U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other members of the Biden Cabinet are fond of proclaiming the “rules-based international order” (RBIO) or “rules-based order” every chance they get: in press conferences, on interviews, in articles, at international fora, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and cocktails. Along with the terms “human rights” and “democracy,” the RBIO is routinely used to claim a moral high ground against countries that they accuse of not following this RBIO, and wielded as a cudgel to attack, criticize, accuse, and delegitimate countries in their crosshairs as rogue outliers to an international order. Continue reading
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