The COVID-19 pandemic dominated the year 2020, as the world encountered a great test on health care, economy and humanity. Several countries confiscated each other’s personal protective equipment (PPE) and went down in the history of shame. Against the backdrop of all the chatter about “the new normal” and “nothing will be the same again,” the truth is that power competition in the international system has escalated even further.
The wave of democratization, which began with the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, took down the authoritarian leaders of Egypt, Libya and Yemen. Whereas the uprising in Bahrain was crushed thanks to Saudi Arabia’s military intervention, Iran and Russia ensured the survival of Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria.
French President Emanuel Macron has been trying to bring back France's shiny past and become the dominant European power, bypassing Germany, the continent's main heavyweight. He is also claiming a central position in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as in Western Africa. However, he follows an unusual policy in order to achieve his objectives.
The current international system is in deep crisis because its main actors, including the U.S. and many other Western countries, do not respect its principles. Most Western countries nowadays have put aside the main principles of the international system, namely liberal democracy and the liberal economy.
This issue of Insight Turkey focuses on underscoring both promises of internal reconstruction and challenges fueled by different external actors intervening in the Libyan crisis.