Many Europeans see the war in Ukraine as an attack on the ‘rules-based order’. But to many people in other parts of the world, there is no consensus on a set of rules to govern global affairs – and no sense of order. In this mini-series, Mark Leonard will go on an intellectual tour of the world talking to key thinkers about how order is being defined by different powers. He explores how the clash between these different notions plays into the big shocks facing the world – from climate change and future pandemics to geopolitical struggles and technological disasters – and what this means for national and global politics.
In this first episode, Leonard is joined by Rana Mitter, vice-president of the British Academy and professor of the history and politics of modern China at the University of Oxford, to talk about the Chinese understanding of order. How are economic inequalities and covid-19 challenging Chinese stability? What is the role of multilateralism in the international system? And finally, how do narratives of the past shape understandings of ‘order’ today?
- “China’s Good War: How World War II Is Shaping a New Nationalism” by Rana Mitter
- “Is the Growing Pessimism About China Warranted?” (2016) ChinaFile Conversation
- “In the Name of the People” (2017) TV series