The Alliance for Multilateralism Makes Sense. Can It Make Good?
from The Internationalist and International Institutions and Global Governance Program

The Alliance for Multilateralism Makes Sense. Can It Make Good?

The incipient Alliance for Multilateralism comes at a pivotal moment, but its ambiguous identity represents a potential stumbling block.
German Foreign Affairs Minister Heiko Maas delivers a speech next to his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris, France, on October 16, 2018.
German Foreign Affairs Minister Heiko Maas delivers a speech next to his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris, France, on October 16, 2018. Francois Guillot/Reuters

In my weekly column for World Politics ReviewI examine the nascent "Alliance for Multilateralism" and discuss some of the challenges it faces.

The rules-based multilateral order is on the ropes, pummeled by absent leaders, dissatisfied powers, clashing values, novel challenges, skeptical publics and sclerotic institutions. To combat these trends, France and Germany have proposed an “Alliance for Multilateralism.” This flexible network would be open in principle to all independent nations committed to responding collectively to the world’s most daunting problems.

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Realizing this ambitious vision will require persuading prospective members that the proposed alliance poses no threat to their national sovereignty, that it can contribute to pragmatic problem-solving and that it is not directed against any particular state or states. The alliance’s architects must also decide whether it will be a multilateral platform that is normatively “thick” or “thin,” meaning one that is grounded in shared political principles or focused simply on peaceful coexistence among states that disagree fundamentally on values.

Read the full World Politics Review article here.

More on:

Global Governance

Sovereignty

Diplomacy and International Institutions

Populism

Globalization