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Global Politics

Global politics is undergoing transformation. The liberal international order, dominated by the West led by the US, is in apparent decline. Multilateral institutions, free trade, and the notion of democracy are all being questioned. Emerging powers, prominently China, are playing a fuller role in the world arena. In recent years, the escalation of US-China rivalry has stimulated debate and concern about  a new Cold War.

While globalization faces resistance from some countries, groups, and sectors, it is not over but takes different forms.  One model of multilateral cooperation is to divide the global agenda into elements where agreement is potentially available without disputes about the underlying principles. Another model is the cooperation among like-minded countries, and evidence for which is seen in the OECD, G7 and the Quad Group. Some see the global order less driven by trade and more by the interest of many nations in development led by the East rather than the West. Another variation places emphasis on ideas and ideologies and the fragmentation of the international order that results.

This research cluster focuses on new developments and models of global governance, as well as the rising powers, especially China, and the changing international order.

Research projects

Global Governance

Picture of the project Global Governance

This project looks at different styles of global governance in light of obstacles to the fully multilateral ideal. It investigates cooperation between a sufficiency of countries in specific areas such as trade and rulemaking by small groups of like-minded countries. It also examines the issue of “extraterritoriality” and the corresponding risk of conflict between nations.


The rise of China has become one of the most important developments in the 21st century. This China project aims to advance our understanding of contemporary China. The key research agendas include: Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), EU-China relations and China’s digital politics.

Policy issues & consultancy

Our aim is to research a series of policy issues and provide consultancy in the following areas:

  • International, EU & UK regulation and governance
  • Models of multilateralism
  • Belt and Road Initiative
  • China’s domestic and international politics

Our team

Brian Wong

Brian Wong

Fellow & Advisor on Strategy