The myth of rule-making in the international order4 min read . Updated: 03 Apr 2018, 04:57 AM IST
It is difficult for any one country, even the US, to function as a rule maker. Here it is important to clarify that being a rule maker is distinct from stitching together ad hoc coalitions to tackle problems
Commentaries abound on how emerging powers like China and India are being excluded from institutions in the international order. Exclusion ostensibly prevents them from becoming rule makers that presumably would allow them to make or create rules that help address problems like climate change or nuclear proliferation that no one state can address alone. India, in particular, receives attention as one state itching to help write rules and norms, if only given the chance. Such views, though nice to hear, are utterly ignorant of the history or politics of the international order. We need to ask three questions before making pronouncements on the international order and if it can accommodate rising powers like India: a) How sincere are Western countries to sharing power in the international order? b) How are rules made or “written" in the international order? and c) Is it in the interest of rising powers like India to shoulder burdens that do not comport with their interests and capabilities?