On March 2 the Valdai Club hosted the expert discussion, titled “Whose Rules? Revisionists and Status Quo Defenders in World Politics”, based on the new report of the Club “Institutional Revisionism in International Politics: a Product of Boom, a Child of Decline, or Something Else?”.
Contemporary international rivalry is accompanied by accusations of revisionism centred on the United States on the one hand, and Russia and China on the other. The United States has always tried to reform international institutions in accordance with its own interests. Under Donald Trump, the United States withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, revised the terms of NAFTA, jeopardized the WTO dispute resolution mechanism, and withdrew from the INF and Open Skies treaties. There is no doubt that Joe Biden’s team will continue to try to transform existing norms and regimes.
Moscow has a conservative agenda, although it shows dissatisfaction with the architecture of institutions in Europe. Despite the fact that China calls for reforming the system of international relations regulation, its practical steps remain cautious. Beijing faces a choice – to remain committed to existing institutions or to use the increased material opportunities to transform the world system in its own interests.
What is the impact of revisionist tendencies on world politics? How can Russia help strengthen the conservative agenda? What kind of global governance policy will China pursue? Is competition between different revisionist worldviews possible in the future? The participants in the discussion answered these and other questions.