“The Decline of the West”: What Is It, and Why Might It Matter?

Mark Beeson

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    The international order created under the auspices of “American hegemony” appears to be unraveling during the erratic and nationalistic leadership of Donald Trump, and the growing geopolitical and geoeconomic competition between the United States and China. Many commentators fear that such tensions will lead to the demise of the so-called rules-based international order in particular, and to the declining influence of values, principles and norms associated with “the West” in general. This paper analyses these developments by putting them in historical context, considering what was distinctive about the “rise of the West”, and explaining why the relative decline of American influence may prove so consequential. The key questions that animate the discussion are: what is at stake in the possible decline of the West? Does the rise of China presage the emergence of a very different sort of international order than the one currently dominant?
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationHong Kong
    PublisherAsia Global Institute
    Number of pages40
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Publication series

    NameAsiaGlobal Papers
    PublisherAsia Global Institute
    ISSN (Print)2706-8554
    ISSN (Electronic)2706-8552


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