The Global Crisis and the USA Search for Its New Identity: Trump's Attempt of Transition from Globalism to Isolationism

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Журнал: Journal of Globalization Studies. Volume 13, Number 2 / November 2022 - подписаться на статьи журнала


The article investigates the principles of the US foreign policy after 2016. The methodology includes system and geopolitical approaches involving main dialectic principles of the American foreign policy: isolationism/interventionism and political realism/idealism. Isolationism, interventionism, realism and idealism are considered as the foundations of the American foreign policy which was formed under the influence of a unique historical experience, peculiar geographic and culture code of the American elite. The active interventionism is marked with raison d’etat, when balance of power is maintained during isolationist periods. The close analysis of the doctrinal documents of the Trump's era shows that the USA demonstrated a kind of economic isolationism while following interventionist military and political course under the limited resources. The American rivals in that period are treated as strategic competitors (China and Russia) and tactic adversaries (Iran and North Korea) expressing the acceptance of a multipolar world by the USA.

Keywords: isolationism, interventionism, the US foreign policy, Trump, doctrinal paper.

Aleksandr Irkhin, Sevastopol State University, Institute of Social Science and Foreign Relations more

Olga Moskalenko, Sevastopol State University, Institute of Social Science and Foreign Relations more


The modern global world is rapidly collapsing into a number of macroregions, coming into neither war nor peace: more and more regions get in the state of military and political and domestic political instability, which is a derivative of rebuilding of the new world order. There are two historical vectors of the building of the new world: the subjects of international relations are revising the results of two world wars – the Cold War and World War II. But five to six centers of power (the USA, China, Russia, Great Britain, Germany, and India) have not yet found any reasonable consensus on the structure and principles of the new system of international relations. The semi-peripheral BRICS countries promote the first trend; while the revision of the results of World War II is associated with some objective reasons. First, for over 75 years of its existence, the regime has ceased to meet challenges of the time; second, within the framework of interventionism the United States demonstrate their imperial fatigue forced with external conditions: the absence of necessity to deter the USSR, which ceased its existence over a quarter of a century. These two global trends are extrapolated to world regions, where they are manifested as hybridization of forms of competition between different centers of power. Obviously, the global economic crisis, being a kind of a driver of many domestic and foreign policy decisions, is an aggravating factor.

Found in the economic periphery of the West, the Russian Federation, after 2007, has tried to review the results of the Cold War. However, the logic of Moscow is just a response to the ongoing reduction of the Russian influence in the world and in the post-Soviet space. In 2008 and 2014, Russia suspended the expansion of the West in the Black Sea region, and the pressure mechanisms that had been used earlier (financial and economic sanctions, threats of interventions, and color revolutions) are combined with clear military and political pressure as part of the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), which in the near future will change the strategic approaches to mutual nuclear deterrence. The regional shades of these trends are ambivalent: as internal contradictions destroy the United States and the coalition led by them, Russia is still attacked, while it pursues a counter offensive policy and partly restores its Soviet positions abroad. The loss of most of the opportunities after 1991 was associated with the loss of Russian sovereignty over its outskirts, the spatial development of which took over the past 400 years.

The very nature of the US presidential election in 2016, as well as the subsequent period of political confrontation, demonstrates the split of the US elites; and the US presidential elections in 2020 dramatically deepened the split. The basis of this elite confrontation is the conflict of worldviews of the future and the determination of the place of the United States in it. The same conflict boils down to a contradiction between the financial – globalist elites – and the American establishment, which advocates the return of industrial and high-tech production to the USA on the one hand, and against the use of Washington's power in the interests of the ‘global financial elites,’ on the other. In the economic field, this is a conflict between the choice to save the global financial system, which is the system of the American federal reserves, at the expense of the American real economy or to save the American economy at the expense of the US financial system.

In the political aspect, such an economic policy is associated with the erosion of the world political order and economic structure that has developed after 1991, or even more extensively, after the end of World War II, and with the end, albeit temporary, of the globalization project, as well as with a certain departure for well-rooted in American culture, but forgotten rails of American isolationism and the logic of unilateral actions and freedom of hands from unions during the Cold War.

