The World in Turmoïl
Contrary to some beliefs, the fall of the Soviet empire and the end of the East-West conflict have not heralded "the end of history", the ultimate victory of the occidental model of "the market economy", nor the "return of history" as power battles among states.
Rather, it has marked the beginning of a process of reconstruction of the international landscape under the simultaneous forces of globalisation and fragmentation. The former is driven by global economic interdependence while the latter is an outcome of demands for cultural recognition and the assertion of cultural, political and social models of a type which flies in the face of the occidental universalist model.
We are still quite far from a new world order for legitimate actors have not yet emerged: States are no longer really present while regions have not yet reached the stage of clearly established sets of values and are still not able to assert themselves as full-fledged strategic actors.
In addition, when it comes to facing the challenges of the planet, the international community remains a blurry reality and international institutions (such as the UN) seem overwhelmed. The world is lacking landmarks, common objectives and clearly established and accepted rules. In brief, with the possible exception of the United States, today no one is able to play an effective role in the recomposition of a world which is both more interdependent and more fragmented.