Can We Stop a Third World War?
From 10.00 until 11.30 am
At Garden Room - The Barbican
London EC2Y 8DS
With rising tensions between America, China and the EU – not to mention the reemergence of Russia on the international stage – many argue that the old, post-1945 world order is breaking down. Changes in international relations mean that the old rules and conventions no longer work. Some thinkers today anticipate a ‘Thucydides moment’. The great ancient historian wrote that the Peloponnesian war was inevitable because of the growth of Athenian power and the fear this caused in Sparta. Today, we could be on the same path as the old and new powers clash.
But this is not simply about China versus the West. There are escalating strains within the ‘old’ West, too. Since the 2008 financial crash, differences between countries have evolved into bitter transatlantic ructions between the US and the EU. These rivalries were brought into sharper focus by the election of President Donald Trump in 2016 that seemed to open up a divide between a mercantilist and a globalist approach to world affairs. The US and EU have major differences on issues as disparate as the Iran nuclear deal and whether to use Huawei’s equipment to build 5G networks. The EU is also split within, not just over migration and the fallout from the eurozone crisis, but over how to deal with China’s Belt and Road Initiative. [...]