Aim and Methodology

The purpose of the article is to bring to light and research foundations and principles of the USA foreign policy realized by the Trump's Administration. To achieve the purpose, the authors define the main reasons for the transformation of the US foreign policy course and analyze history and cultural traditions of the American foreign policy; and basing upon the latest main doctrinal documents of the United States – the 2017 National Security Strategy, 2018 National Defense Strategy, 2018 National Biodefense Strategy, and 2021 Interim National Security Strategic Guidance – show the role of the special factor in the brainwork of the Trump's Administration and the rollback to globalism under Biden that followed as referred to some regions of the world including Russia and post-Soviet territory; as a result there appear new approaches of the USA in the foreign policy and their consequences for the Russian Federation.

The methodology of the research is based on the system and geopolitical approaches. The former preconditions creative use of dialectics of the USA foreign policy tradition when there is isolationism and interventionism on the one hand and political realism and idealism on the other hand. Analysis and synthesis methods, and historical-genetic, historical-systematic and generalization methods are used.

Two stages of the research are present. On the theoretical stage, parameters of the American isolationism are detailed and its correspondence with traditions of the American interventionism is shown. On the second applied stage, three doctrinal documents by the Trump's Administration are analyzed: the 2017 National Security Strategy, 2018 National Defense Strategy and 2018 National Biodefense Strategy. The synthesis of the stages provides means for defining the essence of the US President's foreign policy, its frames and character.


As Soviet researcher Elena Popova underlines, for many decades isolationism has produced a very noticeable influence on the formation of the US foreign policy and its methods and tactics. From the end of the eighteenth century and up to the 1950s, every turn in the country's foreign policy was accompanied by the emergence of isolationist groups and a bitter struggle between isolationists and interventionists. The American historiography most commonly interprets isolationism as the true content of the US foreign policy prior to 1941 (with some deviations under Wilson, partly under Roosevelt). This policy was determined by the alleged rejection of alliances with the European powers and especially with Britain (Popova 1964: 78–79).

The American historiography attributes the emergence of the doctrine of isolationism to the speeches of John Adams in 1775 and 1776. The so-called Washington's Testament of 1796 prescribed to refrain from any political alliances with European countries, except for temporary ones, dictated by an urgent need, since such alliances would drag the United States into European conflicts and bind their freedom of action. The isolationists declared this position to be the classic and foundational formulation of their doctrine. A bitter struggle between isolationists and interventionists flared up during the emergence of the Monroe Doctrine, the second ‘holy commandment’ of American isolationism.

The very term ‘isolationism’ first appears in the mid-nineteenth century. The isolationists made themselves especially loud in connection with the Spanish-American War of 1898. This struggle became more intense during the years of the creation of the Versailles-Washington system and on the eve of World War II. American historians stated repeatedly that the slogans of isolationism had become a hopeless anachronism, that the bombs that fell on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, would bury them forever. However, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, some US politicians, supporters of the creation of a ‘position of strength,’ tried to appeal to the doctrine of isolationism, demanding the abandonment of the Marshall Plan, NATO and other forms of cooperation with Europe, replacing them with the policy of unilateral US dictate (Graebner 1956).

Russian Americanist Fedor Voitolovsky describes the phenomenon of American foreign policy according to the isolationism / interventionism coordinate system as follows:

In the United States, the relationship between the two components of foreign policy ideology has changed throughout history. On the one hand, American globalism grew and evolved, on the other, – isolationism would persist, chang and transform. The latter is expressed in the desire to set priorities in the foreign policy in such a way which would optimize the solution of problems of its own development and preservation of influence in the Western Hemisphere which is historically a priority for the United States. American isolationism is associated with a specific understanding of security and is very different from those of its variants that developed in other countries. It presupposes not only protection of its own territory, of its own citizens, but also the creation of such an international environment, such a world that will be safe for the United States. This aspiration pushes for active intervention in the affairs of other regions of the world. In other words, isolationism encourages the United States to conduct an offensive foreign policy (Voitolovsky 2017: 163).

Charles Kupchan believes that the United States owe the uprise of the ideas of American isolationism to the search of a new American exceptionality that would provide answers to the challenges of the time; and this would already be the third American exceptionalism: the first is isolationism, the second is globalism, and the third should be associated with a new foreign policy course. In his opinion, the United States cannot return to the first exceptionalism, that is, to isolationism, since the challenges of the time have gone far ahead, and the exceptionality of globalism has led the country into a deep crisis. Kupchan identifies five components of American exceptionalism: exceptional geography, autonomy in internal and external development, the faith of Americans in their messianic mission, economic mobility and social equality, the exceptional Anglo-Saxon people of America. Finding new American Exceptionalism 3.0 would require rethinking of all five pillars of its identity (Kupchan 2018). But one should take into account that for a long period the USA championed globalization:

Emerging as the sole hegemony after the end of the Cold War, the United States ultimately assumed the right to guide, protect other states, as well as expand its globalization agenda beyond its shores. Consequently, several countries, both big and small, have been made dependent on the USA for military support, hence, the possibility of the USA controlling their military apparatus, which automatically means undermining the political authorities of such states (Taiwo 2017: 30).

