Macron On Lebanon And Multipolar World

Macron On Lebanon And Multipolar World

Emmanuel Macron recently visited Lebanon after the blast in Beirut, and his discourse in the country added to his idea of a Multipolar world strongly rooted in the ‘European Civilisation’.

Crux of the Matter

Macron On Lebanon
Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, became the first foreign leader to visit Lebanon since the blast in Beirut occurred, with Lebanon being a former colony of France.

Macron promised aid in rebuilding after the infrastructure of the city got damaged in the blast. However, he also said that the “aid will not go to corrupt hands”, indirectly talking about the Lebanon leadership which is under the spotlight for its corruption and malfunctioning government. The Lebanese people are protesting against the Government since the blast occurred, with several protesters raising slogans against the Lebanese President when Macron arrived.

Beyond the blast, we know the crisis here is serious, it involves the historic responsibility of leaders in place… if reforms are not carried out, Lebanon will continue to sink.

Emmanuel Macron, President of France

Macron On Multipolar World
A Multipolar world is a state of the world where more than 2 countries have competitive economic, military and cultural strength. In his speech in 2019, Macron emphasized the following points concerning Multipolar world:

  • British hegemony occurred in the 19th century due to the Industrial Revolution, while the American hegemony started in the 20th century mainly due to its economic strength.
  • The world is “in the process of experiencing the end of Western hegemony” over it.
  • Modification of foreign diplomacy required regarding “new powers…underestimated for far too long”.
  • There has been a significant increase in the power of India, China, and Russia.
  • Europe might disappear, with the world getting divided into two poles: the US and China.
  • Emphasis required on a “European Civilisation”, with a focus on the European ideals of freedom and democracy against the human rights violation in several European and non-European nations.
  • Centralization of European ideals required across all European countries concerning education, economy, and foreign policy.
  • Europe has a traditional ally in the US but has differences with both the US and China. Consequently, Europe should make better relationships with China, India, Russia, and Africa.
  • The aim of such step would be to make the whole European state powerful enough in the otherwise 2-power world witnessing the dominance of the US and China.

Dr. S Jaishankar, the Minister of External Affairs of India has also emphasized the need to work with a multipolar world very much possible in the upcoming time. In the ‘India Ideas Summit’ 2020′, Dr. S. Jaishankar said that the US must “ learn to work with a more multipolar world with more plurilateral arrangements”.

Also Read: Multipolar World And The Future

  • As President of France, Macron also serves ex officio as one of the two Co-Princes of Andorra. It is a sovereign landlocked microstate on the Iberian Peninsula, bordered by France to the north and Spain to the south.
  • Macron sat and celebrated alongside Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović during France’s Football world cup final match against Croatia. Photos of Macron celebrating France’s victory went viral on social media, with images of him standing on a table, kissing the World Cup trophy, and standing in rainfall hugging French players circulating through the international press.
  • The United Nations Environment Programme established Champions of the Earth in 2005 as an annual awards programme to recognize outstanding environmental leaders from the public and private sectors, and from civil society. Macron was awarded the prize in 2018 for Policy Leadership alongside Narendra Modi.

Multipolar World And The Future

Multipolar World And The Future

India’s recent suggestion to the US to prepare for a multipolar world seems appropriate in the current times, with a post-Covid world looking towards the breaking of power from the usual binaries to a nebulous spread.

Crux of the Matter

Definition And Recent US-age
Multipolar world can be defined as the state when there are more than 2 dominant nations, with several nations having similar level of economic, cultural and military strength.

In the ‘India Ideas Summit’ 2020′, Dr. S. Jaishankar, the Minister of External Affairs of India, advised the US “to learn to work with a more multipolar world with more plurilateral arrangements” amidst the recent conflict between the US and China, where several key nations have emerged with a larger role than the traditional powers.

Era Of Regional Alliances
Regional alliances were common before World War I. In the war, the major Central powers were Germany, and its adjoining neighbor, the Austro-Hungarian empire. Italy was also a part of their pact, but stayed neutral earlier, later joining the Allies. These Central powers were later joined by the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey), and adjoining Bulgaria.

On the other side, the Allied powers had Russia, Britain and France joined through the Triple Entente pact. The US and Japan later joined on the Allies side, signifying a shift towards the formation of alliances with countries outside Europe that entered the war.

World War II Alliances
While countries outside the European region took part in the war, prominent alliances were formed between countries belonging to different regions and continents after World War II.

The Tripartite Pact was signed between the Axis powers Germany, Italy, and Japan, which was situated 9,000 km far from Germany in Asia. These were later joined by Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, etc. The major powers on the Allied side were Britain, France, Soviet Union, and the US, which also signed the United Nations declaration in 1942.

Cold War Alignment
The US and the Soviet Union engaged in the Cold War after World War II, which lasted until the dissolution of the latter in 1991. In 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) came into existence, whose members were US, Italy, Canada, Britain, France, Netherlands, Belgium, etc. The Treaty claimed that any “armed attack” against any member was to be considered an attack on the whole, and the required response would be taken by the whole group.

In 1954, the NATO rejected the membership request of the Soviet, while agreed on that for West Germany. Consequently, in 1955, the Warsaw Pact was signed by 8 Members including the USSR, East Germany, Poland, Hungary, etc.

In 1955, the Bandung conference took place to boost ties between Asian and African nations like India, Indonesia, Jordan, Egypt, China, etc. In the meeting, the nations called for “abstention from the use of arrangements of collective defense to serve the particular interests of any of the big powers”. These nations then decided not to take the overt side of either the US or the USSR in the Cold War. Consequently, in 1961, the Non-Aligned Movement was agreed between the developing nations to avoid conflict at the international level.

India’s Unique Position
India imported food supplies from the US between 1947 and 1959 due to poor harvest and insufficient agricultural system. In 1950, India rejected the ‘Uniting for Peace Resolution’ by the US as it reduced the powers of the USSR in the international stage. Consequently, India developed strong ties with the USSR while the US developed relations with Pakistan.

The Non-alignment of India suffered when China attacked in 1962 over a lack of support provided. Consequently, in the 1971 India-Pakistan war, the US openly supported Pakistan while the USSR countered the US and supported India.

Future Power
Several experts claim that India could be the next global power amidst calls against China for its role in the Covid-19 spread as well as its dealings with Hong Kong and Taiwan. One of the major reasons cited by experts is that India, with 2nd largest population in the world, could be potentially the next market hotspot as industries seek to shift from China in recent times.

India recently developed strong ties with Australia, Israel, Japan, the US, Russia, the European Union, etc, with these ties providing an edge to it over China. With Covid-19 affecting major economies like the US and Japan (both in recession), India is poised for being possibly the next power in the multipolar world.

  • The balance of power theory in international relations suggests that states may secure their survival by preventing any one state from gaining enough military power to dominate all others. Some realists maintain that a balance-of-power system is more stable than one with a dominant state.
  • Hegemonic stability theory (HST) is a theory of international relations, rooted in research from the fields of political science, economics, and history. HST indicates that the international system is more likely to remain stable when a single nation-state is the dominant world power or hegemon. The 1973 book The World in Depression: 1929-1939, argues that the economic chaos between World War I and World War II that led to the Great Depression was partly attributable to the lack of a world leader with a dominant economy.
  • International relations theory is the study of international relations (IR) from a theoretical perspective. It attempts to provide a conceptual framework upon which international relations can be analyzed. The three most prominent theories are realism, liberalism, and constructivism.