Relaciones Internacionales – Comunicación Internacional

The liberal international order is slowly coming apart (Economist)

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Kier Starmer holding a rose with his mouth

Its collapse could be sudden and irreversible

At first glance, the world economy looks reassuringly resilient. America has boomed even as its trade war with China has escalated. Germany has withstood the loss of Russian gas supplies without suffering an economic disaster. War in the Middle East has brought no oil shock. Missile-firing Houthi rebels have barely touched the global flow of goods. As a share of global gdp, trade has bounced back from the pandemic and is forecast to grow healthily this year.

Look deeper, though, and you see fragility. For years the order that has governed the global economy since the second world war has been eroded. Today it is close to collapse. A worrying number of triggers could set off a descent into anarchy, where might is right and war is once again the resort of great powers. Even if it never comes to conflict, the effect on the economy of a breakdown in norms could be fast and brutal.

At first glance, the world economy looks reassuringly resilient. America has boomed even as its trade war with China has escalated. Germany has withstood the loss of Russian gas supplies without suffering an economic disaster. War in the Middle East has brought no oil shock. Missile-firing Houthi rebels have barely touched the global flow of goods. As a share of global gdp, trade has bounced back from the pandemic and is forecast to grow healthily this year.

Look deeper, though, and you see fragility. For years the order that has governed the global economy since the second world war has been eroded. Today it is close to collapse. A worrying number of triggers could set off a descent into anarchy, where might is right and war is once again the resort of great powers. Even if it never comes to conflict, the effect on the economy of a breakdown in norms could be fast and brutal.

As we report, the disintegration of the old order is visible everywhere. Sanctions are used four times as much as they were during the 1990s; America has recently imposed “secondary” penalties on entities that support Russia’s armies. A subsidy war is under way, as countries seek to copy China’s and America’s vast state backing for green manufacturing. Although the dollar remains dominant and emerging economies are more resilient, global capital flows are starting to fragment, as our special report explains.

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