Pro. Adib Moghaddam:

US suffers diplomatic illiteracy to project power

News ID: 4076943 -
TEHRAN, Sep 04 (MNA) - Chair of the Centre for Iranian Studies at the London Middle East Institute believes the US ability to project hard and soft power is seriously constrained by its diplomatic illiteracy and lack of political culture, especially under the disastrous Trump presidency.

Any period of history evidencing a dramatic change in world political thought and the balance of power is referred as New World Order.

New World Order term was mostly used after the end of cold war. To describe the post cold era situation and the spirit of the cooperation between two super powers both Mikhail Gorbachev and George Herbert Walker Bush used New World Order term. Initial definitions and preferences of the New World Order brought up by Gorbachev included a wide range of issues and were mostly idealistic, but his capabilities to insist on them were very limited due to internal crises in former Soviet Union. Contrary to Gorbachev’s viewpoint, Bush’s viewpoint didn’t include a wide range of issues and was more realistic.

Robert Cohen, a leading theoretician of neoliberal institutionalism believes that the US hegemonic power has begun to decline after 1970s. While the US leadership power has decreased, he believe all international regimes created after Second World War would continue to remain.

How the world order from the viewpoint of the polarization would be like, is among the most important issues in forming the states’ foreign policy.

Payman Yazdani from Mehr News agency has disscussed the possible next world order with Professor in Global Thought and Comparative Philosophies and Chair of the Centre for Iranian Studies at the London Middle East Institute,  Arshin Adib-Moghaddam by

here is the full text of the interview

Some believe after possible decline of the US hegemonic power, there would be no other hegemonic power in the world because the other states will not accept hegemonic powers any more. What do you think of this?

Hegemony is a practice and it is not always dependent on huge power resources. Saudi Arabia is acting in a hegemonic way in relation to Qatar without the power resources to dominate the region, even if the kingdom wanted to. Certainly, the United States does not have the ability to exercise its hegemony on a global scale, even if it wanted to. For hegemony to work the object of such oppressive power needs to play along, it needs to accept the suppression. Such acceptance is not apparent in the current international system.

what will be the effect of possible multi-power world on world order? Can we witness a more stable world under the shadow of a multipolar world? And also Some believe that a multi-polar world will result in more obscure alignment of states. What do you think of this?

Stability is always relative. In the last two decades we have witnessed more internal wars such as in Syria and Yemen which have brought about immense calamity and human misery. The era of big inter-state wars has been over for a long time now, but this changed global context doesn't mean that there is stability. Multipolarity can be as disastrous as the bipolar world order of the Cold War. A first step towards a rather more peaceful international system could be regional alliances that stabilise the area of the member states and which position themselves as partners to other regions. The European Union and the ASEAN countries are good examples. The countries of West Asia and North Africa and their political inability to bring about a regional consensus geared to peace are the worse examples. Regional alliance systems can deliver the stability that is needed to work towards global peace.

If we believe in multi-polar world for future, which power components will affect world polarization? Basically which counties or organizations will form those poles?

I believe the poles have already emerged. The United States, the European Union, both enmeshed in an increasingly disentangled and disintegrated narrative of the "west", China, Japan, Brazil, South Africa, Iran, Russia, India, all of these countries are major players due to their geo-strategic location and/or cultural and economic gravitas. I certainly don't ascribe to the "realist" notion that power can be merely measured in material terms or more specifically in terms of military power. The United States is the undisputed leader in the military realm, yet its ability to project hard and soft power is seriously constrained by its diplomatic illiteracy and lack of political culture, especially under the disastrous Trump presidency. I had predicted this outcome when I first commented about him in the global media including in Iran. Furthermore, Qatar is a rather small country, yet it has become central to the global economy. The same applies to Singapore. Power is not concomitant to military power. In today's world, it is the power to persuade and to act as a model for a democratic, peaceful and freedom loving country that translates into prestige and diplomatic/economic/political success in world politics -- Ideas like that continue to be mightier than any sharpened sword.

Arshin Adib-Moghaddam is Professor in Global Thought and Comparative Philosophies and Chair of the Centre for Iranian Studies at the London Middle East Institute. Educated at the Universities of Hamburg, American (Washington DC) and Cambridge, where he received his MPhil and PhD as a multiple scholarship student, he was the first Jarvis Doctorow Fellow in International Relations and Peace Studies at St Edmund Hall and the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford.

interview by Payman Yazdani

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