Thus, we can identify the parameters of American isolationism, both in its classical era and after the US foreign policy left the geographical framework of the Monroe Doctrine:

1. The priority of national interests and their realistic interpretation over the idealistic missionary of the spread of American values outside America.

2. Limited logic in matters of concluding alliances outside the Western Hemisphere and maintaining a monopoly on the use of force in this part of the world. Looking at it from a different angle, we can derive that the United States will prevent the spread of alien logic of the ‘balance of power’ on the American continent; at the same time, this logic was the key one even in the isolationist period (1776–1941) and was used in their own interests outside their own ‘backyard.’

3. Another parameter of the USA isolationism is summed up by Voitolovsky: ‘American globalism contains elements brought in by isolationism. In turn, American isolationism differs from other forms of isolationism as it does not seek to cut off from the world. It is aimed to ensure that everything that happens outside the USA does not create any potential threats and serves the interests of the USA development’ (Voitolovsky 2017: 164).

In his book ‘The Storm before the Calm. America's discord, the coming crisis of the 2020s, and the triumph beyond’ George Friedman (2020) shows as profound structural changes that are currently taking place in the United States, lead to serious tensions. The Federal power periodically undergoes some kind of shifts, during which the way of its functioning and habitual interaction with society change. These shifts are caused by the constantly deepening failure of the system. The economy is also undergoing fundamental changes, driven in part by a surplus of money supply and limited investment opportunities. In turn, this gives rise to a noticeable decline in productivity due to a decrease in innovative potential. Against the backdrop of these two poles of tension, as well as the pressures that have emerged from the US attempts to find its place in the new global system, the binding force of the American society has weakened and will continue to weaken throughout the 2020s. Therefore, regardless of who will be the president, in the next decade the country will be overwhelmed by fear and hatred (Friedman 2020: 1–9).

The dilemmas of American foreign policy within isolationism and interventionism are described by the patriarch of American political thought Henry Kissinger:

The singularities that America has ascribed to itself throughout its history have produced two contrary attitudes toward foreign policy. The first is that America serves its values best by perfecting democracy at home, thereby acting as a beacon for the rest of mankind; the second, that America's values impose on it an obligation to crusade for them around the world (Kissinger 1994: 18).

This dialectic of American foreign policy is superimposed on yet another dual pair that fills it with meanings: political realism and political idealism.

Political realism and missionary idealism in the dissemination of American values were clearly manifested in the activities of two American presidents who stood side by side in the American history: Theodore Roosevelt (1901–1909) and Woodrow Wilson (1913–1921). Roosevelt believed that implementing its national interests, America should be guided by the logic of ‘balance of power’ and, therefore, ‘spheres of influence,’ regardless of the internal political and economic structure of a military and political partner. At the same time, Wilson was a supporter of the spread of American values across the whole world, which would make this world more safe and perfect.

Thus, four variables of isolationism, interventionism, realism, and idealism underlie the frame of reference for American foreign policy, which has been shaped by the unique historical experience, geography of the United States, and the cultural code of the American elite. Moreover, idealistic and realistic approaches have equally served as the rationale for American foreign policy, both in the implementation of isolationist and interventionist foreign policies.

American isolationist ideas were at the heart of the US foreign policy from 1776 to 1941 constituting 165 years of American history, while the period of American interventionism lasted from 1941 to 2016 constituting 75 years. Since 2021, the supporters of the global course have come to power in the United States. However, at this point of the US political history, a comparison of globalist and isolationist courses shows that for most of its history, the United States has pursued an isolationist development path.

The transit from a foreign policy paradigm of isolationism to interventionism was always painful enough for the United States. The first attempt was made at the end of World War I under Woodrow Wilson, who addressed the American Congress on January 8, 1918, almost a year before the end of the war. But Britain and France did not allow the United States to share the fruits of the conflict, the American society was not ready, and the elites were split. As a result, Washington returned to its usual isolationist framework. The second, successful, attempt of the turn to interventionism was made in 1941 with the entry of the United States into the Second World War. In both cases, the USA suffered psycho-historical damage: the death of American citizens in Lusitania and Pearl Harbor. That is, when the isolationist paradigm already showed the inability to ensure the national security of the United States and US citizens.

