Newcomers Bring New Rules

Shared Leadership in a More Multipolar World
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The world’s challenges are increasingly complex. Borders could not stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, but Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine demonstrated that the kinds of national wars that characterized the 20th century were still relevant. Ideology has faded, and the states of the Global South have grown larger and wealthier. They now expect a larger share of the global pie. While cooperation has become more necessary, the world has entered an era of increased national contestation.

In this CSIS report, Jon B. Alterman and Lily McElwee argue that robust multilateral cooperation is central to creating opportunities and improving global conditions. Layers of organizations that bring together like-minded governments, businesses, and nongovernmental organizations across multiple venues and alliances will be necessary to tackle the complexity of today's international challenges. The report draws from a series of meetings CSIS conducted with 30 senior experts around the world throughout 2022 and 2023.

This report is made possible by general support to CSIS. No direct sponsorship contributed to this report.

Jon B. Alterman
Senior Vice President, Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy, and Director, Middle East Program
Lily McElwee
Deputy Director and Fellow, Freeman Chair in China Studies