A call for a Post West World by Russian Foreign Minister

Key details:

19/02/2017 from Qatar/Japan


-Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called Saturday for an end to a world order dominated by the West
-Stating that Moscow wanted to establish a “pragmatic” relationship with the United States

The idea of a post west world has been articulated upon by various authors such as Charles Kupchan, Oliver Stuenkel and Fareed Zakaria in terms of foreign policy of states. The issue lies in the disintegration of state sovereignty in the pursuit of western liberal democratic values that would go against the core values of non western regions and states. This only gives more reason to follow through with this suggestion and it is therefore likely to be heard again just like the idea of a second Cold War.

The foreign policy attitude suggested by Mr Lavrov echoes Kupchan’s concept that the future of the international system is one ruled by no one state – that is, the absence of a world hegemon. Instead, as Mr Lavrov has mentioned, sovereignty is law whereby each region would pursue its own model of modernization. It can be argued that this would have been unlikely had it not been for President Trump’s “America first” speech in his inauguration, signaling to the rest of the world – ‘to each his own’.

However, it should not be taken that this is not an assertion of Russian interests as the idea has being suggested by Russia’s Foreign Minister can arguably be deemed a construction of Russian interests. Furthermore, foreign policy does not exist in a vacuum, to emphasise state sovereignty is a form of structuralism in itself. The construction of world without a hegemon is the image of a world that may not be suitable for all states that depend upon international organisations and Human Rights.

Stuenkel views that what Russia (or China) is seeking for is not a non-liberal world order, but a levelling of the playing field, currently, in the hands of the advantaged or privileged leadership that Western countries enjoy through the multi-lateral institutions they constructed. According to Stuenkel, Russia criticises the US for breaking the  very rules it had set as law, because of its special position. While Russia follows liberal principles, except for human rights or R2P, it is attempting to build a new world order where emerging countries hold more voice. This view can be added as an image of a post west world.