoming a norm and, consequently, it results in the growth of conflicts, independence and security of the regional centers of power. Development of different arms systems is one the most dangerous consequences.

Resolution of that problem, according to Vladimir Avatkov, is in development and implementation of the model of the future where regionalism wins – ideas and values applied to any certain region or a group of regions. Main areas can include search for ideas of development and return of the value-based factor to the global environment as currently the world is looking for the values, which countries could rely on. Matching of the value-based factor will become a major guide for them.

We can observe the interlacing of conservatism and nationalism along with the increase of egoism in many countries, for example, in Turkey or India. Security or, possibly, its illusion or an image has become a dominating factor in that value-based field. During the current crisis, Russia has a chance to develop a new world based on internal interconnectedness of the regions implemented by a constructive way of actions. Solution of the problem associated with absence of a proactive developing agenda is a key factor, which guarantees consolidation of powers that are friendly to Russia.

“By strengthening and keeping defense, we should intensify an assertive foreign policy focusing on the ideological and value-based factor”, summarized Vladimir Avatkov.