Jan 26, 2019

The world order is being redefined

Dave Lawler, author of World

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

DAVOS, Switzerland — By the end of the week-long annual gathering of the world's elite here, the procession of leaders had given an inkling of the world order to come.

The big picture: "We may have to get used to a more modest definition of 'liberal world order,'" Columbia University economic historian Adam Tooze told Axios. That likely means removing liberal politics as a requirement to join the club.

What they're saying:

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the "global architecture will only work if we are willing to compromise," accept a changing balance of power, and assuage "those who harbor doubts about the international system."
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, representing the U.S. via video link, argued that the "disruption is a positive development." International institutions can never "stand up for a people as well as their own leaders can," he said, and will only endure if pulled into this century.
  • It fell to Vice President Wang Qishan of China, the main threat to the liberal order and core to shaping whatever replaces it, to argue for an ambitious global system — on Beijing's terms.

What's next: There will still be rules the major players can agree to. "You could have a liberal trading system with a majority of authoritarian regimes," Tooze said.

  • But at this stage, the divided West is "not really in a position to go around postulating orders," he said, and even if it were, "China is simply not going to go along with it."
  • Counterpoint: We spoke to other experts who said that ceding space to China is exactly the wrong approach, and that the West has to go further to assert itself.

The bottom line: No one we met told us the world order will survive in its current form.

Go deeper: Read the full Davos Special Report

Go deeper

Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

U.S. forces yesterday used tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House gates, prior to a declared curfew, clearing a path for President Trump to visit a riot-damaged church for a photo opportunity.

The state of play: Two of the largest U.S. producers of tear gas are owned by private equity firms, but those firms have no interest in discussing their ownership.

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People entering the Washington Post building in D.C. in 2019. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The Washington Post has signed all 30 of McClatchy's local news outlets to its Zeus Performance product, a software that gives sites better speed, ad view-ability and performance, executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: By adding more local news outlets, The Post can start to build a local news ecosystem within its tech stack.