Speech at Nizami Ganjavi International Center VIII High-Level Meeting, Andorra la Vella, 12th — 14th June 2016
The Future Political Map
An institutional world crisis
The Russian – Georgian war of August 2008 has represented a shock for security structures. Its immediate consequences have highlighted inherent weaknesses in systems for managing frozen conflicts. Even more so, institutional blockages within the EU became apparent, in terms of foreign policy, as well as differences within NATO. Even though the expansion of the conflict was blocked, a major institutional crisis became apparent on an international level. Its components proved to be a crisis of means of action, a crisis of principles of International Law and a moral crisis. Revising security strategies on grounds of new approaches became a necessity. This also became relevant for consequences regarding an evaluation logic and security planning.
Now we certaintly are in a crossroads of a history of mankind. At this crossroads, the difficulty is not choosing to follow one way or another, but the capability to anticipate where these roads lead, as well as other new roads, that may open in the a century of unexpected transformations, where the risks game and actors abruptly change.
There are two types of challenges security faces. The first challenge refers to quickly solving some few neuralgic points of the present. The second one concerns the elaboration of a strategic concept for the global security during the first part of the 21st century.
What is the world we live in?
Two theoretical approaches have arisen. According to the first and oldest one, the world is unipolar, with the USA as a super-power, where they have invested over the last ten years twice the amount of military budgets of all the other world states, for military scientific and technological research.
The second approach describes the world as uni-multipolar, with an anarchic periphery, proved to be more realistic. In this view, the USA cannot act alone, but jointly with other powers. The West is multipolar and irregular. Western multipolarity is not an accident, but it been naturally generated by domestic democracy and by that existing within international bodies and institutions that is had set up.
Recent developments showed that countries within NATO and EU had different standpoints regarding the events in Kosovo or Georgia, as well as regarding the military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Global citizens in a Risk Society
The present globalized world can be characterized as a risk society, to which a large number of citizens have adapted. These global citizens, especially young people under 40, do not assume long term identities and loyalties, but only pragmatic and present ones. They are very active and mobile and settle, according to each person’s character, in areas offering them a minimum of risk or a maximum of opportunity. This kind of population which is expected to raise in numbers during the next years co-exists with groups or persons leading their life according to the former bipolar world, in black and white, even though ideological intolerances have been replaced by the religious or ethnical ones. The contemporary world is complicated also by its coexistence with proto-state or pseudo-state structures, based on clans, extended families or other structures which preceded the formation of people or nations. A new approach made by the international community, on each topics, should take into account the perceptions of each actor involved.
For a Preventive Vocation of Security Structures, a balanced view should take into account the interests of different ethnical and religious communities, the states’ obligations and their citizens’ natural rights, the conjectural and long-term interests of regional actors. It can only be elaborated by involving representatives competent to express plural standpoints, questions and aspirations for hundreds of millions people living in today’s world. Political structures can be complemented by civil society structures. Only such a process to consolidate respect for people, democracy and common security may reach the depth that only peoples’ true will can guarantee. It can create an efficient tool in setting up a new culture of dialogue and collaboration within the entire world.
A last question for our panel was: Does traditional nation state this 17th century political construct still have a role to play in the 21st century?
We are still within the Westfalian concept, according to which only states are subject to international law. States will probably continue to be not only security subjects, but also its guarantees, for the very distant future. The postmodern world has, nevertheless, generated a new solidarity between racial, ethnic, sexual groups that transcend states. European and world security, as well as security within each and every state, will have to adapt to postmodern society.
The state security can no longer be perceived as a goal, but it should be considered a mean to guarantee the security of different groups and citizens, people with own interests and choices.
The global economic crisis has led to reconsidering the role of the state as a defender of citizens against abuse by those who had ensured progress and prosperity for states in the 20th century, multinational commercial companies and transnational financial groups. Could democracies stand up to such diverse challenges? What are the arguments? What are the means?
It is necessary a political culture of security through forging mutual trust, negotiation and cooperation to identify major risks, and the creation and implementation of programs for raising mutual respect, both in countries with a high degree of risk, as well as in areas with a potential for conflict.
We talked about antiadministration system mouvement like Trump but when we talk about The Future Political Map, we focused on the future role of Great Powers.
In my opinion, the first step should be that of building a conceptual map of the international political universe, on which we would draw the different worlds that inhabit our planet: the postmodern, the modern and the premodern. On this base alone can we build appropriate security policies and strategies for a rapidly and contradictory changing world.