Valdai Annual Report - 2022
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World politics has begun to rapidly return to a state of anarchy built on force. “The end of history” culminated in the restoration of its usual course – the destruction of the international order resulting from large- scale conflicts between centres of power.

When one’s gloomiest predictions turn out to be the most accurate, this is bound to cause mixed feelings. The satisfaction of being proved prescient is offset by the reality of a more alarming future. Since 2018, the Valdai Club has been warning that processes leading to the total collapse of the global political and economic system are accelerating, while the international order that developed as a set of institutions in the latter half of the 20th century and persisted into the current century, is becoming increasingly deformed.

The crisis of globalisation as a universal framework for global development started in the 2000s. The pandemic proved that globalisation, as it was understood in th1980s, was quite reversible. The military-political crisis that broke out in Europe in 2022 – an extremely dangerous and almost unpredictable relapse into rivalry between the major superpowers – has impacted most of the world in one way or another. It also signals the end of the model of relations in which the “blessing” of mutual dependence was a bedrock assumption.

A military conflict as a driving force of development means a return to the era before superpowerdom. However, the former practice of continuously “debugging” the balance of power will not be restored, if only because the multitude of players and power dynamics are making it practically impossible to establish a balance in the first place.

The extent to which different players are involved in the current international cataclysm vary. Many are trying to safely distance themselves from the fierce confrontation between Russia and the US-led collective West, for which Ukraine was a pretext. However, nobody has any doubts that what is happening now is not simply a regional conflict or even a dispute to determine which of the main players will occupy a higher place in the international hierarchy. The main question is whether this hierarchy will be preserved at all in the form we are accustomed to, and if so, how it will be constituted.
The current state of affairs is marked by the fact that the United States and its allies, in fact, no longer enjoy the status of dominant superpower, but the global infrastructure that serves it is still in place.

The direct causes of the acute international security problems confronting the world exceed the scope of this report, as do predictions of the final outcome, which would be woefully premature in any case. However, we can be so bold as to imagine which principles may form the foundation of a future system of global co-existence and which will rightfully be relegated to the past. A new system is bound to take shape in a future stage of global politics, even if this is unlikely to happen any time soon.