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Culture & Religion

The Decline of Western Influence — and Values

The rise of China. The power of Russia. The spread of ISIS. Are Western values (i.e. democracy, human rights, and popular sovereignty) losing their influence in the world?

The rise of China. The power of Russia. The spread of ISIS. Are Western values (i.e. democracy, human rights, and popular sovereignty) losing their influence in the world?


There is a cultural hubris, for sure, that Americans have long been known and resented for (even by European nations) but, with the Syrian refugee crisis now affecting countries from France to Romania, all Western countries are now having to face their ineffectiveness in addressing the problems in this region. If anything, Russia has been more successful in influencing Assad’s regime, and wealthy Gulf states’ “angel investors” have consistently supported ISIS in its rapid expansion throughout Iraq and Syria. The reality is that America started two wars–which also were supported by several powerful European nations–and the result has been a decline in Western influence around the world.

This moment is a crucial one for the United States, says Ian Bremmer.


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