Cooperation and Multilateralism in a New Era of Geopolitical Competition
The international order, built on liberal norms, principles, and institutions, is changing. The war in Ukraine, together with the successive economic, political, humanitarian and health crises of recent decades, has accelerated a global trend defined by the lack of trust in institutions and the growing contestation of the norms and principles that have articulated international relations since the end of the Cold War.
We have also witnessed a growing divergence between what some call the West and the Rest, evidenced by the multiple abstentions of countries of the Global South in UN resolutions on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the reluctance to join the West in its responses to Russia through active condemnation and sanctions. Moreover, the (re)emergence of historic centres of power – such as China or India – and the new demographic, economic and political centres in Asia that brought a redistribution of power to the region has not been accompanied by greater participation in these countries in global governance and decision-making of international institutions when confronting global emergencies. Thus, this context has fuelled dissatisfaction with the current international system where Asian voices have been displaced or absent.
Faced with such a diverse region, we find a multiplicity of visions of the liberal international order and its future, including its defence and contestation, while also demanding reforms for a new inclusive international order that reflects diversity and difference, while respecting the autonomy of these countries in a new multipolar reality. The emergence of alternative governance initiatives, especially put forward by China, that compete with the established liberal international order is a case in point. The dynamics of convergence, resistance and even contradiction of these three perspectives in international policy decision-making, the provision of common public goods and the management of global challenges will be decisive in the future. However, the need for immediate cooperation to manage global challenges is also being disrupted by a context marked by an increasingly adverse geopolitical scenario. Thus, the central question of this context is shaped around under which conditions we will be able to cooperate, in what form, with whom and in what areas of challenges.
This session with European and Asian experts will be divided into two panels. The first one will analyse the current situation of the liberal international order and its future, according to China, India and ASEAN, to discuss the norms, principles and ideas that should define a new international order. The second panel will discuss the inescapable need for cooperation for the European Union when facing global challenges such as climate change, global health, new technologies or economic inequalities, identifying opportunities and challenges according to the perspective, interests, and objective of the main actors in the Asian region.
The seminar is structured around two round tables, each with three participants and a moderator, who will also act as speaker. Each session, lasting one and a half hours, will have a brief presentation of the session and the speakers by the moderator, followed by a first intervention of a maximum of five minutes per speaker. Afterwards, a session of question-and-answer session will be opened among the participants of the round table, lasting twenty minutes. Finally, the last thirty minutes of the session will be devoted to a round of questions from the audience.
Marga León, Academic Director, CUIMPB-Centre Ernest Lluch
Pol Morillas, Director, CIDOB
Olivia Cheung, Researcher, SOAS China Institute (online)
Sharinee Jagtiani, Associate Researcher, German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA)
Mariko Togashi, Researcher, International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)
Moderated by: Inés Arco Escriche, Researcher, CIDOB
Debate with the audience.
Helena Legarda, Lead Analyst, MERICS (online)
Jagannath Panda, Director, Stockholm Center for South Asian and Indo-Pacific Affairs, ISDP
Pablo Pareja, Serra Hunter Professor, Pompeu Fabra University; co-coordinator of the Mundus MAPP, IBEI
Moderated by: Javier Parrondo, Director, Casa Asia
Debate with the audience.