Fareed Zakaria is one of the main figures of the American news channel CNN, where he hosts a program devoted to international affairs. Of Indian origin, he arrived in the United States in the 1980s and did his thesis at Harvard under the supervision of Samuel Huntington. He started in journalism at Foreign Affairs in the 1990s. He then collaborated with Foreign Policyau Washington Post and to Newsweek.
In 1997, he published an article in Foreign Affairs on illiberal democracies, a concept that he later developed in The future of freedom (Odile Jacob, 2003), a book in which he warns against certain risks inherent in democracy. Author of Back to the future (Saint-Simon, 2021), Fareed Zakaria remains one of the most influential voices in geopolitics in the United States.
What is the impact of the war in Ukraine on global geopolitics?
We are witnessing the end of the “pax americana”. Since the fall of the USSR in 1991, the United States have been the guarantors of the international order, without achieving a total pacification of international relations. Admittedly, there was Yugoslavia, Iraq, Syria. But the dynamics nevertheless went in the direction of a globalization of commercial exchanges and the dissemination of the democratic model. American hegemony was military, political, economic and ideological.
But, little by little, the movement ran out of steam. Geopolitically, Iraq has eroded the legitimacy of the United States to wield such power. The economic crisis of 2008 also affected their prestige. And now, for the first time, a great power, Russia, the country with the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, challenges America head-on.
If the old order has fallen, what can we expect for the near future?
The Western response to the aggression desired by Russian President Vladimir Putin has been just as frontal and has led to the isolation of the Russian economy, to a point where it will be difficult to return to the the status quo. We have left the old world in which economics dominated politics for thirty years. From now on, politics takes priority.
And the end of the “pax americana” means entering a multipolar world, where competition between a large number of nations is constant. This means that the risk of making mistakes is multiplied, the danger that a conflict will break out increases.
The redefinition of the international balance is a very dangerous moment, because the general rules have not yet been established. In the long term, a form of bipolarity will undoubtedly take place between the United States and China. But nothing is decided yet.
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