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Many experts have proclaimed the death of the post-1945 liberal international order, including the human rights regime set forth in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.According to "realist" international relations theorists, one cannot sustain a liberal world order when two of the three great powers – Russia and China – are anti-liberal. The more serious flaw is lumping countries as disparate as China and Russia together as an authoritarian axis.While Russia and China are both authoritarian and find it useful to caucus against the U.S. in international bodies like the U.N. Security Council, they have very different interests. China is a rising power that is highly intertwined with the international economy, including the U.S. In contrast, Russia is a declining country with serious demographic and public health problems, with energy rather than finished goods accounting for two-thirds of its exports.The London-based Soft Power 30 index ranks Russia 26th.China has increasingly restricted human rights at home. As Chinese power increases, the global human rights regime's problems will increase.In the Soft Power 30 index, China ranks 25th, while the U.S. is third.The good news is that some aspects of the current international order will persist; the bad news is that it may not include the liberal element of human rights.
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