Event Summary: Book Discussion with John Mearsheimer
Dr. John Mearsheimer discussed his understandings of the liberal world order as he described in his recent book The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities. After providing opening remarks, he had a conversation with the General Coordinator of SETA Burhanettin Duran. He explained that how the U.S. pursued a liberal hegemony policy post-Cold War era. He argued that it failed miserably, which put President Donald Trump in the presidency. He explained that the idea of liberal order is to integrate all countries into the international institutions, which is a main component of liberal hegemony. In addition to these Mearsheimer also highlighted that the liberal world order loses when it faces nationalism.
He first explained that there are three benefits to having a liberal hegemony. The first is it eliminates human rights’ threats. The second reason he mentioned is that liberal democracies existing around the world makes for more peaceful world. The third benefits is making it safe for liberal democracies to exist. Mearsheimer went on to explain that NATO, the EU and color revolutions are all part of the spread of liberal hegemony. Mearsheimer discussed that unipolarity is essential for pursuing liberal hegemony. He added that the U.S. does not have to worry about the balance of power politics if there is liberal hegemony. However he noted that liberal hegemony is doomed based on three factors: the rise of Donald Trump, the rise of China, and the resurrection of Russian power.
He mentioned that nationalism has been a constant in the U.S. It was created as a nation stated and therefore, he discussed that there is no new nationalism rising the in the U.S. Mearsheimer briefly touched on comments from President Obama stating that Obama entered office with promises to change international politics, however as he left office he recognized that he had to play the Washington playbook. President Trump, he noted fights against the playbook at all moments. Mearsheimer also suggested the three most important regions to the U.S. now, noting that East Asia is first, the Gulf second, and Europe as third, despite Europe being first before. He predicted that there will be a security competition between the U.S. and China in the Gulf. He added that the U.S. is pushing both Iran and now Saudi Arabia toward China.