Alexander Cooley is professor and chair of the Political Science Department at Barnard College, Columbia University in New York where he teaches international relations. He is the author of dozens of articles and four academic books. His most recent book, Great Games, Local Rules: The New Great Power Contest in Central Asia (Oxford 2012) examined U.S.–Russia–Chinarelations in Central Asia from 2001-2011 as a case study of the emerging politics and values promoted by a multipolar world and was described by Asia Policy as “possibly the most cogent critique of post-Cold War orthodoxy published to date.” In addition to his academic work, Prof. Cooley serves on several international advisory boards and working groups and has contributed pieces to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy. He is a frequent commentator on Eurasian issues for international media outlets, while his work has been supported by fellowships with the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation and Open Society Foundations, among others. He earned his MA and PhD in Political Science from Columbia University.
The year of 2014 has been a seminal one for international relations and the global balance of power. During this year, NATO forces are withdrawing from Afghanistan, the United States is rebalancing its security footprint in East Asia, and Russia is challenging the West’s global influence through its confrontation with Washington over Ukraine. These landmark geopolitical events of 2014 are forcing international actors–including states, companies and non-governmental organizations– to reassess their strategic priorities and their roles in this new emerging international environment. These events are also drawing renewed critical attention to the Western-governed system of rules, law and institutional environment that has traditionally governed international relations. As a result, we are now seeing a number of challenges to US-led global governance across a number of issues areas (security, economic, financial and cultural), while China has emerged as an increasingly influential global power in this new multipolar order.