The US presidential election – What is ahead for global politics?

The end of the presidential election in the United States is fast approaching. Following it, are an abundance of domestic issues which need sorting – along with a few international ones as well. Let’s focus on the second group of challenges here.

What can the world expect from a new American administration? Externally, what are the fundamental new features of either a Clinton or Trump government? The interventions in failing or failed states, and for fighting ISIS and related threats – what effects will the new administration have on these? Will there be more isolationism, or more interventionism?  What about the pivot towards Asia? Will NATO be strengthened, or will it lose credibility? What will the trade, immigration and climate policies be? Will there be new ideas for transatlantic relations?

Let’s compose a list of first assessments.

– Prof. Klaus Segbers

, , , , , , ,
  1. Justas Paleckis 3 years ago

    It is clear already that if Clinton will win the US foreign policy would change just a little – would become stricter. And if Trump will win it will be a complete uncertainty. Perhaps for the first time in modern history an upstart would win who was ignoring most of the elite and managed to attract the attention from the man in the street. This could be a severe test for the "checks and balances" system. Will it be able to tame the maverick? Trump would have to try to fulfill his promises and there would emerge more isolationism. Both candidates would become interested in Asian matters more and more. As for NATO even Trump, I think, would not change the current line. However, he could cause a lot of trouble with his immigration and climate policies. But much could be redeemed, if he would be able to mitigate the alarmingly rising tension in the international arena.

    Share >
  2. Dimitrios Triantaphyllou 3 years ago

    A victory either by Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will not radically alter the conduit of US foreign policy. There is a general lack of support about sending US troops in hot conflicts abroad, as a result a more interventionist US approach to either the conflict in Syria or the fight against the Islamic State would be the use of many of the tools currently in use such as the arming of allied forces on the ground, the reliance on drone technology, further covert operations, and a show of naval or air power, when the situation requires it.
    The reality for both Clinton and Trump is that the West finds itself in the midst of a new Cold War with Russia which will not go away anytime soon as Moscow is driven by a feeling of insecurity which will probably (if not eventually) lead to the Putin regime’s implosion. The US will need to be there to pick up the pieces as well as ensure that further countries such as Georgia and Ukraine join the West’s ranks.
    To be able to strengthen the West vis-à-vis Russia, the US will seek to strengthen NATO and the EU while carefully handling the consequences of BREXIT (if it takes place) and the co-optation of Erdogan’s Turkey.
    While the pivot towards Asia would continue, the US will have to check China’s growing involvement around the globe including the spread of its “One Belt, One Road Initiative” in large parts of Europe.
    There is a good chance that part of the Trump legacy, whether he wins the Presidency or not, would be that the next US administration will take a harder stance with regard to its immigration and climate policies if these issues will continue to resonate in Congress after the elections.
    Primarily, a Clinton administration would be one of continuity on the international arena, while a Trump one would be difficult to assess though it would be difficult for Trump to move beyond the general parameters of foreign policy making.

    Share >
  3. Alexei Voskressenski 3 years ago

    The result of the US presidential elections is important for global politics for several reasons: the US is still the most powerful state within a military most powerful coalition; the US ceased to be a sole hegemon and is transforming itself into a dominant state which seeks support (predominantly international, or within its own coalition) to foster issues to a certain ends. The world became much more complex because of multipolarity and the US led coalition is looser than before thus more efforts should be exhorted to have it coherent on certain issues, even of great importance. The the US internal politics witness the sharper polarization of political elites and establishment and the rise of populism. Mrs. Clinton generally is more professional and more predictable in terms of the policies being undertaken in the future and concrete people being possibly recruited. There is a hope that she may rely more on professional team than on radicalized segments of American elite. There will be less isolationism in foreign policy, for Asia there are already plans of multilateral approaches being elaborated at the time of her State Secretary tenure. At the same time analysts nurture less hopes for peaceful settlements in the Middle East and appeasements of US-Russia controversies. However, there may be new ideas for transatlantic relations which are stuck.There is also a hope that an experience of her husband may be an important plus in checking economy because he was able to eliminate the budget deficit during his two terms tenure.
    Though the future President will be certainly checked and balanced by American political system, Mr. Trump is less predictable, some of his foreign policy suggestions like:let's South Korea and Japan be nuclear and defend themselves against the great North Korean leader are at least shortsighted if not dangerous. These statements bring uncertainties. Though he has clear intentions to shake political elites and old paradigms it is less clear what may be a result of his new ideological cocktail in practice because of his own fellow Republicans dissatisfaction with him. Good for shaking elites, Mr. Trump is bad in proposing anything concrete to face challenges. If he is elected America may become a country of triumphant populism probably bad for itself. However this choice may have strong influences to internal situation in many countries as some argues also not too good to them. And there are still no sound alternatives for Mrs. Clinton's trade, immigration and climate policies except more isolationism and idealistic/populist radicalism.

