Erratic Progress

Erratic Progress


In this scenario, things are kind of so-so – in a familiar way. The stuttering engine of multilateralism is limping along through under-resourced initiatives towards poorly defined or unrealistic goals. New and powerful actors that could make a difference are still trying to find their place in the international system and have not yet translated their economic clout into decisive political action. A partial consensus on key norms and values is reflected in informal and minilateralist “club governance” structures. However, the UN remains the centerpiece of multilateralism. Peace operations are muddling through with occasional successes and frequent setbacks. After various shifts in strategy have failed to produce better results, there is not much appetite for investing in the stabilization of failed states. Uneven economic growth has done nothing to reduce global income inequalities. This continues to fuel conflict while keeping the resources for international crisis management efforts scarce. The overall outlook is not hopeless but somewhat messy.