Over the last thirty years, through a mixture of naivety and arrogance, the West has lost its global advantage. Today’s challenges are profound: climate change, polarisation in society, and tensions with Russia and China. Instead of a liberal world order, a new world disorder has emerged. Yet the triumph of the West had seemed unstoppable not that long ago. After the end of the Cold War, the democratic market economy took hold in the former Eastern Bloc, Russia went from being an enemy to a partner, and even China turned to capitalism. Then came the terrorist attacks of 9/11 that shook the world. The War on Terror destabilised an entire region; the Arab Spring only brought forth new autocracies; and, following the annexation of Crimea, the confrontation with Russia intensified. The West is under pressure, and it has only itself to blame.
It’s time for a new start: modernity must become sustainable if it is to survive. Peter R. Neumann, an internationally acclaimed expert on terrorism and geopolitics, uncovers the mistakes that led to our present situation and sets out the dangers the world will face if the West fails to reinvent itself.