    Share >


  1. Mathias J. Jongkor 3 years ago

    Are conservatives want to change the modern history of democracy?
    This US election is really shaking the centre of democracy and the news has captured the international attention. Of course, the election has taken a wrong direction in the history of the United States. The world is watching and predicting the political game by saying if Donald Trump wins the elections and get the key of Oval Office, the conservatives will change the political landscape. But if Hillary Clinton wins the elections the liberals will change the landscape very little in just as a pressure from the conservatives in the Congress. Today, surprisingly thing, those who are ignoring the election particular the youth are now turning out to cast their vote. This time the election is so importance, not only seniors people but for all Americans turn out to cast their vote. Becuase some want to prevent the emerging of liberal to the Oval and have more than sixteen years. This election has the impact on global politics and affects economic and immigration policy.

    Share >
  2. My Pham 3 years ago

    So it is quite clear now that who will lead the most powerful country in the next few years. Looking at how gold prices went up and how key financial markets plummeted during the election day, I think we can't deny that the only thing the world can expect right now from a new American administration is a big uncertainty. Trump government definitely will give a shake-up in the global politics because of his different politic style and background.
    I personally do not think Trump is stupid. His problem is to address complicated politic issues under economic views and styles which are usually straightforward. Therefore, to assess what Trump government will bring to the world, we first must remind ourselves of who he is. Trump is a practical and aggressive businessman who surely loves money and understands that money will come with power. There will undoubtedly be more isolationism in term of trade as he will try to deliver his promise of stopping trade deals and taking back jobs to Americans. This means a goodbye to TPP and certain changes to other previous trade pacts between the U.S and other countries. He will also take harder stance with regard to immigration and climate policies by using straight methods such as deporting refugees or cutting fund for climate change. This may hurt diplomacy relations between U.S and several other countries, resulting in possible conflicts.
    In term of U.S. stance in Asia, however, there will not be less intervention under Trump's administration compared to Obama's I think. As a power lover, Trump will understand intervention is a way to show and obtain power and he will not miss Asia, especially Southeast Asia, because of its promising markets and strategic locations and also because of a rising China. But this might not the case of NATO and Russia. Trump may choose Russia over other NATO members if it can bring U.S more benefits amid a weakening European Union and more importantly, can prove that his predecessors wrong in their policy with Russia.
    Having said that, how global politics being affected under Trump's government will take time to measure correctly. Who knows Trump may reconsider his policies once he really obtains full access to the complexity of what really going on inside U.S. international relation with other countries.

    Share >
  3. Terence F 3 years ago

    I would suggest that it is difficult for anyone to predict what a Trump Presidency will actually look like. However, I would argue that it is easier to project how some across the globe may react to a Trump Presidency - regardless of the policies he actually pursues.

    For example, I will speak to security and defence cooperation in the European Union. Brexit has already provided the impetus for some, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain, to pen letters to other EU Member State Defence Ministers pushing for further EU defence integration and cooperation. HRVP Mogherini has taken on this task as noted in the EU's Global Strategy for Security and Defence. With President-elect Trump's victory, those that have been pushing for further defence integration will have a stronger case to make in the EU space - Trump has suggested under his Presidency, Europeans will need to do more for themselves with regard to security and defence.

    This will certainly influence the dynamics at NATO. Member State budgets for defence are finite, leading some to speculate that greater EU defence cooperation has the potential to draw resources away from the Alliance. The potential for competition for resources would be hard to avoid. This is especially relevant as the EU and NATO do not necessarily have the same priorities - for example, the EU remains focused on Africa whereas NATO has taken on deterrence vis-a-vis Russia.

