This week in Say More, PS talks with Mark Leonard, Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, and the author of The Age of Unpeace: How Connectivity Causes Conflict.
Project Syndicate: In December, you predicted that the “defining fights of the twenty-first century will be about who has the power to make the rules.” With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, this seems prescient. Could the sanctions on Russia – which capitalize on the West’s disproportionate power over the institutions underpinning economic interconnectedness to “punish” miscreants – hasten the demise of the Western-led rules-based order?
Mark Leonard: I think that the West was right to introduce tough sanctions on Russia in response to its aggression in Ukraine. Nonetheless, we should be worried about the sanctions’ long-term effects.
After the Cold War ended, the capitalist West’s institutions and systems were opened up to the rest of the world, enabling globalization on a scale unseen since the late nineteenth century. Add to that the revolution in information and communications technology, and interdependence reached new heights. In this hyper-connected, networked world, the “winners” – including companies like Facebook, Google, Alibaba, and Tencent – reap huge rewards.