World Order by Henry Kissinger
Summary and takeaways from the book.
Peace treaty of Westphalia(1648).
The peace treaty ended the Thirty Years War(1618-1648).
The Thirty Years war was fought over religious differences(Catholics and Protestants). As part of the peace treaty, Nations and States will not interfere in each others domestic affairs(sovereignty), respect borders, and not prosecute minorities.
It also ended the influence of religion and Catholic Church.
This treaty is start of the World Order as we know it.
World Order is "cooperative order of states observing common rules and norms, embracing liberal economic systems, forswearing territorial conquest, respecting national sovereignty, and adopting participatory and democratic systems of governance
Published: September 9, 2014
Available on: amazon
The author Henry Kissinger defines World Order as a "consensus - an inexorably expanding cooperative order of states observing common rules and norms, embracing liberal economic systems, forswearing territorial conquest, respecting national sovereignty, and adopting participatory and democratic systems of governance.
Author also calls it World Community
"today this “rules-based” system faces challenges." "Nearly every country considers itself to be “rising,” driving disagreements to the edge of confrontation.
" The age of globalization, global village, relatively open borders, and one world has given way to de-globalization, broken supply chains, nationalism, and threat of World War 3.
"Can regions with such divergent cultures, histories, and traditional theories of order vindicate the legitimacy of any common system?
Kissinger is hopeful as there is "ingrained human quest for freedom", but "Order in this sense must be cultivated; it cannot be imposed." "freedom cannot be secured or sustained without a framework of order to keep the peace.
For a world Order to be accepted and respected, it "must be accepted as just—not only by leaders, but also by citizens
There is a need for World Order in our age of "unprecedented interdependence: in the spread of weapons of mass destruction, the disintegration of states, the impact of environmental depredations, the persistence of genocidal practices, and the spread of new technologies threatening to drive conflict beyond human control or comprehension.
There is also need for World Order when tackling global crisis like climate crisis, bio-diversity loss, quest for renewable energy, rising fascism, and over-population.
Origins of World Order
The Peace treaty of Westphalia
(1648) ended Thirty Years War(1618-1648) in Western Europe fought over religious differences between Catholics and Protestants. As part of the peace treaty, Nations and States will not interfere in each others domestic affairs(sovereignty), respect borders, and not prosecute minorities.
It also ended the influence of religion and Catholic Church, and supremacy of Nations and States.
The Peace treaty of Westphalia is start of the World Order as we know it. It brought to life ideas of sovereignty, freedom to practice your religion, and diplomacy.
"No truly global “world order” has ever existed. What passes for order in our
time was devised in Western Europe nearly four centuries ago, at a peace conference in the German region of Westphalia, conducted without the involvement or even the awareness of most other continents or civilizations.
"The Westphalian peace reflected a practical accommodation to reality, not a unique moral insight. It relied on a system of independent states refraining from interference in each other’s domestic affairs and checking each other’s ambitions through a general equilibrium of power." "Each would acknowledge the domestic structures and religious vocations of its fellow states as realities and refrain from challenging their existence.
In other words, World Order was originally driven not by morality, but practicality to avoid war
. It was proposed at the end of Thirty Years War of 1618–48 when a quarter of population of Europe died in the war. Initially, it was only about respect for sovereignty and non-interference, as global trade, climate crisis, nuclear threat did not exist.
"The state, not the empire, dynasty, or religious confession, was affirmed as the building block of European order
" in the Westphalian World Order
"The concept of state sovereignty was established. The right of each signatory to choose its own domestic structure and religious orientation free from intervention was affirmed, while novel clauses ensured that minority sects could practice their faith in peace and be free from the prospect of forced conversion.
"principles of a system of “international relations” were taking shape, motivated by the common desire to avoid a recurrence of total war on the Continent.
" Diplomacy was established with protocols
for giving equal rights to all sovereigns including "a process of entering the sites of negotiations through individual doors, requiring the construction of many entrances, and advancing to their seats at equal speed so that none would suffer the ignominy of waiting for the other to arrive at his convenience
It was adopted and respected around that region around Westphalia, Germany, only. Limits of communications and interaction in 1600's meant it could not go global. Russia, China, and Islamic world had their own visions of World Order.
In spite of its limited geographic adoption, "Westphalian principles are, at this writing, the sole generally recognized basis of what exists of a world order.
"British statesman Lord Palmerston expressed its basic principle as follows: “We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.”
On foreign policy: "When people ask me . . . for what is called a policy, the only answer is that we mean to do what may seem to be best, upon each occasion as it arises, making the Interests of Our Country one’s guiding principle.
The Westphalian World Order can be "maligned as a system of cynical power manipulation, indifferent to moral claims.
" where each country follows its interests.
of the Westphalian World Order was "Limited wars over calculable issues would replace the era of contending universalisms, with its forced expulsions and conversions and general war consuming civilian populations." "balancing of power was thought an improvement over the exactions of religious wars
Evolution of World Order
In the New World of America in 1630, there was vision of "“city upon a hill,” inspiring the world through the justness of its principles and the power of its example
". Their vision was of "cultivation of shared principles
"In time, the United States would become the indispensable defender of the order Europe designed. Yet even as the United States lent its weight to the effort, an ambivalence endured—for the American vision rested not on an embrace of the European balance-of-power system but on the achievement of peace through the spread of democratic principles.
Post World War II world order
"By the end of World War II, Europe’s world-ordering material and psychological capacity had all but vanished... no European country (including Switzerland and Sweden) was able any longer to shape its own future by itself.
Russia has its own views on World Order and relationship between Nations. Middle East has its own Islamic history based world order. As Kissinger says "No truly global “world order” has ever existed
"Hierarchy, not sovereign equality, was the organizing principle of Asia’s historical international systems. Power was demonstrated by the deference shown to a ruler and the structures of authority that recognized his overlordship, not the delineation of specific borders on a map
"In Asia, far more than in Europe, not to speak of the Middle East, the maxims of the Westphalian model of international order find their contemporary expression
". Author gives example of "domestic actions are perceived as excesses—as they have been, for example, in Myanmar—they are treated as an occasion for quiet diplomatic intercession, not overt pressure, much less forcible intervention
Adoption of Westphalian World Order by South East Asia is an interesting development and giving rise to 'Eastphalian' world order. ASEAN(Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is an outcome of this. "ASEAN has remained committed to a Westphalian notion of state sovereignty
World Order today
World Order today is about balancing
self-interests while co-operating with other nations.
World Order is driven by practicality, not morality
British statesman Lord Palmerston words still have value: "no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual
Today, this World Order's objective is to "curtail the anarchical nature of the world with an extensive network of international legal and organizational structures designed to foster open trade and a stable international financial system, establish accepted principles of resolving international disputes, and set limits on the conduct of wars when they do occur.
A Nation's self-interests remain supreme for each nation. The author Henry Kissinger quotes Indian Prime Minister Nehru:
"Whatever policy you may lay down, the art of conducting the foreign affairs of a country lies in finding out what is most advantageous to the country. We may talk about international goodwill and mean what we say. But in the ultimate analysis, a government functions for the good of the country it governs and no government dare do anything which in the short or long run is manifestly to the disadvantage of that country.
Kautilya (and Machiavelli) could not have said it better."
"Westphalian principles are, at this writing, the sole generally recognized basis of what exists of a world order.
" World Order is driven by practicality, not morality.
World Order today is about balancing
self-interests while co-operating with other nations:
Foster open trade
Stable international financial system
Principles of resolving international disputes
: international law.
Conduct during war
: do not do genocide or war crimes like collective punishments
, and respect Geneva Convention