In the same way that technology accelerates or even amplifies economic and sociological changes, politics is shaking up the international scene.
A primary factor and two secondary ones are contributing to such a shift in the strategic environment, namely globalization, the rapid economic development of Asia since the 1990s and Donald Trump’s foreign and trade policies since his election in November 2016.
While the end of the cold war seemed to lead to “the End of History” through a broad consensus favorable to globalization and free trade, the latest developments on the international scene threatens or even concludes it.
First, the stormy trade talks between the United States and China foreshadow a bigger confrontation between the two great powers of the 21st century. Then, relations between the United States and Russia hit a low point with the end of hard-won strategic agreements reached in the 1980s, while India and Pakistan clash more and more fiercely over Kashmir.
Finally, the alliance between the United States and Europe suffers from an unprecedented lack of confidence while the future of the United Kingdom seems uncertain. Against the backdrop of a return to nationalism, globalization may well fade in favor of a dislocation where each country (or group of countries) relearns “the law of the strongest”.