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The discussion between David Miliband and a number of experts in last month’s Prospect centred on concepts that have formed the core of the British and western view of international affairs for the last two decades: liberal interventionism, universal values, multilateralism, globalisation, and ethical foreign policy. But these ideas have lost plausibility as “the west,” their main champion, continues to suffer a loss of authority, not least as a result of the financial crisis.

The end of the cold war was followed by a brief decade of euphoria. Our politicians talked of our moral duty to intervene in other people’s…

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