September 17, 2021

The ironic legacy of the 9/11 attacks

The 9/11 terrorist attacks were one of the turning points in the history of international relations. The legacy of the attacks has dominated the international system for almost two decades and triggered events and transformations that may have more long-term ramifications.

The decade after the end of the Cold War was an era of optimism and liberal utopianism. Liberal triumphalism was shadowed by some ethnic conflicts, genocides and small wars of the 1990s in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo), Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, etc. However, those conflicts that took place in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East did not have a transformative impact on the major global powers. There were still hopes of globalizing a United States-led liberal international order and reaching out to all corners of the world. The discourse of the globalization…

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