World Order Under Threat: Protectionism, Nationalism and Extremism
April 24 – 25, 2017
The hope in the West for a peaceful world order following the collapse of the Soviet Union has given way in the last years to a stark new reality. The post-Cold War security order has broken down at the same time that we see the fraying of the internal order of most states worldwide. We are looking at growing fragmentation within both individual states and the global community while inequality, retrenchment, protectionism, nationalism, and ideological extremism are on the rise. Twenty-five years ago, we believed major warfare would be highly unlikely; today it is no longer unthinkable. The consequences of new technologies are unclear, and we already seem to be in the early stages of cyber warfare. Inequality of wealth in the West pales in the face of even greater inequalities in the former Communist states of Russia and China, and where that might lead is hard to gauge. The aging of populations in the developed world will put new strains on economic systems and on the young. Many Arab nations are growingly dysfunctional, while magnet states are erecting ever tougher barriers to immigration and the flow of peoples. The temptation to retrench into tribalistic tendencies like populism, economic protectionism, extreme nationalism and fundamentalist beliefs is hard to counter.
With the help of experts in some of these areas, the Santa Fe World Affairs Forum’s 2017 Symposium will discuss these issues in depth in an effort to explore solutions to this increasingly challenging situation.