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  • Centro para el Bien Común Global

The world order as a reference and a question mark

Enrique Fojón Lagoa 


Most Western thinking in International Relations (IR) can be considered to be dominated by the view that the world situation is the result of design and planning. Matt Ridley describes it very graphically, "If there is a great dominant myth in the world, a great mistake we all make, a dark side, it is that we all believe that the world is a more planned place than it actually is."

In times of "tectonic" changes in the global geopolitical situation such as the ones we are experiencing, both academics and analysts try to identify references to analyze the new international context of power distribution and design possible courses of action to act in such a fluid environment. Normally, in this process, they choose to use as a reference the concept of World Order, something like a vision of the conduct between the centers of world power, in such a way as to result in an ordo gratum, using geopolitics as a method for the ensuing analysis.

The name World Order is narratively associated with the idea of Peace, but History shows that Orders have only exceptionally been constituted on pillars such as justice or Peace. Historical examples of Orders imposed by the victors of wars are abundant and only a few, if identified as such, have been through understanding and cooperation. It should be remembered that conflicts between Great Powers generated, in the two previous centuries, significant changes in what we can call World Orders. The emergence of the Orders of Vienna, Berlin, Paris, Versailles and Yalta were a consequence of the Napoleonic, Franco-Prussian, Crimean and two World Wars. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb notes: "History and societies do not crawl. They jump. They go from fracture to fracture, with a few vibrations between them. But we believe, along with some historians, in predictable, small-quantity progressions." What the history of the future can assure is that it will surprise us.


Dr. Enrique Fojón, Marine Colonel (Ret). Researcher at the Center for International Security of the Institute of International Politics (Francisco de Vitoria University).



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