The Atlantic quotes Vice President and Brent Scowcroft Center Director Barry Pavel on how seventy years after its founding, the United Nations faces a world that looks nothing like it did in 1945:

Barry Pavel of the Atlantic Council has another name for this world we now inhabit: The "Westphalian-plus" world. (The 1648 Treaty of Westphalia created the modern concept of sovereign nations.) An April report from the Atlantic Council described this state of affairs thusly:

In our new era, nation-states are increasingly joined on the global stage by powerful individuals, groups, and other actors who are disrupting the traditional world order, for better and for worse. ... Nation-states will have to engage on two distinct levels: dealing with other nation-states as before, and dealing with a vast array of important nonstate actors. A series of unfolding megatrends are driving this dual reality, particularly disruptive technological revolutions that have set in motion a new, vast dynamism in global affairs. A hybrid world is emerging, one that is in flux and whose direction is not yet fixed.


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