Shifting power balances in the world are shaking the foundations of the liberal international order and revealing new fault lines at the intersection of human rights and international security. Will these new global trends help or hinder the world's long struggle for human rights and democracy? The answer depends on the role of five rising democracies—India, Brazil, South Africa, Turkey, and Indonesia—as both examples and supporters of liberal ideas and practices.
Ted Piccone analyzes the transitions of these five democracies as their stars rise on the international stage. While they offer important and mainly positive examples of the compatibility of political liberties, economic growth, and human development, their foreign policies swing between interest-based strategic autonomy and a principled concern for democratic progress and human rights. In a multipolar world, the fate of the liberal international order depends on how they reconcile these tendencies.