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IPFS News Link • Political Theory

Crisis and Chaos: Here's What To Expect As the World Order Collapses

•, by Nick Giambruno

The liberal international order…

The international community…

You undoubtedly have heard the media and politicians use these strange and vague phrases.

They describe the current world order or architecture for international political relations between countries.

World orders are nothing new. It's how the big global powers have set the rules of the game for centuries.

On a smaller scale, it's similar to when the most powerful criminal groups in a given city—like mafias and street gangs—come together and agree on how to divide their activities and neighborhoods among themselves.

Sooner or later, though, these agreements always break down. Then, there is a violent power struggle until the criminal groups reach a new agreement reflecting the new power balance.

A similar dynamic is at play with the most powerful countries and world orders.

Wars among the most powerful countries typically lead to a breakdown and restructuring in the world order.

Here is a brief overview of some of the most recent world orders.

You can think of them as epochs or distinctive historical periods reflecting the shifting power balance among global players.

Congress of Vienna (1814 to 1914): The military defeat of French Emperor Napoleon I led to this world order. It enshrined the British as the dominant global power. The Congress of Vienna formed the basis for European international politics until the outbreak of World War I in 1914.