April 3, 2020


A State is the product of a social contract among its citizens who willingly transferred a part of their freedom to a central authority in lieu of assurance of security. In a way, this represents the management of internal anarchy. The internal bargain is strengthened by the external assertion of sovereignty, which separates a community of people legally, and therefore, all political communities are theoretically equal. This idea of external anarchy runs the international system, where there is no international government. External anarchy logically flows from this, and is the realist dictum of ‘there is no international community beyond the border.’ Only after the end of the Second World War did we witness the emergence of an international community and, consequently, a world order based on rules and regulations. Known as a liberal international order, its political arm was imbued in the making, and functioning of the United Nations (U.N.) and economic arms were manifested in the Bretton Woods institutions. The United States of America (U.S.) emerged as a clear guarantor of the system, which gradually veered off to the role a reluctant superpower, especially in the 21st Century. The erosion of such an international social contract is manifested in the unprecedented lack of trust and cooperation associated with the unfolding of the current global pandemic.

Published: April 3, 2020

Category: Perspectives

Volume: 21 - 2020

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