ISBN: 978-3-03-072043-8

Matthew Evangelista

Cornell University

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One of Italy's leading theorists of international politics has published an updated and revised English version of his recent book on the end of the Liberal World Order and what to put in its place. Vittorio Emanuele Parsi, who also serves as a Commander in the Italian Naval Reserves, conveys the destruction of the international order with ample use of nautical metaphors – icebergs, shipwrecks, drift, and, in the wake of a major dereliction of duty on the part of the United States, questions about who can retake the helm to steer a safe passage through troubled shoals. Parsi devotes chapters to multiple threats to the order established by the United States after World War II: the challenge of authoritarian regimes in Russia and China; the menace of Jihadist terrorism; the refugee crisis exacerbated by regional wars; and the disruptive influence of US President Donald Trump. Parsi's most original and acute analysis focuses on what he calls the broken pact between democracy and market. The rise in neoliberal polices that diminished the role of governments in favor of austerity led to widespread disillusionment with an international order heretofore premised on what John Ruggie called 'embedded liberalism'. Ruggie recognized that the economic costs and benefits of globalization were distributed unevenly, and he described a system – most apparent in the democratic market economies of Western Europe – for compensating the losers. The recent rise of populism in many democracies signaled the breakdown of this system. The challenge of responding to Covid-19 offers governments an opportunity to resume their responsibilities and bolster the liberal order, but Parsi questions whether they are up to the task.