ABSTRACT. This article considers the decline and backsliding of contemporary democracy as in part constituting the background against which liberal democracy is no longer the only or preferred form of government in combination with global capitalism. The historic breakdown of this relationship in the West is signaled by both the decline and backsliding of liberal democracy but also by the new compatibility between capitalism and nonliberal and illiberal forms of government. The rise of ‘autocratic capitalism’ is significant where trillion-dollar transnational companies exist and thrive in most governmental environments especially where they are offered tax advantages, subsidies, or cheap labor. This article tries to answer the question of democracies or autocracies – a point of historical inflection? It also charts to rise of autocratic capitalism and examines emerging modes of Asian capitalism.

Keywords: backsliding of democracy; decline of liberalism; post-Cold War order; autocratic capitalism; Asian capitalism; multipolar world

How to cite: Peters, M. A. (2024). “From West to East: The Unraveling of the Post-Cold War Liberal Order and the Rise of Autocratic Capitalism in a Multipolar World,” Geopolitics, History, and International Relations 16(1): 9–25. doi: 10.22381/GHIR16120241.

Received 2 January 2024 • Received in revised form 7 March 2024
Accepted 9 March 2024 • Available online 10 March 2024

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