Was the Liberal International Order All That?

Flags of member nations fly outside of the United Nations headquarters in New York, Sept. 18, 2007 (AP photo by Mary Altaffer).
Flags of member nations fly outside of the United Nations headquarters in New York, Sept. 18, 2007 (AP photo by Mary Altaffer).
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Bemoaning the death of the “liberal international order” began as a cottage industry under President Barack Obama. It has gone to scale under President Donald Trump. The reason is obvious: The main threat to an open, rule-bound world order no longer comes from outside, but from within. The American foreign policy establishment is in full grief mode as the Trump administration dismantles the handiwork of its predecessors. Before mourning, though, it makes sense to confirm that the deceased was once actually alive. A year ago in Beijing, I encountered a Chinese scholar of revisionist bent. After several Americans lamented the […]

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