Current crisis determines the birth of a new global order

Copyright European Union

by Mahamad Hassan Malin

The current global order has been overturned by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, along with the world’s energy, production, distribution, and financial systems. The war for a new global order includes the war in Ukraine. The Western alliance is being openly contested by Russia and China. But it’s still unclear what the new world order will look like. The idea of a multipolar concert of the major powers, with exclusive zones of influence, is gaining traction in Moscow and Beijing as much as in Washington. The EU must be concerned about the evolving global order and maintain its leadership position in all key spheres, including the technical, economic, and scientific arenas. 

The global change in the energy system

In the German debate, under the immediate impact of the war, the main concern is how to prevent Russia from receiving income from its oil and gas exports without placing an undue burden on customers who depend on Russian energy sources. By speeding up the energy transition away from fossil fuels, this dependency will eventually be lessened. Less emphasis is given to China’s and India’s attempts to take advantage of the cheapest energy supplies available on the Russian market without incurring Western sanctions. And far too little attention is being paid to the efforts of significant suppliers and their consumers to ‘de-dollarise’ the worldwide energy trade.

More crucially, the US is attempting to halt China’s economic ascent. However, in the medium term, this necessitates diversifying sources in order to meet the gas demand. It is possible that unexpected alliances will change, including both old allies and foes (such as the US and Venezuela) as well as old allies (such as the West and the Arab monarchies; Russia and Kazakhstan). The new German administration had to figure out rapidly how in this competitive world the necessity to secure domestic energy supply might clash with the ideals of value-based foreign policy in its very first days in office.

The Covid-19 crisis

Since the 2008 financial crisis, global commerce and international investment have not truly resumed. People are now more aware of how vulnerable global supply chains are as a result of the COVID-19 problem. The failure of China’s Zero Covid plan and the severe lockdowns in Shenzhen and Shanghai show that, two years after the pandemic’s emergence, the potential of supply chain disruptions is still present. When components from the Far East are absent, assembly lines in Europe also halt. The long-running, covert trend towards delocalization is being accelerated by the paradigm change from efficiency (‘Just in Time’) to higher resilience (‘Just in Case’).

However, geopolitical as well as geo-economic factors encourage the shortening and detachment of supply chains, and they are now responsible for the division and isolation of markets. The US is attempting to impede China’s economic development. Behind the scenes, both sides are increasingly exerting pressure on their allies and other nations to support them. Asians and Europeans continue to fight against being dragged into this new Cold War. However, the conflicts involving chip makers, gas pipelines, and 5G communications infrastructure demonstrate how rapidly businesses and whole nations may become entangled in conflicting fronts. Competing blocs that make it difficult or impossible for undesired competitors to access their markets may be the eventual result of this evolution.


When Western critics discuss the Chinese Silk Road project, they frequently concentrate on financial traps or the development of political dependency. It is reasonable to assume that China is attempting to consolidate its position as the dominating force in Asia and the world with this massive project. Less generally recognized, however, is the Belt and Road Initiative’s geostrategic purpose, which the West allies should put to rest by pursuing extremely inclusive policies with the emerging regional powers in order to effectively thwart China’s economic war and Russia’s perpetual annexation.

The under way global order

The global liberal order, is failing to handle the most significant external concerns of our age, including climate change, digitalization, and global wealth disparity, despite having molded the world since the middle of the 20th century. Indeed, the liberal order’s central tenet, globalization, is credited with generating previously unheard-of levels of wealth for some countries at the expense of the working and middle classes in the West, who lost their jobs and were never replaced, igniting a national populist backlash against the liberal order. Furthermore, China’s inclusion in the order has not prompted it to change to a democratic model, but rather has given rise to an undemocratic rival to the established democracies that supported its emergence. Lastly, the West’s dominance in rule-based multilateralism was endangered by the United States’ withdrawal from global leadership in favor of a “America First” national populist strategy.

Recently, however, the events surrounding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine point to a revitalization of the failing order. In response to a shared threat, the West came together for a similar goal, acting in unison across politics, economics, and defense while utilizing already-established multilateral organizations like NATO. Also evocative of a time when the liberal international order was bringing peace, prosperity, and freedom to the world is the alignment of liberal democracies to defend a nation’s national sovereignty and the democratic aspirations of its citizens. However, recent events have also brought attention to the order’s flaws. These include a structurally divided Europe after the UK left the union, a new nuclear-fueled land conflict in Europe, the persistent support that China, the second-largest power in the world, and India have shown for Russia.