Harold James


How is international order built, and how is it legitimate, in a world in which political and economic foundations are rapidly shifting? What are the consequences of the rise of major new powers for the structure and the functioning of the international system? Great wars or great financial crises have in the past led to disorientation about the moral foundations of society, domestically and internationally. The paper examines parallels with the Great Depression, and in particular the weakening of multilateralism and of small political units, and the strengthening of large powers with hegemonic claims. The paper then turns to an examination of how a possible China-centered order would be legitimated.



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