    Share >
  4. Soun Love 3 years ago

    The result of US election was shocking the world. The Trump’s victory is very strange, uncertain and possible lead to damaging of American democracy both national and international. Given the fact, people wish their elected president to do what they have promises but except Donald Trump that the world wishing him not going to do what he said.
    Regard to fighting against ISIS by anti-Islamic is a huge provocation of racist, possible lead to war and terrorism in U.S. So I believe, there will be more interventionism under Trump’s administration. Recently he claims a policy to strengthen military power for national security interest. For the next move is unclear but he will dependent on itself military rather than cooperate with other world power-- Russia for example. Further consideration, Trump will likely not to prioritize or strengthening NATO since he believe that it irrelevant, expensive and yield little benefits.
    Moreover, U.S foreign policy in Asia would obvious focus more on economic relations rather than democratic outreach. However, as a money minded-man and power greedy, new administration will definitely trying to influence and show their power at the same time. In addition to, there’s no way to be isolation. Dealing with trades, decrease unemployment rate, improve social-well being; international-cooperation is required to achieve such an ambitious goal. For immigration policy, although he repeatedly said to his supporter about get rid of them in order to give opportunity to American, but it just a marketing to attract the audience, he is a smart man, who never stupid to release skill worker.
    Nonetheless, sustainable development and climate change seem to be vulnerable. If Trump want to lead the country by using economic or business as a development mechanism, Environment will less to be prioritize and cooperate in major policy.
    Overall, I think whether Trump or Hilary Clinton as a president, the world politics seem more unstable due to Brexit, rising of China and other emerging countries, which going to compete for world power and attention. If U.S government willing to change their leadership direction toward something new, the tipping point is about to come. So there will be a better-off if U.S maintain its power the way it used to be.

    Share >
  5. Vibol 3 years ago

    First of all, congratulations to the newly elected U.S. President Donald Trump! You have made many important historical documents for the United States and the rest of the world. Even though many states across the world have congratulated Trump's victory, it is frightening to think what might happen in the near future since his foreign policy seems to be very terrifying in terms of military, security, region or immigration. In addition, talking about in the domestic level, the result of this election pointed out clearly that American people are very frustrated in the current situation because Hillary Clinton's political program is very similar to the Obama's policy that facing many complexities in the society. Or probably the people could not be able to open their mind and heart to accept the first woman ever president in U.S. history. On the other hand, the American people have to respect for the majority and cross their fingers in order to see Trump's practice.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, the election's result has provoked many controversial and pessimistic discussion all the over the globe, and particularly local and international media are covering this topic extremely hard. And the question is that what will be the consequence of this election in the context of international politics? When Trump will be in power, terrifying and shocking policies would be imposed that lead to major concerns internally and internationally: it would be racial discrimination between black and white group and finally becomes a state chaos or maybe it could spread out all over the world; democracy and human rights situation would be ruined by Trump's Administration; and anti-terrorism and regional conflict would be in the worst position or probably those become very complicated to seek for solutions.

    Finally, Trump's presence in the White House would rock the global politics and global people's mentality severely. However, all things are just only prediction and/or guess and let's cross our fingers and hopefully we would not see cruel and unpleasant stories as Trump becomes the president.

