Regio-polarism: the new world order in the making


Finally, twenty-five years after the end of the post-WWII international liberal order, a new world order is in the making. The transition was long, between unipolar moment, multipolar attempts and zero-polar results, but the natural trend of the world, besides the “competition among big powers”, is becoming the dynamics of conflict and integration inside “geopolitical regions”. Not UN, or a major war, but an outsider, a business negotiator, the president of the US, is responsible of redoing the world order, in part all by himself, with his bizarre but efficient technique at international diplomatic level, which use defection before cooperation, mostly with economic sanctions, and is based on the fundamental principle of capitalism, as well as of natural selection: free competition. The retreat of the US troops from Syria in the fall of 2019 will be probably remembered as the moment in which the Pax Americana finally ended, after 6 years of transition since the Obama red line: the US is not anymore the world hegemon, the international policemen that maintained the stability around the world.

The new world order, after the end of Pax Americana, will be most probably based not on a new “pax” with a global hegemon, but on a new international system that we could call “Regio-polarism”, in which every major region of the world will have a hegemon: America with the US, Africa with Europe and Asia with Russia, at least for the first half of this century (the second one Asia will be probably see the integration of its three main powers: Russia, China and India).

Regional hegemony, following the “Hegemonic Stability Theory” (Kindleberger 1973), see a hegemon bringing stability only to a region. Mearsheimer in his theory of “Offensive Realism” (The tragedy of great powers politics, 2001) sees the anarchic nature of the international system, and the uncertainty about other states’ intentions, making states trying to pursue regional hegemony. In the future global world, different regional hegemonies will not be necessarily a bad thing: on the contrary they could represent a new balance of power based on a “Regio-polar world”.

Russia will have to deal with West Asia, together with the regional powers of that area: Turkey and Iran. And this in the long run could represent an “imperial overstretching” making Russia weaker, because of the involvement in the Middle East quagmire, and finally failing as a state, and in this way accepting the democratic path and the European home. Or at least this is the intention of President Trump (as he said: “Russia used to be the Soviet Union. Afghanistan made it Russia. Because they went bankrupt”).

Europe instead will have to deal with Africa, wanting it or not, and Brexit will help to rebalance the EU focus in the South more than in the North, and also more on the European defense than on the Transatlantic one based on US support. Europe has to mature, 70 years after the end of its millennial wars is not a kid anymore needing the help of the US and instead should become the helper: four billion people in Africa by the end of the century will have to be supported by the EU, either in their continent or in Europe itself. African weak countries alone cannot deal with the biggest demographic (and environmental) change humankind ever experienced.

Finally, US retreating in the Western Hemisphere will concentrate on the integration with the rest of the Americas: not anymore cooperation with the rest of the world, at least not before some healthy competition and some sudden defection, otherwise the most competent powers will not be able to become regional hegemons. This will allow the US to concentrate mostly on internal growth, in particular at technological level, with the gigantic leap of AI, in order to be first as it has always been with technological steps, from nuclear power to space conquer, in the upgrading of the human species to a new species, as Harari says.

“Regio-polar world” will not be so bad, as the balance of power will be maintained, competition will make innovation growth and in the long run, probably next century, could create even a final world government, with a great bargain between the three main regions, in order to transform our species in a new planetary civilization, what the physicists call “type I civilization”, able to manage the entire energy and material resources of a planet, hopefully making the Planet Earth survive in the long run.

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