World Order’s ‘Historical Force’ In Anglo-American Foreign Policy

‘Anxiety about the future is part of the Western condition,’ John Bew, professor in history and foreign policy, told an audience at King’s College London on Tuesday.

Bew was speaking at his inaugural lecture for the university about his emerging study into the Anglo-American view – or rather views – on ‘world order’, as well as their pursuit of it in relation, or sometimes opposition, to the interests of both Britain and America.

His contention is that the pursuit of world order has been a ‘historical force’ in both the British and American empires, most notably in setting up the rules that have somewhat governed international affairs since the Second World War.

Bew emphasised that ‘world order’ was not merely imperialism or self interest pursued under another guise. Indeed, he argued that at times national interest clashed with visions of world order, including in the interwar period that led to the failed League of Nations.

What with the rise of China as an economic rival to the US and president Donald Trump attacking or eschewing many of the conventions of global governance, any notion of world order clearly has relevance in foreign policy discussions.

In the case of both Britain and the US, Bew claims that their shared understanding of Roman history made them fearful of barbarians approaching the gate.

The Chinese may be more sophisticated than ancient barbarians, but the country’s championing of its own form of capitalism still presents an alternative, and perhaps a threat threat, to the US-led Western view of how things should be run.

One audience member at the lecture raised the notion of more regional or multipolar governance, which looks a plausible successor to US dominance in the short term.

As Bew acknowledged, not everyone thinks the end is nigh. Citing the technological growth and raising living standards flagged by the likes of the academic Steven Pinker, Bew said: ‘There’s a very good argument that the world is not in crisis … but it’s certainly a conceptual crisis.’

That conceptual crisis has alarmed politicians and officials from Canberra to Warsaw. Whatever book Bew produces from his study, it should be worth a read.

Podcast Ep. 45: Digital Democracy, Sadiq Khan vs. Donald Trump & Queen vs. China

RD E45 Trump v Khan, Digital democracy, Queen v China

Britain’s dispiritingly analogue democracy, Sadiq Khan’s rebuttal to Donald Trump’s travel ban on Muslims, and Queen Liz berating “rude” Chinese officials are the three topics this week.

Continue Reading

Podcast (Ep. 21): The Lords Unleashed, China’s One Child Policy & Snowden’s Asylum in the EU

RD E21 – China One Child

John joins Jazza and Jimmy to chat shit about the events of the week. Ill-informed but always having a giggle on the way.

This week the boys touch on the Lords vs Gideon “George” Osborne and the tax credit debacle, followed by an analysis of China’s one child policy, which is now a two child policy. What does that mean for the upcoming superpower?

Finally, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been granted asylum in the EU. Or has he? It’s all very confusing. Will the Right Dishonourable make it less so? Let’s be fair. Probably not.

Image Credit – Too Cute Not To Post, April 2006 by JB

Podcast (Ep. 20): Germaine Greer’s Transphobia, China in Britain and Seumas Milne’s Labour spin

Germaine Greer at Humber Mouth Festival, July 2006 by Walnut Whippet

Jazza and Jimmy are back at it and this week discuss Germaine Greer publicly defending her comments that-trans women aren’t women.

Meanwhile Chinese president Xi Jinping just had a lovely time being entertained by Mr. Cameron and the Queen so that British projects can get investment from China. Surprisingly, Jimmy schools Jazza on his China knowledge.

Finally, who is Seumas Milne, Jeremy Corbyn’s new spin doctor? Does he hate the West? Does it matter? And what are the consequences for Corbyn’s Labour party?

Image Credit – Germaine Greer at Humber Mouth Festival, July 2006 by Walnut Whippet