What explains the rise of populist movements across the West and their affinity towards Russia? UKIP’s Brexit victory, Trump’s triumph, and the successive elections and referendums in Europe were united by a repudiation of the liberal international order. These new political forces envision the struggle to reproduce and advance Western civilisation to be fought along a patriotism–cosmopolitanism or nationalism–globalism battlefield, in which Russia becomes a partner rather than an adversary. Armed with neomodernism and geoeconomics, Russia has inadvertently taken on a central role in the decay of Western civilisation.
This book explores the cooperation and competition between Western and Russian civilisation and the rise of anti-establishment political forces both contesting the international liberal order and expressing the desire for closer relations with Russia. Diesen proposes that Western civilisation has reached a critical juncture as modern society (gesellschaft) has overwhelmed and exhausted the traditional community (gemeinschaft) and shows the causes for the decay of Western civilisation and the subsequent impact on cooperation and conflict with Russia. The author also considers whether Russia’s international conservativism is authentic and can negate the West’s decadence, or if it is merely a shrewd strategy by a rival civilisation also in decay.
This volume will be of interest to scholars of international relations, political science, security studies, international political economy, and Russian studies.
"Dr. Diesen’s book is a rare specimen of intellectual courage, even bravery. It is also very well researched and a pleasure to read. Dealing with a difficult and ideologized subject the author is able to stay analytical. One of the best works in political philosophy written in recent years. A must reading for those trying to understand where the world is moving." - Sergei A. Karaganov - Higher School of Economics, Moscow
"In this exciting and original work, Diesen challenges much of the accepted thinking about global order and the dynamics of international politics today. Diesen provides a powerful critique of post-Cold War liberalism and explains how the rise of populism challenges dominant discourses. In this battle Russia appears to side with the insurgency, but the depth of Russia’s commitment to global change is unclear. This book is essential reading in helping us understand the vital issues in this debate." - Richard Sakwa - University of Kent
"The two main questions of our time are whether the liberal West survives and learns to coexist with Russia. In this timely book Glenn Diesen analyzes the West's ability to recover from the rise of populism and offers a sharp critique of the Western tendency to scapegoat Russia." - Andrei P. Tsygankov, San Francisco State University
"Diesen's The Decay of Western Civilization is civilizational analysis on the scale of Spengler or Sorokin. One need not accept Diesen's thesis of decline to appreciate the grandeur of his vision." - Salvatore Babones, University of Sydney
"A very unorthodox, controversial and though-provoking book. A valuable source helping to understand complex dynamics of political and economic megatrends in the modern world". - Andrey Kortunov, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council.
"In the 20th century, Russia was the model society for the world’s communists, but for centuries before that, Russia was the go-to country for Europe’s radical conservatives. We are now coming full circle. Diesen’s book is of key interest as perhaps the best example of this to date". - Iver B. Neumann, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
Chapter 1 – Civilisations Balanced Between Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft
Chapter 2 – The Cyclical Rise, Decline and Rebirth of Civilisations
Rise and Fall of Political Liberalism
Chapter 3 – Western Civilisation as an Amalgam of Political Liberalism and Nationhood
Chapter 4 – The Postmodernist Graveyard of Western Civilisation
Rise and Fall of Economic Liberalism
Chapter 5 – The Rise of Western Geoeconomics as the Tool for Neo-Gesellschaft
Chapter 6 – Unconstrained Economic Liberalism: Death of Community and Society
Resurgence of Russia: Neomodernism and Geoeconomics
Chapter 7 – The Geography of Russia’s Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft
Chapter 8 – Russia’s Eurasian Resurgence: Neomodernism and Geoeconomics
Chapter 9 – The Rise of ‘Populists’ in the West and Their Affinity Towards Russia
Conclusion: Cooperation and Competition in the Post-Western World