Clearly not the end.
Last Wednesday, by voting in favor of groundbreaking constitutional changes, the Russian people slapped this Westphalian order in the face. Closely monitored by the Kremlin, the referendum proposed, among other things, to allow Vladimir Putin to remain president until 2036 (if reelected), to ban same-sex marriages, to include the notion of “belief in God” in the Russian constitution, and to emphasize the primacy of Russian law over international norms. In short, the Russian people were offered a choice between embracing modernity or rejecting its foundations, and they chose the latter. A negative vote would have paved the way to the rise of a Russian nation-state, in the Westphalian sense of the term. Putin’s czarist aspirations could have been frustrated. The last bastion of Western anti-liberalism could have fallen — but it did not.