In security was established in Europe and East Asia

In his farewell address, George Washington envisioned an American nation without involvement in foreign affairs, “why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition…It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.” Clearly though, we have abandoned that vision and instead became the hegemon of world peace. Beginning with  Wilsonian progressivism, it established an American moralistic basis of international relations. His famed Fourteen Point speech put America front and center of a new attempt in collective security. Later in the Cold War era, America was willing to supply resources in curbing the spread of communism, effectively becoming a beacon of a sovereign world. Ikenberry in his The Future of Multilateralism: Governing the World in a Post-Hegemonic Era discusses this “American-led liberal hegemonic order” (Ikenberry 399). He believes this state of affairs however, is in crisis. Due to America’s leadership in the post Cold War era, regional security was established in Europe and East Asia (Ikenberry 399). America wanted an “open and cooperative” system to advance its interests, which had been an impulse even before the Cold War (Ikenberry 405). These interests fomented into the creation of documents such as the Atlantic Charter of 1941 and the Marshall Plan in 1947 (Ikenberry 405). Even further, Ikenberry states that American leaders engaged in an intensive institution building that united global interests and aided in the reconstruction of western Europe (Ikenberry 405-406). It aided the countries on their side of the Cold War, who depended on American security (Ikenberry 407). Emerging as the most powerful post-war state in the early twentieth century, America realized that it could not properly advance its interests in a world of “empires, blocs, and spheres of influence” (Ikenberry 406). Other examples of this American-led order is demonstrated in President Roosevelt’s welcoming statement to the participants of the Bretton Woods conference in which delegates from countries came together to discuss the financial order in a post-World War II world. “Economic diseases are highly communicable. It follows, therefore, that the economic health of every country is a proper matter of concern to all its neighbors, near and distant.” (Ikenberry 407). This declaration comes a long way from a history of protective tariffs and mercantilism, countries looking to protect home industry with little interest to how neighboring economies fare. Countries increasingly came to the conclusion that states had to cooperate for a stable expansion. Ikenberry means by this that the modern system of international cooperation formed by multilateral agreements was led by America. Multilateralism is “the conduct of international activity by three or more states in accord with shared general principles, often, but not always, through international institutions” (Mingst and Arreguín-Toft 22).Ikenberry believes this American-led liberal order is in crisis. His reasoning lies in the idea that the gap between American leadership power and other states is shrinking. States such as China, India and Brazil are looking to augment their roles in the global world (Ikenberry 399). Because of this we need to ask ourselves what is the future of multilateralism if it’s not an American led one? The crisis is whether we are headed for a post-hegemonic system of multilateral governance or if multilateralism is breaking down (Ikenberry 399). The future of multilateralism is uncertain, and the alternative of liberal multilateral order is disorder (Ikenberry 413).In my opinion, his analysis of the American led multilateralism is true. America did lead the world through multilateral agreements and international cooperation. He provides many examples of this and paints America in the light of a harbinger of freedom, concerned with the safety of the world and all its states. Yet, he fails to mention that it was practically impossible for any other state to achieve this role in the historical context. America’s late involvement in World War I allowed it to come out of the war relatively unscathed, and as a creditor to so many states. It was not difficult from America’s point of view for Woodrow Wilson to write such ambitious hopes in his Fourteen Point speech. Put aptly by Georges Clemenceau, French Prime Minister, “Never before has any political assembly heard so fine a sermon on what human beings may be able to accomplish if only they weren’t human.”    America had no alternative to becoming a world power, because if they took an isolationist route they would only be damaging their own influence and monetary prospects. In World War II, though with more lives lost there was a boom in economy as they had the highest GDP of all the empires and out produced everyone. They also were the only ones with the military technological capacity at the time to have nuclear weapons. Demonstrating that weapon to push the Japanese to unconditional surrender showed everyone in the world that America was the superior power. Japan and Europe had a lot of rebuilding to do in terms of destroyed infrastructure. America took the logical choice when presented the option of becoming a world power, a choice not offered to any other state.Ikenberry’s crisis is unfounded in his belief that the alternative to liberal multilateralism is disorder (Ikenberry 413). He is asserting that his view is right because alternative choices have not proven true. A false dichotomy, presenting the readers with two choices with how such a complex system of international relations can possibly play out. Who is to say that there cannot exist a successful joint partnership of multiple ideologies, or that others would not emerge and demonstrate an even better alternative? Liberal multilateralism may be in a “crisis” if crisis means that it is undergoing changes necessary to accommodate a world where power and wealth is more evenly distributed. Needing new bargains and coalitions to accommodate for rising states (Ikenberry 400) is hardly a crisis, contrastly it increases the world’s interdependence and opens new markets that states will be eager to trade with. In turn, that extends cooperation.In conclusion, though Ikenberry still holds to the truth that without American led multilateralism, cooperation among states will still exist, he casts a grave sense of doubt on the idea that these states can manage to create these new agreements. The “golden age” of American hegemony is gone (Ikenberry 404). The factors that lead to collaborative peace have not suddenly eroded. Mutual assured destruction in the form of nuclear bombs is still very much real, interdependence based on economy and trade still exist, and no country would truly benefit from a sphere of influence world relative to a free market world.It is easy to assume in today’s world that violence is often and at every corner. The news of the most recent bombing or stabbing is right on your phone, no matter how far away you were from the incident. Guns are prevalent and more effective, whereas they did not have such a high killing capacity as they do now. Political scientists argue that the world is either becoming increasingly more dangerous or more peaceful. Though violent acts may be more easily accessed, we are actually living in the most peaceful time in history. The future of world order is a peaceful one. The news today does not accurately portray how much violence has gone down compared to history. Steven Pinker argues in The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, that “we may be living in the most peaceful era in our species’ existence.” (book) World War II was only twenty-one years apart from World War I. However, there are seventy years between us and World War II. The number of interstate wars have declined. Though World War II was the most deadliest conflict in history, it is not far off from events in ancient times such as the Mongols conquests. In medieval Europe, the murder rate was thirty times more than it is today. (book) Tribal warfare was even deadlier than warfare in the twentieth century. (book)Many factors in today’s modern society are contributing to what I believe to be the world’s “forced peace”. Richard Gatling, inventor of the first machine gun, had hoped that by inventing a weapon so destructive, it would deter either side from war. Though he was wrong at the time, his prediction eventually came true. World War II and the Cold War brought upon a deterrence to conflict through new nuclear weapons, destruction on a scale never seen before. This M.A.D or mutually assured destruction policy meant that each side would be without a doubt destroyed beyond comprehension in a nuclear armageddon. There is also no more second-strike capabilities in a nuclear war. This means that no country will be able to launch a nuke and survive a counterattack to be able to strike again. Another factor in this forced peace is an increase in interdependence due to globalization.The world has never been as interconnected as it is today. Globalization brings together people and ideas through advancing technology and trade. A conflict affecting one state is almost impossible to


I'm Dianna!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out