‘Trump and the Future of the Liberal International Order’

Provision of global public goods generally requires the leadership of the largest states to solve the free rider problem. Failure to transition from one leading state to others creates what has been called the “Kindleberger Trap”, named after the MIT economist who attributed the breakdown of the 1930s to American free riding. Now some analysts see America in decline and China failing to lead. Other analysts see a rise of non-state actors creating general entropy in the international system. The threats to the liberal order from international power transition, however, may be exaggerated. The threat from domestic populist politics and the rise of Trump may be a greater challenge to the liberal international order than the rise of China.