On October 23rd, the Global Policy Institute held the event “Who Will Lead? A Roundtable on the Future World Order” with Professors Steven Lamy, Clayton Dube, and Robert English from the School of International Relations. Respectively, these professors have focus areas in the European Union, China, and Russia and provided interesting perspectives as to what role these actors will play in the shifting world order.
Professor Clayton Dube outlined the kind of leader Xi Jinping is, and how he has shaped China’s presence in the international order on the narrative of “The China Dream.” This idea is predicated on the rejuvenation of China which has attributes such as a strong, beautiful, harmonious, and civilized China as explained by Professor Dube.
With this narrative and other initiatives such as the Belt and Road project, Professor Dube explained that China does seem to have a desire to fill the throne in the international system but may not have the means to do so. Overall, Dube explained that we do not know where China is going, and the Chinese may not either but they are an important actor to watch in this uncertain international order.
Professor Robert English followed by explaining the role of Russia in this time of uncertain American leadership. Professor English sought to explain to students why many countries have maintained hostile relationships with Russia over the years. While many countries criticize the authoritarian regimes that exist within post-communist countries, Professor English explains that these seeds of authoritarianism would not grow if they weren’t on fertile soil of poverty and inequality that plague many of these states like Russia.
English explained that under the Liberal International Order, something must have gone tragically wrong as large majority of post-communist societies say their lives were better under communism with citations from the Pew Research Center. Professor English wanted students to understand that finding solutions is only possible by first understanding the systemic problems and hoped to promote dialogue on these problems with students.
Professor Steven Lamy concluded by explaining the role of the European Union with this changing world order. Professor Lamy explained that the EU is a possible, yet reluctant lead due to the wide variety of states within the European Union. The EU is a success in the terms that it is a group of democratic states committed to resolving their differences with diplomacy rather than force, but acting as a unified leader poses challenges as each country has its own unique identity and foreign policy. Professor Lamy explained that some countries have a desire to fill the throne, but for the most part the EU remains undecided. Prior to taking this role, Professor Lamy believes they must first find the confidence to lead.
The Global Policy Institute would like to thank Professors Dube, English, and Lamy for leading this wonderful discussion with students and encourage attendees to continue to engage in intellectual discussions such as these outside of their classes.