• Monday, January 21, 2019

Oscillating World Order and Politics in Pakistan

Discussion in 'Strategic & Foreign Affairs' started by OsmanAli98, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. OsmanAli98

    OsmanAli98 FULL MEMBER

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    Since after the World War II, the United States and the Western States vastly shaped the evolution of global liberal order. Although on the other hand, the Communist ideology favored by Russia was countering the evolving worldwide liberal order. But after the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, the world explicitly became unipolar and US emerged as a single leading Super Power which announced the Liberal International Order as the only way forward for the rest of the world. Certainly, US (leading actor) and Europe (allies) got great opportunity to promote and endorse democracy and liberal values in the global world.

    Liberal International Order comprises of the liberal values such as democracy, freedom of expression, peace, international cooperation, civil rights etc. Even Francis Fukuyama in his well-known book The End of History and Last Man claimed that democracy has no alternative and the end point of the human ideological struggle is the liberal democratic system. The nation states were getting convinced and influenced by liberalism as the bulk of literature on democratic values was disseminated throughout the world. The democratic wave prevailed and the countries like Indonesia and South Africa also conformed to democracy. Since Pakistan and India inherited their political and legal framework from the British Constitution which also follows the liberal democratic system. Therefore, it was natural for both countries to go with the same sort of political ideology. Besides, the international institutions also played a smart role in promoting the ideological agenda of the western elites.

    As John Ikenberry elucidated in his paper Socialization and Hegemonic Power, the hegemonic or regional powers in the international system not only manipulate the tangible or material incentives, rather also endeavor to ideologically influence the peripheral or small states. Hence, the case of China is not exceptional and undoubtedly influencing the political ideology of its allied states as well

    The Western Intelligentsias were confident that their order cannot be challenged and undermined; however recent events at the global level have shaken the existing liberal order. As changing patterns in the global structure can be viewed at three levels; firstly, the contradictory behavior of the liberal forces towards their own ideology including the political role of international institutions; secondly, the dissatisfaction of the public with the existing system in the West; thirdly, the rise of non-Western powers particularly People’s Republic of China with a different ideology. Though, the last point that is the emergence of China deserves the further and serious commentary.

    Even in the presence of a liberal order, China has remained quite successful in gradually influencing the nation states through its pragmatic economic and trade policy. States are interconnected and interdependent; they continuously influence each other in numerous ways. As John Ikenberry elucidated in his paperSocialization and Hegemonic Power, the hegemonic or regional powers in the international system not only manipulate the tangible or material incentives rather also endeavor to ideologically influence the peripheral or small states. Hence, the case of China is not exceptional and undoubtedly influencing the political ideology of its allied states as well.

    Pakistan is one of the closest strategic allies of China and recently put all its eggs in the Chinese basket particularly after becoming the part of Belt and Road Initiative through CPEC. The Chinese influence is mounting in Pakistan. Although China does not explicitly sponsor any political ideology for rest of the nations but still the Chinese emergence has started to ideologically impact the nation states. It also seems that the native stakeholders are calculatedly importing the features of Chinese political ideology. The efforts for developing similar political arrangements has some geostrategic goals as well which will shape or counter the changing world order peculiarly at the regional level. On the other side, the US plans to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan will strengthen the regional players.

    The oscillating world order with the rise of China is offering the world both opportunities and challenges. The opportunities can be regional prosperity; economic pragmatism; getting out of the hegemonic political influence of US, whereas the challenges, such as shifting from a conventional to a new political and economic approach; diminishing role of civil society and above all the ideological crisis of the states, are also prevailing.

    The democratic history of Pakistan is not brilliant even while being the allied state of US that believes in civil and political liberties. And now the plain and bold alliance of Pakistan with China has warily fostered the construction of new political norms and deconstruction of the norms reflected by the liberal order. On a final note, the further emergence of China and the decline of liberal order will impact the overall political and social composition of the state of Pakistan.



    The writer is a freelance journalist and MPhil Scholar International Development Studies

    Published in Daily Times, January 11th 2019.
     
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  2. Foxtrot Delta

    Foxtrot Delta FULL MEMBER

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    Social composition will change definitely! But for the better.
     
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