It’s Bifurcation, not Bipolarity: Understanding World Order after the Ukraine Invasion

It’s Bifurcation, not Bipolarity: Understanding World Order after the Ukraine Invasion

Policy brief by Simon Reich & Richard Higgott
  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité Sciences Po

This new policy brief by the Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Governance at the Brussels School of Governance, co-authored by CERI Associate Simon Reich and Richard Higgott is based on their current project on the future of European strategic autonomy. In this brief, the authors examine the consequences of the clash between the prevailing geo-political logic of a dividing world order, highlighted by the Ukraine war, and the sustained geo-economic logic of globalization that is being reoriented by the war. Simon Reich and Richard Higgott suggest that a novel development is taking place in the global system, one that they describe and label "fuzzy bifurcation."

Introduction (extract)

Changes in world order require policy adaptation on the part of governments. The pre-requisite for good policy adaptation is an accurate reading of the nature and magnitude of that change. This is easier said than done. While there are always competing interpretations of change, the temptation to proclaim an irreversible shift in the state of the world is understandable. Several years of the COVID pandemic, the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and now Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have produced “heroic” readings of change which might not be the most useful basis on which to make policy...

Read the full policy brief

This policy brief was published by the Brussels School of Governance, Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy

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