In the heady days after 1945, the authority of the United States was unrivalled and, with the founding of the UN, a new era of international co-operation seemed to have begun. But seventy-five years later, its influence has already diminished. The world has now entered a post-American era, argues Michael Pembroke (in ‘America in Retreat: The Decline of US Leadership from WW2 to Covid-19’, Oneworld, 2021), defined by a flourishing Asia and the ascendancy of China, as much as by the decline of the United States.
Michael Pembroke will discuss his book, which is a short history of that decline; how high standards and treasured principles were ignored; how idealism was replaced by hubris and moral compromise; and how adherence to the rule of law became selective. It is also a look into the future – a future dominated by greater Asia and China in particular. We are in the midst of the third great power shift in modern history – from Europe to America to Asia.