    Share >
  6. Mao Julin 3 years ago

    There has been an increasing popularity of holding referendum seeking people consent in a particular issue in many countries. One may argue that some kinds of issue is so much complex that it should not be decided by ordinary people. However, there seems to be a popular trend that politicians in many countries has turned to referendum whenever they want to make decision on issues. More and more leaders seems to incorporate people opinion in deciding on a particular policy. This is not surprising since in today globalized world, people power are increasing substantially. The government needs legitimacy from their people in the liberal democratic countries. Even though the nature of the issue is complex, the government still seek consent from people to enhance its legitimacy. It has something to do with domestic politics. Without majority support, the policy of government seems to hardly achieve its objective if not impossible. On the other hand, holding referendum can be a strategy of the politician in providing justification for the decision they want to make but it may provoke international reaction. By holding referendum, their policy could be justified as the will of their people and they have no choice but to follow the majority population will but in fact they already knew that it is a bad policy which creates international rejection. However, they seems to have already calculated that particular policy will beneficial to their country or will serve their national interest. For example, in Brexit case, the international community does not have positive view on the referendum in the UK that people decided to leave the EU. People seems to believe that the UK government don’t want to leave the EU but because of people who have low education, mostly older people, decide to leave just by not knowing how beneficial is EU integration. In fact, those people may have low education but clearly they really face many problems within the EU. Immigration and unemployment are among many problems that people were facing within the EU and the government is out of reach to deal with those problems. Moreover, the EU integration tends to bind state together and link domestic issue to regional issue. The Euro crisis is an example of how the EU trigger domestic issue to become the regional one. The UK may be tired of dealing with many problems which originally is not theirs when they cannot even solve their own domestic problem. The government would think it is rational to leave the EU but this may perceived as irrational decision by the outsiders therefore referendum is a useful tool to justify its action.

    Share >
  7. Sithy Rath Daravuth 3 years ago

    Despite being labeled by many liberals and anti-authoritarian as a political outsider with ideological and normative defects, Donald Trump has shocked the world (again) by securing a firm victory as President of the United States (POTUS) – the most powerful position not only in America but also in the international political stage. Trump has portrayed himself as an assertive demagogue advocating for extreme public and foreign policies that generally undermine the liberal democratic principles in which America has tried hard to promote in the international political structure since its achievement of independence 1776. Hence, a Trump Doctrine, in my opinion, will surely possess the following elements that will chart a new postwar order in international politics.
    1. Intervention in the Middle East: Trump has illustrated in many of his policy prescriptions that he appeals to use of military force against the U.S.’s current and potential adversaries. In his security strategy to combat ISIS, Trump espouses aerial bombings and strategic dissimilation of ISIS compounds. Trump also averred that he would boost the military capabilities of the U.S to defend against detrimental adversaries. Therefore, a Trump Doctrine will surely pursue neoconservative and aggressive policies in the Middle East much like the Bush Doctrine and Powel Doctrine. Should the Department of Defence not repeal against the executive branch, a Trump administration will probably witness more sophisticated and comprehensive counter-terrorism military operations in the Middle East that share similar strategic components and operational mandates to previous operations like Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and more. Syria and Iraq, which has been regarded by the U.S. as the safe havens of ISIS, will encounter more “boots on the ground” than ever before. Recently, the United Nations marshaled a military operation to liberate Iraq from ISIS. In this connection, Trump will invigorate the momentum of such operation to counter against radical ISIS members. However, since Trump is anti-UN, Trump will pursue such foreign policy approach through an American security arrangement instead of an international institution dominated by anti-American countries. In this case, NATO sits atop the list of choices. As for the U.S.’s current relations with Turkey, Trump might continue working on continuing Biden’s rapprochement process with Turkey after the failed coup in July 2016 given the fact that Turkey is also a critical ally for the U.S. in the Middle East as it hosts strategic American bases located within the proximity of ISIS compounds.
    2. Countering Radicalization: Although Trump has voiced that he is bent on hard power, it is noteworthy to pinpoint that Trump’s main international security agenda is not to wholly assert the American military might but to counter terrorism. In his campaign, Trump generally talks about preventing radicalized Muslims from entering America since they are considered as threats to the American society. Yet, Trump has never revealed his policy on countering radicalization abroad. As such, a Trump administration will set in motion more counter-radicalization measures to prevent further recruitments of terrorists from various parts of the world. American federal institutions in D.C. would might as well work collaborative to prevent both the influx and dispersement of lone wolves.
    3. Democratic Promotion in Failed States: Since Trump is anti-globalist and anti-establishment, a Trump administration will likely witness the downgrading of the frequency of the U.S.’s democratic promotion adventures in Middle Eastern and North African failed states like Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, and more. Yet, this only happens in the security dimension. The economic and institutional dimension of America’s democratic promotion programs will likely continue since Trump has placed less verbal stress on them in his foreign policy pronouncements. Should Congress do not exercise its checks-and-balance power, sub-federal institutions like the USAID will continue working on democracy promotion initiatives in various parts of the world under the guidance of the Department of State. An experienced and seasoned Secretary of State will likely introduce various pragmatic diplomatic approaches to realise this goal since it has been an underlying virtue of America's foreign policy doctrines for years.
    4. Multilateral Diplomacy in the Asia Policy: The Pivot Policy will likely maintain its momentum in the security dimension, but American multilateral diplomacy towards the Asia-Pacific region will loose its significance and frequency. Trump generally asserts that he puts American interests over global and regional interests. Therefore, Trump might reduce the U.S’s participation in Asia’s multilateral gatherings such as the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), or the ASEAN-U.S. Summit since discussions in these gatherings often place a lot of pressure on the U.S.’s controversial role in the region. Moreover, rising domestic concerns in the U.S. could push Trump to skip more meetings in the Asian regional architecture like Bush did. As for the case of North Korea, Trump could pursue bilateral hawkish diplomacy instead of multilateral diplomacy to reduce the emergence of policy shortcomings. On economic diplomacy, since Trump opposes against the TPP and the TPIP, Trump will accord less emphasis on constructing a regional economic architecture in Asia – a dream that many Asian economic powerhouses wished for.
    5. Relations with China and Russia: Trump’s foreign policy approaches with China and Russia could witness a mixture of containment and rapprochement. In theory, America’s relations with these two countries have been very hostile due to confrontations existing in the areas of economic, security, international politics, and more. However, since Trump wishes to “pursue friendly relations with all countries”, it is likely that the Trump administration could pursue rapprochement policies as well. The force of domestic pressure could also push Trump to change the directions of its relations with these two major powers like in the case of the U.S.-Israel relations. One thing to bear in mind is that the U.S. cannot revert back to “isolationism” since the current structure of international politics is a multipolar system characterized by complex interactions between both state and non-state actors. Being an isolationist would not yield any benefits since it will only marginalize the U.S. from securing its structural power and international influence. Moreover, whether Trump will resume normalizing relations with former adversaries like Iran, Vietnam, and Cuba still remain uncertain since Trump's foreign policy positions are not coherently connected to normalisation tracks. As the personal level, however, Trump's personal relations with the Presidents of these adversaries are not too conflictual and fragile. Therefore, a Trump administration could witness a U.S. normalising good relations with other countries. Yet, only time will reveal the true course of his conventional and strategic adventures.

