The Global Liberal Order Under Threat

The future of the liberal order hangs in the balance – but what comes next?

Virtually everyone agrees that the global liberal order is in trouble. The rise of reactionary nationalism, protectionism and anti-globalization are undeniable. If current trends are any guide of what´s to come, the new world order emerging in its place will most likely be shaped by regional spheres of influence rather than a single superpower. It seems that history has returned with a vengeance.

Is it too late for the West – including the US, EU countries and others – to reform the seven decade old liberal order? If the global liberal order dies, will the new world order be led by emerging powers – China, India, Russia, Indonesia, Turkey and Brazil chief among them? Will the shift be accompanied by violent conflict, or can the transition be managed peaceably?

Global Growth


These are just some of the questions we ask in this new series launched in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Phil Lind Initiative at the University of British Columbia. Led by the Lind Visiting Fellow, Robert Muggah (Igarapé Institute), and UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs Professor Taylor Owen, the series invited some of the world’s leading public intellectuals to drill down on some of the most challenging topics of our era.

The series featured public events, a Lind seminar, and articles by Steven Pinker, Francis Fukuyama, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Misha Glenny, and others on the causes and consequences of the decline of the global liberal order. In the coming weeks, new guests, podcasts and videos will be added to the platform. Come join the debate!

To read more about the series, visit the WEF website and the Phil Lind Initiative 2018 Series website.

To access individual articles, visit the WEF webpage on the Future of the Global Liberal Order.