A new global political order
For the first time in human history, the entire world is now politically awakened. Democratic participation and global cooperation are the best guarantees of social progress and stability. The world must take concrete steps in this direction.
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Turkey, which launched almost 100 years ago its social and national modernization with Europe largely as its model, is assuming a larger regional role as an economically dynamic and politically democratic state, while also a member of the Atlantic alliance as well as Russia’s good neighbor. And Russia, recognizing that its modernization and democratization are mutually reinforcing and vital to its important world role, also aspires to a broader collaboration with Europe, with America, and quite naturally so with its dynamic neighbor to the east, China.Skip to next paragraph
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The time is thus ripe for translating the values and interests that bind us together into more comprehensive ties. That requires the deliberate promotion of genuine reconciliation between historically conflicting peoples.
The EU would not exist today if it were not for the deliberate effort made by France and Germany – not only on the official level but especially between their peoples – to foster a genuine and deeply rooted national reconciliation. The EU could not have embraced central Europe if more recently a similar ongoing effort had not been pursued between the Germans and the Poles.
Turkey and Russia, though enemies in the past, are now good neighbors, and Turkey and the EU are engaged in complicated negotiations regarding a mutually beneficial relationship. A wider-still Europe cannot come into being without a similar and broadly gauged reconciliation between the Poles and the Russians. And an even broader cooperative framework can emerge as America and Russia expand their collaboration, taking advantage of the fact that on the people-to-people level there has never been any truly intense animus between Americans and Russians.
In any case, we need to face the reality that in the decades ahead, larger-scale cooperation between regions will be essential to global well-being.
The ongoing emergence as major players of dynamic and populated Asian states – most notably of China, earlier of Japan, and soon of India and of Indonesia – as well as of increasingly close Asian inter-state organizations all reflect the advantages of large-scale cooperation among the world’s regions. In fact, the more regional cooperation in Asia itself, the less likely is Asia to repeat Europe’s painful 20th century history, and the more likely is broader cooperation also between the new East and the old West.
The potential for such cooperation also suggests, if new major conflicts are averted, that in the decades ahead, the now politically awakened people of the world may eventually share a universal political culture in which global cooperation will be reinforced – though with some unavoidable local variations – by constitutionally based democratic principles. Japan, South Korea, and India provide examples of the global potential for cross-cultural democratic universality.
It is timely to make note of that more hopeful prospect, especially in the face of the current inclination to engage in historical pessimism. And so it is timely also to think concretely and practically, in geopolitical terms, of how we can step by patient step advance and institutionalize such a more promising future.