Despite the obvious difference in foreign policy approaches, the principles of isolationism and interventionism have one common goal: ensuring national security in the broad sense of this term.

During the nineteenth century, American troops periodically participated in operations outside the Western Hemisphere, including Tripoli (1801–1805, 1815), Algeria (1815), Greece (1827), Sumatra (1832, 1838–1839), Liberia (1843), China (1843, 1854, 1856), Angola (1860), Japan (1863–1864, 1868) and Korea (1871). But in all these cases, only small raider groups were used to protect American merchant ships and US citizens. For these so-called squadrons, often consisting of a handful of ships sailing singly, the United States even built bases in the Mediterranean and Pacific basins and in the East Indies. But neither raider groups nor overseas bases were the means of establishing a permanent American presence. The United States demonstrated interest in protecting its trade ties and did not care about maintaining a balance of power in remote regions of the world (Kupchan 2003). However, in the Western Hemisphere, the position of the States turned out to be more rigid. It called on European states to limit their influence in this part of the world.

Appealing to the historical tradition of Western civilization of dividing ‘spheres of influence,’ we can distinguish two approaches to its implementation, two types of balance of power: the French raison d’état ‘national interest’; and English balance of power. The French one presupposes the direct participation of the subject in one of the balances being realized, while the English balance of power presupposes the subject's remote playing out of various combinations without direct participation, and only when the situation becomes critical, the subject with all the might enters the game on the side that allows to resolve its national interests to the fullest. After the competitor is defeated, with the English balance, the task is to build new balances with the participation of winners and losers, in order not to allow excessive strengthening of one side at the expense of the other (Kissinger 1994: 45–88).

Historical experience shows that the balance of power, despite the more usable methodology, still costs much. A sea power using a land ally will strengthen it, so a world hegemon has to create a system to control its former ally, thus spending a significant amount of the sea nation's resources and vitality.

The comparison of Western traditions as they implement different types of balance of power gives rise to the following conclusion: the logic of the French balance works for American foreign policy when it moves to active interventionism, while the English balance is characteristic of those periods of the US history when isolationist tendencies prevailed and Washington was guided by unilateral actions with limited involvement in military-political alliances.

The key factor in America's attempt to turn from isolationism to interventionism is the US economic strength. When under Woodrow Wilson in 1918 it tried first to get out of the framework of isolationism, the United States had just over 20 per cent of world GDP. In 1945, this indicator almost doubled and reached 52 per cent (Yurchenko 2001). At present, according to various estimates, the US GDP accounts from 18 to 23 per cent of the world economy (Trading Economics N.d.; Fraser N.d.).

Thus, in economic terms, the determining preconditions for the US transition from the policy of interventionism to isolationism have appeared.

The historical experience of ‘overstretching’ of great powers is explored in detail in The Rise and Fall of Great Powers by Paul Kennedy, who believes that the main mistake of the elites losing the power of hegemon is an attempt to maintain excessive imperial obligations when insufficient internal resources and forces do not allow to implement this course (Kennedy 1987).

Are there examples of voluntary renunciation of hegemony known to history? In 1945, Britain, the closest modern ally of the United States, made this rejection of hegemony manageable. However, Britain's actions began earlier during the signing of the Atlantic Charter by Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill on August 14, 1941. And it is this Charter that may be the historical point of exit of the United States from the logic of isolationism.

Having won the presidential election, on January 27, 2017, Donald Trump organizes the first meeting with Theresa May, who comes to power on July 11, 2016 after the start of the UK exit from the EU. Brexit, and Crimea as a Russian territory, Donald Trump's arrival can be viewed as a reasonable compromise of the elites in favor of regionalization processes and as a consequence of the objective manifestation of the globalization crisis.

American historical experience shows a certain similarity between the periods of American development at the beginning of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Trump's foreign policy with its pronounced realism and foreign policy rhetoric finds historical analogies with the period and nature of the presidency of Roosevelt. Although the twenty-sixth American president did not go beyond the Monroe Doctrine, he significantly expanded its limits and was a supporter of realism and a balance of power in foreign policy, and the US implemented the principles of the ‘big stick’ and the status of ‘world policeman.’ Roosevelt received the Nobel Peace Prize for the post-war settlement of the Russian-Japanese relations (1906), while relying on Britain, he stopped the geopolitical advance of the Russians to the Pacific Ocean by the hands of the Japanese; however, he clearly understood the threat to the United States posed by the Japanese Empire, and undertook actions for the military and political deterrence of Tokyo.

