Stephen Holmes will be working together with Ivan Krastev on a sequel to their 2019 book, The Light that Failed. A Reckoning. Both will be focusing on the degree to which (and the ways in which) the Russian invasion of Ukraine has reshaped the international order. The shock to the system is still too recent and its near-term trajectory is still too uncertain for any definitive conclusions to be drawn. But the wrenching, overnight de-globalization of Russia’s economy and information space, the impression that anti-liberal, anti-American politics ultimately leads to a homicidal rampage, the scrambling of European national-security officials to reinforce (and join) NATO, the normalization of nuclear blackmail as an instrument of Russian foreign policy, the seeming marginalization of Putin sympathizers in the West—all these and other similar factors are contributing to a geopolitical earthquake whose aftershocks will be felt for decades to come.
The principal aim of the co-authored book on which I will be working while at IWM (together with Permanent Fellow Ivan Krastev) is to explain the deep sources and profound consequences of this worldwide backlash against globalization which is simultaneously a multilateral revolt against the international order created and maintained by American power. Our aim is to produce a new interpretation of the instability and turbulence now engulfing the American-led world order, an international system that was first built after WWII, that vastly increased its global reach after the end of the Cold War, and that is now being severely challenged and perhaps dismantled before our eyes.