History, To Be Continued: The Utopia of a Diverse World
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Oleg N. Barabanov

MGIMO University, Professor;
Program Director of the Valdai International Discussion Club.

Timofei V. Bordachev

Doctor of Political Science
National Research University–Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia
Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs
Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies
Academic Supervisor;
Valdai Discussion Club, Moscow, Russia
Program Director


SPIN-RSCI: 6872-5326
ORCID: 0000-0003-3267-0335
ResearcherID: E-9365-2014
Scopus AuthorID: 56322540000


E-mail: [email protected]
Tel.: +7(495) 772-9590 *22186
Address: Office 427, 17 Malaya Ordynka Str. Bldg.1, Moscow 119017, Russia

Yaroslav D. Lissovolik

Programme Director at the Valdai Discussion Club, Member of the Government Expert Council

Fyodor A. Lukyanov

Russia in Global Affairs
National Research University–Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia
Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs
Research Professor;
Valdai Discussion Club
Research Director


SPIN RSCI: 4139-3941
ORCID: 0000-0003-1364-4094
ResearcherID: N-3527-2016
Scopus AuthorID: 24481505000


E-mail: [email protected]
Tel.: (+7) 495 980 7353
Address: Office 112, 29 Malaya Ordynka Str., Moscow 115184, Russia

Andrei A. Sushentsov

PhD in Political Science
MGIMO University, Moscow, Russia
School of International Relations
Valdai Discussion Club
Program Director


ORCID: 0000-0003-2076-7332


E-mail: [email protected]
Address: Room 3036, 76 Vernadsky Prospect, Moscow 119454, Russia

Ivan N. Timofeev

PhD in Political Science
MGIMO University, Moscow, Russia
Department of Political Theory
Associate Professor;
Russian International Affairs Council
Director General;
Valdai Discussion Club
Program Director


SPIN-RSCI: 3517-3084
ORCID: 0000-0003-1676-2221
ResearcherID (WoS): ABF-5625-2021
Scopus AuthorID: 35293701300


E-mail: [email protected]
Address: 76 Vernadskogo Prospect, Moscow 119454, Russia


For particulars, as every one knows, make for virtue and happiness; generalities are intellectually necessary evils. Not philosophers but fret-sawyers and stamp collectors compose the backbone of society.

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

A new reality of international politics and the global economy is being assembled from pieces. Indeed, the situation in the world is tense, but some collisions already show features of the future, namely, a different globalisation infrastructure, a variety of rising centres of power, regrouping political interests and spheres of influence, greater independence and responsibility of the states for their own future, and competition among technological solutions instead of a single platform-monopoly.

The environmental degradation and climate change are major and dangerous problems that are both destructive and constructive. So far, they have been provoking differences between states; however, humanity will by all means need to find common solutions to them, as well as to pandemics, for that matter. By the same token, the humanity will need to harmonise value concepts, which is a necessary thing to do, but is a poor match to adopting some kind of a universal base for outlook on the world.

Ethical diversity is coming to replace both the rivalry between two or three dominant ideologies and universalist homogeneity.

Of course, such a revaluation causes resistance of those who are used to seeing their values as universal. More importantly, the question is whether this diversity can be harmonised so that it could contribute to the international system’s stability rather than rock it. The request for more moral politics requires finding a common denominator to different ethical systems.

The chaos that everyone is talking about and which we mentioned in several previous Valdai Club reports is giving way to the outlines of the future which is closer to an imaginary utopia than what would have come out of editing the old world order.

The line between utopia and dystopia is about “good” or “evil” governance.

However, technological advances of our time and individual freedom they offer make it more difficult – almost impossible – to exercise governance in the traditional sense of the word.

International governance, as we know it, remains outside the new utopia. It will simply never materialise since it’s impossible to subjugate anyone and individualism is rampant. But it will resurface in some other form based on new rationality, which will be determined precisely by the impossibility of subjugating anyone and individualism. We are entering an entirely new era.

Valdai Discussion Club

Staying Sane in a Crumbling World
Oleg N. Barabanov, Timofei V. Bordachev, Yaroslav D. Lissovolik, Fyodor A. Lukyanov, Andrei A. Sushentsov, Ivan N. Timofeev
Just like any pandemic, COVID-19 will not last forever. However, it will serve as a catalyst for disruptive changes in spheres with no immediate link to this virus. The world has accumulated a great number of problems, so a trigger was all it took to plunge the world into crisis.