International Politics

On November 10, 1942 the victory of the British Expeditionary Force in North Africa over a joint Italian-German contingent in the battle of El Alamein made history. In the evening of the same day Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill addressed the British elite in these words: “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
The world order that emerged in the wake of the Cold War was neither just nor stable. It was unjust because a group of states, homogenous in value terms, appropriated the right to supreme truth. Automatically all others faced a stark choice – toe the line or take one’s leave.
The unstable nature of this kind of world order was rooted in the fact that formally and in real life it relied on a structure that had taken shape in a different historical era. The world’s second largest nuclear power – Russia – had been ousted from the group of victors, while China showed no ability or wish to join it. Some international institutions, such as the United Nations or the OSCE, were paralyzed or degraded. Others, for instance the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank, became foreign policy tools in the hands of the United States and its allies. The international political system started running at idle. Its degradation went out of control after the Ukrainian crisis of the winter and spring of 2014 ruined the Western monopoly to abusing the basics of the world order.
The science of international relations is at a crossroads. The old theories these days fail more often than not, while new, convincing ones, are still to be invented. A comprehensive approach to analysis is replaced by many micro-theories good enough for analyzing particular cases only – those of integration, international institutions and, to a certain extent, foreign policy. But there are no answers to the fundamental questions, of which the problem of war and peace is the main one. The intellectual space is brimming with...