Indonesia’s economy is similarly growing rapidly, and the country sits at the strategic crossroads of two oceans. Turkey, too, has experienced rapid economic growth and has emerged as a key player in the new Middle Eastern politics. All four are not only members of the G20 but also a raft of other international groupings.
These four rising powers will be increasingly significant global players in the years ahead. Engaging them now is ever more important because the international order itself is today coming under new pressures.
For six decades, the US and its European allies have underpinned an order that, while imperfect, has successfully safeguarded market capitalism, preserved peace among the great global powers, and created an environment conducive to the flowering of democracy and human rights.
Maintaining that order is increasingly difficult. Today, multiple factors challenge it: China’s ascendancy to superpower status, the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran, moribund global trade talks, the growth of state capitalism, and the West’s financial difficulties.
The US and Europe should partner with Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Turkey to pursue a new and broader international order – one that is more inclusive and ultimately more stable. To do this, the US and Europe will need to develop a more carefully conceived and executed engagement strategy. This starts with recognizing the traditional global order’s present shortcomings.
The current order’s bedrock institutions give disproportionate weight to Western countries at the expense of today’s rising powers. The task is to better include emerging power democracies while preserving the fundamental characteristics that have made the prevailing global order so successful.
The US and some European countries have already taken a tentative step in this direction by backing India’s permanent seat in an enlarged UN Security Council with the expectation that greater status and increased responsibility go hand in hand.