The decade of the 2010s was a mixed decade. We cannot assign a human decade to be perfect in all avenues, neither can we designate how horrible reality can be in dealing with the modalities of economics, society, politics and individuality. I am laying down some of the important reflections we may realize for 2020 on issues of IR. It is not just about the way we should acknowledge trends that make it, but also the substantive reality to observe those crucial modalities of human life and international politics, which are important for us to estimate.
The Economic Plight: Changing Dimensions of Soft Power & Human Enfranchisement
The 2010 decade has observed (not foreseen) the failures of the neoliberal economic theory, the delicate potential (and wrath) of the soft power politics played by nation-states and sought the overriding might of economic policies and resistance over armed conflicts in some of the crucial relationships established among nation-states. We have also seen the role of the political leanings of the people involved in tightening the rope of economic growth while ensuring or failing to ensure that the material of economic development is retained or at least properly adjudged to be self-sustainable. Global and nationwide capitalism are facing certain special challenges, which are operational and existential by nature. We therefore can be undeniably sure also over the fact that merely clubbing economic power with human materialism would not be a good incentive in the multi-polarized politics of economics.
Let’s understand what will be the plight of change in the Decade of 2020 for us to estimate:
- The neoliberal economic theory is at crossroads. Global capitalism is set to suffer, but there are certain undeniable problems with it rather than the replaceability of the same with socialism. In Scandinavian countries, socialism has championed the people through its innovative policies of welfare. Moreover, capitalism’s crony incentives have diminished the purposive usage of the systems that have encouraged it: some of the affected economies to mention are the United States, India and Brazil. While New Zealand, Sweden and Bangladesh remain as some of the beautiful examples of change, we have to discern how will the political upfronts be developed;
- A blind overview of economic attachment to diplomatic and social power of a state is not a good way to look soft power. It is unusual to equate the way we look hard and soft powers of a state respectively. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that cultivating a soft power from economic development and growth guided by the agenda of decaying the autonomy of interests of individuals, startups and MSMEs would always hamper the moral compass of a soft power;
- Populists like Erdogan, Trump, Boris Johnson and Modi must learn that a soft power is not for granted, and capitalism requires to give some space to those who wish to risk and inspire generations by innovation;
- Disruptive technology from AI to Blockchain are clearly indicative of the fact that we need to change the way we employ human generations. Two important concerns can be added while drafting methods to employ and develop the skills of people: (a) that any employment and skill development must realistically be connected with environmental conservatism; and (b) that any employment and skill incentive must be involving indigenous-centric and individual-centric growth of any employee who is connected. Being indigenous-centric means that the socio-cultural liberties and qualities of an individual must be realized and implemented so as to maintain serenity in their own lives while being individual-centric means to acknowledge and develop the employable abilities of the individual. However, the priority here should be the individual who is to be employed and not the industry, keeping the industry’s interests with equitable value;
The Decade of Fringes and Binaries: Beyond Populism and Ethnocentrism
The 2010 decade has seen the rise of Populism and an overall rejection of ethnocentrism among third world countries (economic, political and even technological). The role of the United States as a World Leader is fading and the politics of multipolarity embraced by Moscow, Beijing, India (to an important and strategic extent) and some MENA states, is at a rise. While the status quo of the old MENA state and non-state actors has changed drastically in this decade, there are important questions to the old foreign policy incentives that are maybe required to be changed. The economic paradigms have changed for some of the third-world countries, and liberalism coupled with rule of law is threatened. However, the year 2020 will mark new avenues to a political outset, in national and global domains for state and non-state actors — where it is expected that ethnocentrism would not be the centre of discussion. Let us understand some of the reflections we can get in 2020 in the political sphere of the world:
- Redemptions based on old foreign policy tenets and relations will be changed, superimposed and even interchangeably transformed by diplomats, and the world may seem quite unstable to deal with that.
- The consultative processes in the fourth phase of conflict management will involve more proportional or rather identity-centric confidence-building measures;
- The principled aspects of liberalism that involve democracy, rule of law, comprehensive liberty, multiculturalism and globalization embraced by liberal politicians and scholars — are under the gross influence, and the assault on these values will continue. However, resistance to such assaults to embrace illiberal movements will sustain;
- Populism is transient, and should not be considered a ticket to dictatorships in democracies. The problems of the 20th Century, involving a regime overhaul in Japan, Weimar Germany and Italy are not correlative in due process. Nevertheless, the problems with the regimes of the liberal order today are more about resolving their redemptions, when a passage of the age of reason has enabled them to encumber the politics of identity with the misuse of science and information, the post-truth age can be resolved and taken with the potential of immense human imagination towards real development and acknowledging indigenous interests in a relevant manner;
- The role of constitutional, social and political redemptions cannot take the political right too far in achieving their ambitions. Moreover, the political left cannot as well achieve any significant progress until they really form a sincere instrumentality over their own stand, which reflect the associatively real and not utopian aspects of what they fight for. The Centrists have a long road to go, and can replace as well as stigmatize the politics of polarization by building relevant confidence measures for the people;
Some Advice, Even If Not Matters
I have some suggestions for the 2020 decade that is coming forth. Let us categorically spread this up:
- Liberals and conservatives as political elements must not run riot for the preservation of their partisan policies because representative politics should not categorically ignore mass politics & its anxiety and concerns when it can ethically override them;
- Economic welfare can focus on improving capitalism by preventing the supremacy of monopolistic entities, transactional ecosystems and messages — because all three of them — can impede or encourage economic development at heart;
- Mass hysteria is anti-conservativism in politics these days in prosperous economies, and this would always affect the way populism works for left, central and right politicians. In economies, where development seems to happen, mass hysteria and violence as an indirect part or accelerator of any dissenting actions against the ruling polity would rouse disinterest in the political consensus;
- Liberalism is not going to succumb, because liberalism is not a materialistic idea. The tenets of liberalism teach scientific, political and economic humanism. The symptoms of chronic populism are not required to be an antithesis to liberalism, because, since 1945, liberalism dominated the ethical structure and basis of the rule-based international order;
- Thus, even if it seems truer the rule-based international order is at risk and poses higher stakes in politics in certain countries where economic development is rapid, we must understand that legitimacy by an idea or concept is not materialized, but its purpose and executability is to be made mobile, accessible and possible with practical honesty;
- Globalism can be an improved concept, and the perceived notions of sovereignty can be adequately resolved. However, a radically unreasonable idea of globalism cannot survive, which would obviously be affecting the real future of cosmopolitanism. Therefore, a utopian conception of cosmopolitanism must be regularly driven;
The decade of 2020s will be interesting, and much is set to be expected. There can be various changes, so let us await.