The Neoliberal World Order in Crisis, and Beyond

The purpose of this book is to address the crisis of the (neo)liberal world, focus on conceptual debates and empirical global power shifts (rising China and more assertive Russia), while exploring the crisis of Western neoliberal capitalism and West failure on some of its norms and promises.

Since the Second World War, and especially since the 1980s, the world has undergone great changes. Never in the history of mankind have countries been so economically open, trade-connected, and interdependent. With few exceptions, such as North Korea, the basics of the capitalist mode of production have taken hold throughout the world, including the former communist superpowers, such as China and Russia. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communist regimes opened the way for the accelerated expansion of the liberal international order, democracy, and neoliberal capitalism throughout the world. Some celebrated these changes as "the end of history" or at least the beginning of a completely different global order, others saw a dangerous potential for the expansion of "civilisational" cultural and religious conflicts, while still others warned that the changes represented nothing but the expansion of the capitalist world market and thus the revival of neo-imperialist relations between countries and regions, all in line with US-led capital interests.

The introductory chapter (by Tibor Rutar, Marko Hočevar and Marko Lovec) analyses various theoretical debates and approaches, as well as focuses on the certain common trends in the CEE after the end of the Cold War. The first part of the volume focuses on certain conceptual and empirical contradictions of the neoliberal world order. In chapter 2 (by Tibor Rutar), criticism of the neoliberal world order is critically assessed and put in a broader context by testing some of the charges against the empirics on a macro level. Chapter 3 (by Marko Hočevar) address the dependent integration of postsocialist countries in the EU. Chapter 4 and chapter 5 deal with the critique of neoliberal theory - chapter 4 (by Patrik Marčetić) focuses on the variety of understandings of the hegemony concept in IR that help to go beyond simplistic explanations such as of the global power shifts; chapter 5 (by Srdjan Orlandić) explores potential of critical reflexive approaches against neorealist and neoliberal IR theory. The second part of the volume deals with the pitfalls and contradictions of the EU. Chapter 6 (by Melika Mahmutović and Marko Lovec) analyses the rise of backlash against the Maastricht treaty and the rise of populism. Chapter 7 (by Ana Podvršič) focuses on the rise of conservative far-right in the Eastern periphery of the EU and the challenges that it poses to neoliberalism. Chapter 8 (by Ana Bojinović Fenko and Faris Kočan) explores various foreign policy elements of the CEE and the rise of illiberalism in international politics. Chapter 9 (by Jelena Juvan) deals with the war in Ukraine and its impact on the security architecture of the EU. The third part of the volume explores failed promises and challenges the neoliberal world order. Chapter 10 (by Blaž Vrečko Ilc) focuses on the technological and economic rise of China and the contradictions that it Is dealing with. Chapter 11 (by Primož Šterbenc) analyses the impact of neoliberalism in the Muslim world after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Chapter 12 (by Ajda Hedžet) explores the failed promises and limitations of the current conception of human rights, while chapter 13 (by Matjaž Nahtigal) deals with the inherent instabilities of the neoliberal rules-based order and possible alternatives. The concluding section (again written by the three editors) shows the possible developments of the neoliberal world order, focuses on the war in Ukraine and the rise of China, while postulating, that the neoliberal world order might become stronger, but more limited to the "West".