As Friedman (2020) underlines, when giving historical analogies to the modern USA crisis and its influence upon the world-system, there are two main cycles that help to understand the current situation in the USA. The institutional cycle is repeated every 80 years (there are three such examples: the Revolutionary War/founding, the Civil War, and World War II marked them), and now the signs can be traced of next transition from one cycle to another that will start around 2025. Another major cycle is a fifty-year socio-economic cycle that alters the dynamic of the American economy and society and its last shift comes into 1980s when economic and social instability that started in the 1960s and resulted into a fundamental crisis of the system. This social and political instability should have been over by the end of 2020.

Figure 1 shows the cycles described (GPF 2020).

For the first time in the USA history both cycles will end almost simultaneously in the mid-2020s meaning that the 2020s will become one of the toughest periods in the American history, especially if we take into account the contradictory position of the USA on the global stage. So Trump's presidency should be taken just as a predecessor both to the current and the coming stage. No matter how we view the Trump administration or its 2020 challengers, the current institutional and socioeconomic cycles will remain much more in charge of the US fate. Americans ‘are simply passengers on the American roller coaster’ (Friedman 2020: 7).

At the practical level the Trump's foreign policy was expressed in doctrinal papers that predetermined the external policy of the United States under his presidency: the 2017 National Security Strategy (NSS), the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) and 2018 National Biodefense Strategy (NBS). Comparing them we can offer some conclusions and denote frames, character and main directions of the US foreign policy under Trump.

First, the US foreign policy under Trump was based on greater independence from the allies, the emphasis was made on the use of force against its competitors: China, Russia, Iran and North Korea; the USA was creating a favorable ‘balance of power’ for the United States in various regions of the world without allowing one power to control any of the world regions. At the same time, the United States was seeking space for cooperation with China and Russia, however, from a position of strength and on Washington's terms. It seems that in these conditions, Washington and London are regaining the alliance of the 1940s.

Second, the United States insisted on a greater financial contribution from its allies to ensure its own and common security. Thus, the Americans de facto contributed to greater military and political independence and a change in the architecture of the world. What China and Russia had been doing decades earlier, trying to build a multipolar world ‘from below,’ was being created by the Americans, but already ‘from above.’

Thirdly, both documents demonstrate that the United States intended to ‘deter Russian adventurism’ (NDS 2018: 9) on the periphery of Russia's borders, which simultaneously form an arc of instability adjacent to NATO; however, this would happen at the expense of partners. The topic of NATO enlargement was not touched upon, and Ukraine and Georgia are not even mentioned in the Documents. Washington's Russian party is inferior to the Chinese party in the NDS and NSS, which shows the hierarchy of competitors. The PRC would have been surrounded by the US allies, and the main job of deterring China would have been entrusted to India, of which the USA was going to make a world power in the Indo-Pacific region. The deterring of competitors – China and Russia – would take place according to the logic of the ‘English balance of power.’

Fourth, Washington identified three critical regions, control over which would allow it to maintain a dominant position: the Indo-Pacific region, Europe, the Middle East – and complements them with three more: South and Central Asia centered in AfPak, the Western Hemisphere and Africa. In all these regions, the logic of deterring China's expansion can be seen, although the developers of the Strategy note that Russia has also found an operational space to promote its interests in these regions. Washington was to seek to change the foreign policy plans of the elites of China and Russia, so they are not sustainable.

Fifth, though the Black Sea and Mediterranean region (the Greater Mediterranean region where Russia came back in 2014) was not separately identified by the United States, however, it was taken as part of the three central regions of the world for American foreign policy: Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The United States planned to maintain a presence in these areas, forming a favorable balance of power for itself, and not allow any of them to fall under the control of one power. This formulation provided a certain framework for the implementation of the Russian foreign policy course, which consists in dividing the spheres of influence in the Black Sea region with Turkey and avoiding the ‘extra third’ while creating a favorable balance for itself in the Mediterranean region by expanding the circle of allies (Irkhin and Moskalenko 2020). The identification of the primary Chinese threat in all these regions also created favorable conditions for Russia, since the mechanisms of ‘deterrence through intimidation’ were to be primarily directed against the Celestial Empire.

