from The Internationalist and International Institutions and Global Governance Program

The Four Contending Approaches to Multilateralism Under Biden

The debate between going it alone versus working with others has ended. The debate over alternative forms of multilateralism has just begun.
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers his first prime time address as president, marking the one-year anniversary of widespread shutdowns to combat the COVID-19 pandemic at the White House in Washington, DC, on March 11, 2021.
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers his first prime time address as president, marking the one-year anniversary of widespread shutdowns to combat the COVID-19 pandemic at the White House in Washington, DC, on March 11, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

In my weekly column for World Politics ReviewI examine the most promising institutional foundations for world order in the twenty-first century.

The travails of the rules-based international system have set off a vigorous debate within U.S. foreign policy circles over the most promising institutional foundations for world order in the 21st century. The Washington establishment is united in its repudiation of Donald Trump’s “America First” orientation. But it remains divided on what form of U.S. internationalism is best suited to a historical moment defined by two powerful, countervailing trends: the rise of transnational challenges that can only be resolved through collective action and the resurgence of geopolitical competition that hinders international cooperation.

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The four distinct models of multilateralism currently vying for primacy can be characterized as the charterclubconcert and coalition conceptions of world order. Each of the “4 Cs” can lay claim to a distinctive virtue: legitimacy, solidarity, capability and flexibility, respectively.

Read the full World Politics Review article here

More on:

Global Governance

Joe Biden

Diplomacy and International Institutions

World Order