Watch
live broadcast
Russia and Global Security Risks
The Future of Translateral World Order: Rethinking Global Partnerships in the Era of Deepening Uncertainty
Valdai Club Report_The_Future_of_Translateral_World_Kobayashi
pdf 0.48 MB

Unity is neither necessary not desirable in advancing the reformation of the world order in an era of deepening global uncertainty. Quite the contrary, what we need most is informal partnerships among and between unlike-minded actors that transcend conventional binary thinking and hence offer greater potential for boosting the spirit of experimental creativity and mutual learning.

In the recent article published by Russia in Global Affairs, Marlene Laruelle rightly points out that contemporary political commentaries too often employ outdated binaries with little heuristic value, including the alleged confrontation between “democratic” powers and “autocratic” challengers. Binarism forcefully reduces diverse actors to crude caricatures while simultaneously promulgating inward amity and outward hostility fashioned in a bellicose narrative of “us against them.”
Over time, actors entrapped in binary thinking come to uncritically celebrate internal purity, uniformity, and homogeneity as an ultimate source of strength.

Indeed, there are prevalent presumptions that a stable world order requires ideological unity – the more normatively united we are, the more stable the world order. This is probably why many International Relations (IR) scholars and pundits are quick to dismiss the role of rising powers in reshaping the world order. The common criticism goes that the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) group is unlikely to play a meaningful role in the transformation of global politics because they lack a unifi ed vision. In the words of Joseph Nye, “BRICS countries remain too politically and economically diverse to act in a unifi ed manner.”

The primary purpose of this report is to challenge this conventional view. By proposing a new analytical concept of “translateralism,” I argue that unity is neither necessary not desirable in advancing the reformation of the world order in an era of deepening global uncertainty. Quite the contrary, what we need most is informal partnerships among and between unlike-minded actors that transcend conventional binary thinking and hence offer greater potential for boosting the spirit of experimental creativity and mutual learning.