Sixth, the logic and context of the 2017 National Security Strategy, the 2018 National Biodefense Strategy, and the 2018 National Defense Strategy are indicative of the United States' transition under Trump to strategic defence while maintaining power, technological and economic leadership. At the same time, foreign policy was based primarily on the ‘British balance of power’ scheme. Unilateralism, ‘English balance,’ ‘peace through force,’ free hands in foreign policy and military action, strategic predictability and operational unpredictability are all features more associated with isolationism. However, such characteristics as control over key regions and preventing these regions from falling into the hands of one power, maintaining access to all important regions of the world, keeping old and acquiring new allies – directly contradict the first and second commandments of the isolationists: non-interference in European affairs and following the Monroe Doctrine. Consequently, the US foreign policy under Trump represented a synthesis of American interventionism and isolationism, and the emerging system of international relations had the features of the Westphalian system (with such categories as nation states, national sovereignty, and national interests), the Vienna system of international relations (multipolar power confrontation, competition, etc., cooperation based on parity of force), and the mechanisms of the Yalta system (the presence of nuclear weapons, a system of deterring American competitors).

Biden's Administration hurried up to release its Interim National Security Strategic Guidance (INSSG) that differs significantly if compared with strategic papers of Trump's era. The idea of democracy is renewed and revitalized in INSSG being represented as the USA most fundamental advantage while ‘work defending democracy does not end at our [USA] shores’ (Biden 2021: 10). China is seen as ‘the only competitor potentially capable of combining its economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to mount a sustained challenge to a stable and open international system’ (Ibid.: 2021: 8), that is the only potential strategic competitor, while Russia is a dangerous player in its determination to enhance its global influence.

The Interim Biden's Strategy underlines that exceptional essence of the American nation: ‘No nation is better positioned to navigate this future than America’ (Biden 2021: 23), and declares that America cannot afford to be absent any longer on the world stage as its fate is inextricably linked to events beyond its shore. Any challenges should be met by the USA from a position of strength as the prosperity of citizens is depending directly upon the success of the American foreign policy: ‘We cannot pretend the world can simply be restored to the way it was 75, 30, or even four years ago. We cannot just return to the way things were before. In foreign policy and national security, just as in domestic policy, we have to chart a new course’ (Ibid.: 2021: 7).

As we see, both the content and the tone of INSSG testify the hurry undertaken; as the main task of the authors was to declare the new course that should be fundamentally different from that of the Trump's Administration: it is a return to interventionism (globalism). In this regard, the American leadership will face the question of how to continue the interventionist course, with such a share of American GDP, since Trump essentially sought to bring American capabilities into line with American obligations.


Thus, the United States found itself in a difficult situation of a search for a new foreign policy identity in the face of dwindling economic resources, internal crises and the transition of the global leadership to a non-Western civilization.

International relations are being rebuilt in three main directions.

First, the results of the end of the Cold War are being revised. Russia and China, and other regional centers of power from among the states of the world semi-periphery, have eroded American global domination for more than a decade already.

Secondly, the results of the end of World War II are revised, when the defeated countries, primarily Germany and Japan, seek to increase their military-political and economic sovereignty, which is reflected in the amendment of the Japanese constitution, removing restrictions on the development of the army, and the implementation of such projects as Nord Stream 2, which unites Russian resources and German technologies, which is consonant with the ideas of Karl Haushofer's ‘continental block.’

Third, economic hegemon is under change. China came out on top in the production of material resources while the United States remains the world's financial center (Degterev, Ramich, and Tsvyk 2021).

Fourth, the new coronavirus infection has made its own adjustments to the dynamics of the development of international relations, becoming a catalyst for anti-global processes. Although the biological threat had every chance to unite the world in a common struggle against a common threat and thereby justify the trends of globalization, it, on the contrary, hastened the regionalization of the world and mutual accusations of creating a virus and vaccine wars. Under the new threat, one can state the emergence of another criterion of great power: the ability to develop and produce a vaccine against new infections; it is blurring the boundaries, but forcing each power to act exclusively in its own interests.

Fifth, the diminishing economic power and internal crises in the United States, the emergence of alternative globalization projects in the form of China's Belt and Road, will in the short and medium term contribute to the collapse of the world into several macroregions.

The most likely scenario for the development of the current crisis is the disintegration of the world into several monetary and military-political macroregions: the American zone, including North and South America, the Chinese macroregion, the European zone of Germanized Europe, the British zone, which will largely encompass the Commonwealth of British Nations, the Indian and the Indo-Pacific zone, Turkey and the neo-Ottoman space, Iran with the Shiite crescent zone being built, and possibly Russia, if the processes of Eurasian integration are carried out.


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