Timofei Bordachev:
Threat of a New Bipolarity?

Over the past few weeks, the idea of an almost inevitable emergence of a new bipolarity in the form of a confrontation between China and the United States has turned from a bold assumption into a common assertion – the starting point of a lot of discussion about what the main content of international politics will be following the systemic crisis of 2020. 

One can already find quite detailed discussions about what kind of world it will be and, most importantly, what Russia’s foreign policy should be under these conditions. Such is the nature of the information society – practically any significant phenomenon can within a very short period of time pass through all the stages of an open expert discussion.

Therefore, so far most of our reasoning, most likely, has little fundamental meaning. But we must not forget about the non-linearity factor, which is no less important. In this regard, what is happening now really contains a lot of analogies with the period of the beginning of the First World War, then known as the Great War. Just as then, the “suddenly” erupted crisis was the logical result of many contradictions that had accumulated in the global market economy and international politics. In almost the same way, most of the countries of the world have reacted to it – they are all tired of uncertainty, and with good reason, expect that shocks will align their own ideas of themselves with those of others.

This, in turn, will allow us to talk about moving towards a new global and regional balance of power; one that is more than just the Liberal world order, the end of which, it seems, nobody is particularly upset about, neither the leaders in the West nor the revisionist powers in the East.

Read the full article on valdaiaclub.com

Timofei Bordachev is the Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club and Academic supervisor of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies. In January 2021 he will be a Eurasia in Global Dialogue Fellow at the IWM.

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