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Its low points – the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union, the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president, the ongoing atrocities in Syria – were merely symptoms of a process of dissolution of the liberal rules-based global system that began long before.For years, the liberal order has been under strain. Skewed representation reflecting a bygone era, whether on the United Nations Security Council or the International Monetary Fund's Board, undermines global institutions' legitimacy and ability to respond to new challenges. A better approach would aim to boost the representation of emerging economies in existing institutions. The liberal international order's philosophical core has been hollowed out, with fundamental ideas that were once considered staples of the modern world – free trade, democracy, human rights – either in retreat or under threat.That is the shared vision and direction needed to buttress a new, modern global order.In today's world, common approaches are essential to address challenges and create new opportunities.First, the absence of universal norms condemns the world to be perpetually reactive.Syria is an augury of a global dystopia.
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