Freedom is only meaningful when free nations have the power to defend themselves and their ideals, argues Paul D. Miller, a professor of the practice of international affairs at Georgetown University and author of American Power and Liberal Order.
Liberal policymakers deluded themselves that the soft power of their example and their trade would be enough to turn rivals into partners. Instead, rivals took their money, copied their example, distorted it for their use, and have amassed enough power to threaten the freedom and independence of much of the free world. That dynamic now endangers democracy itself, he writes for The Dispatch:
The naiveté and utopianism of liberal internationalism has led the world to a dark place, one in which authoritarians have extracted the benefits of the liberal order while discrediting it in the eyes of much of the free world. We are perilously close to losing the liberal order altogether, after which is likely to come either a very dangerous era of leaderless competition, or Chinese hegemony, neither of which is an improvement over even a flawed liberalism.
The solution is to reaffirm liberal principles while limiting the scope and membership of liberal order to shore up its integrity, legitimacy, and resilience. That is also the best way to answer citizens’ grievances about the liberal order, restore some semblance of democratic accountability to it, and thus take the sting out of populist and nationalist movements.
For the sake of ordered liberty at home and abroad, the free world must wake up to the threat of authoritarianism, adds Miller, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who previously served on the National Security Council in the Bush and Obama administrations. RTWT
The V-Dem Institute’s newly-published Resource Guide to “Defending Democracy against Illiberal Challengers” provides an overview of cutting-edge research and innovative ideas that you and your organization can enact for strengthening democracy.
Democratic actors including politicians, activists, and journalists face dilemmas every day. This Resource Guide systematically analyzes strategies for addressing these dilemmas based on the available research evidence. To release the guide, the V-Dem Institute organized the above webinar with Anna Lührmann (V-Dem Institute), Daniel Ziblatt (Harvard University), Paulina Fröhlich (Progressive Zentrum), moderated by Christal Morehouse (OSIFE).