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Shubhangi Jain asked: With the neo-liberal order gaining acceptance, do we see an end of ideology debate?

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  • S. Kalyanaraman replies: Neoliberalism has actually begun to wane in recent years. America under Donald Trump has been pursuing an “America First” policy. It has unleashed trade and tariff wars against rivals such as China, allies such as Europe, and partners such as India. It has erected barriers to the legal flow of people into the United States. And it has launched a concerted domestic and international campaign highlighting the challenge that Communist China poses to free societies and the international order. America’s inward-looking tendency has also been visible in many countries across the world during the last several years. In Europe, Britain has exited the European Union. Nationalist parties have been gaining popular support in Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, etc. China under the presidency of Xi Jinping has begun to reverse course on domestic political reforms and moving towards a more authoritarian system. India has revived the slogan of self-reliance even as it seeks to benefit from the reconfiguration of regional and global value chains. In effect, the neoliberal order is beginning to disintegrate. We may be entering an era of contending nationalisms, with nationalistic sentiments in some countries such as China even acquiring fascist overtones driven by Han nationalism. Fascist ideas are also inherent in the worldview and articulations of politico-military Islamist groups including the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Taliban which compelled Afghan Hindus and Sikhs to wear a yellow patch, and the erstwhile Daesh and its many affiliates. Unfortunately, the world may yet witness another round of ideological struggle between liberal democracy and new variants of fascism.

    Posted on November 06, 2020

    Views expressed are of the expert and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Manohar Parrikar IDSA or the Government of India.