    Share >
  8. Myo Win Nyunt 3 years ago

    Both Obama Administration and president-elect Trump’s team have changed their tones after the election. This should not be a big surprise to most of us as this is the way politicians always do and operate. Clinton herself accepted the election result and said to her supporters to give Trump a chance to lead. Accepting the result from a legitimate election is one of the core values of democracy and, I think, America has showed that value to the countries in which holding legitimate elections still have many obstacles or even impossible in some cases.

    I think there will be major changes in U.S policy towards Asia. Throughout his campaign, Trump said that countries like South Korea and Japan need to depend themselves to fight against their enemies and to protect their citizens. It seems Trump will mostly focus on domestic issues rather than foreign policy.

    President-elect Trump should be aware the important role of U.S in other countries. U.S interests are not only doing business in other countries, but also to promote democratic values around the world. One may say promoting American values, but one the other hand, I don’t really know the differences between democratic values and American values. Is there any major differences at the end?

    I believe that there are many countries that need America to rebuild their countries. This doesn’t mean that those countries cannot work alone by themselves. For example, the role of United States in Burma is very important. Myanmar held its very first general election in 2015 in a legitimate way since the military coup in 1990. It was a huge challenge for Burmese government to establish adequate institutions to direct election as the country doesn’t have technical experts especially in the field of politics. United States contributed a lot by providing technical assistance to establish some important institutions such as Union Election Commission (UEC) which did a great job to hold a legitimate election for the first time in 20 years. This is just one of the examples among others. That election would not have held that good without the role of United States. There are very similar counties like Burma which need U.S, at least in terms of technical assistance, and so many other things.

    Therefore, President-elect needs to reconsider what he said regarding U.S policy towards Asia and focus both on domestic issues and international cooperation.

    United States cannot just walk away from what it has done over past decades.

    Share >

Comments are closed.