Be it resolved, the liberal international order is over…
Since the end of World War II, global affairs have been shaped by three broad trends: the increasing free movement of people and goods, international rules setting, and a broad appreciation of the mutual benefits of a more interconnected, interdependent world. Together these factors defined the liberal international order and sustained an era of rising global prosperity and declining international conflict. But is this order now being supplanted by a new global reality; one defined by the assertion of national borders, national interests and protectionist trade polices? More fundamentally, is liberal internationalism a historical aberration; the product of a unique set of forces that are now in retreat? Or, can it survive these challenges and remain the defining rules-based system of the future?
The twentieth semi-annual Munk Debate, held on April 28th, 2017, pits prominent historian Niall Ferguson against CNN's Fareed Zakaria to debate the future of liberal internationalism.