Bye-bye, international order?

Bye-bye, international order?
Mr Tobias Vestner and John B. Bellinger III

Bye-bye, international order?

A Reality Check with John B. Bellinger III

The current international order is based on international institutions and law. The United States of America played the major role in its creation and sustenance. Yet the U.S. has recently withdrawn from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, the Paris Climate Change Agreement, UNESCO, the U.N. Human Rights Council, and the INF Treaty with Russia. The Trump Administration has also criticized the International Court of Justice and threatened to prosecute and freeze the assets of the judges and prosecutors of the International Criminal Court. Is it time to say goodbye to the current international order? Or will global governance and liberal institutionalism survive the superpower’s withdrawal?

On 13 March 2019, the GCSP Security and Law team organised its 7th Reality Check event to answer these and other questions with John B. Bellinger III, former Legal Adviser to the U.S. Department of State and the National Security Council during the George W. Bush administration, currently Adjunct Senior Fellow in International Law at the Council on Foreign Relations. The discussion was moderated by Tobias Vestner, Head of Security and Law at the GCSP.


Watch the video of the event


John B. Bellinger III reflected on the current U.S. approach to international law and institutions and shared his thoughts and experience on how to bridge diverging political and legal perspectives to the benefit of cooperation and stability.


Security and Law: A Reality Check is the event series to address how international law matters in security affairs. It aims to critically assess if current norms fit contemporary and future security challenges, how international commitments can effectively be implemented, and how new international law can successfully be shaped.