Showing posts with label Global. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Global. Show all posts

13 May 2018

Is a Multipolar World Emerging?

By Jacob L. Shapiro

Everywhere you turn, people are sounding the alarm about the decline of American power. The alarms are loudest in the U.S. itself. Those who oppose President Donald Trump believe he is destroying America’s influence and credibility abroad. (The threat to tear up the Iran deal is just one example.) Those who support Trump believe U.S. power has already declined. (Implicit in the slogan “Make America Great Again” is the idea that America is not currently great.) Outside the United States, the U.S. has become punching bag, punchline and declining power all at once. The term “multipolar world,” once simply wishful thinking, is now being uttered by U.S. friends and foes alike.

Repeating History

12 May 2018

The demise of the nation state

What is happening to national politics? Every day in the US, events further exceed the imaginations of absurdist novelists and comedians; politics in the UK still shows few signs of recovery after the “national nervous breakdown” of Brexit. France “narrowly escaped a heart attack” in last year’s elections, but the country’s leading daily feels this has done little to alter the “accelerated decomposition” of the political system. In neighbouring Spain, El País goes so far as to say that “the rule of law, the democratic system and even the market economy are in doubt”; in Italy, “the collapse of the establishment” in the March elections has even brought talk of a “barbarian arrival”, as if Rome were falling once again. In Germany, meanwhile, neo-fascists are preparing to take up their role as official opposition, introducing anxious volatility into the bastion of European stability.

9 May 2018

Global Debt: The Next Great Financial Crisis?

Scott B. MacDonald
Source Link

The American president, Thomas Jefferson, is accredited with the following comment: “It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.” For anyone counting, the current generation of Americans, Chinese, Japanese and Europeans has accumulated considerable debts. To be certain, the subject of debt is not popular in the corridors of Washington, Tokyo, Rome and Beijing. Indeed, the upward trajectory of debt is not a problem in the short term as interest rates remain low. The risk comes when global monetary policy becomes tighter (which is slowly happening) and growth slows (which is likely in the next two years). A confluence of rising rates, slower economic growth, and heavy debt burdens will make the next recession a brutal affair—quite possibly worse than in 2008.

6 May 2018

Freedom: The God of Modern War?

By Youri Cormier

Freedom. The term is so ubiquitous in its application to war we tend not to ask why that is. We take it as a given. Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom are two good examples of how the concept seems encoded into American strategic objectives, yet it is not limited to countries like the U.S. where this idea is so culturally (and constitutionally) central. Crimea was not conquered by Russia, according to Russian claims, but rather the minority Russian population of Ukraine was liberated and given the opportunity for self-determination and to vote in a referendum about their collective future. While this essay will attempt to uncover why freedom appears to stoke the warrior instinct inside of us, doing so would only lead to an impasse, were it not considered within a larger set of questions. As a systematized justification for political violence, freedom was not always so predominant as it is today. Assuming human nature didn’t change over the past few decades, we then need to uncover what did.

27 April 2018

Will robots and AI take your job? The economic and political consequences of automation

Darrell M. West 

In Edward Bellamy’s classic Looking Backward, the protagonist Julian West wakes up from a 113-year slumber and finds the United States in 2000 has changed dramatically from 1887. People stop working at age forty-five and devote their lives to mentoring other people and engaging in volunteer work that benefits the overall community. There are short work weeks for employees, and everyone receives full benefits, food, and housing. The reason is that new technologies of the period have enabled people to be very productive while working part-time. Businesses do not need large numbers of employees, so individuals can devote most of their waking hours to hobbies, volunteering, and community service. In conjunction with periodic work stints, they have time to pursue new skills and personal identities that are independent of their jobs.

19 April 2018

The Global Battle for Digital Trade

Global powers are competing to shape the new economy and the future of digital trade. In recent years, three groups have emerged: liberalizers (as represented by the U.S.), regulators (the European Union), and mercantilists (China). Each group champions different degrees and types of government intervention, especially for cross-border data flows. The differences among these approaches, and various attempts to bridge them, could define digital trade rules in the coming years.

10 April 2018

Is a Free Society Stable?

by Milton Friedman

Editor’s note: This essay is an excerpt of the new Hoover Press book Milton Friedman on Freedom, edited by Robert Leeson and Charles G. Palm. It originally appeared in the “New Individualist Review” in 1962. There is a strong tendency for all of us to regard what is as if it were the “natural” or “normal” state of affairs, to lack perspective because of the tyranny of the status quo. It is, therefore, well, from time to time, to make a deliberate effort to look at things in a broader context. In such a context anything approaching a free society is an exceedingly rare event. Only during short intervals in man’s recorded history has there been anything approaching what we would call a free society in existence over any appreciable part of the globe. And even during such intervals, as at the moment, the greater part of mankind has lived under regimes that could by no stretch of the imagination be called free.

4 April 2018

Some Reflections on Journalism

By Roger Cohen

When I was young and in Buenos Aires, fair city, melancholy city, a friend said to me: “Journalism’s a cheap shot for you.” I never asked what she meant but I never forgot it either. I think she meant that journalism tends to stop where artistic creation begins, and that is the realm of deeper truths. Buenos Aires was awakening to the scope of a national nightmare. Every conversation seemed to end in tears as parents, haunted by terrible imaginings, recalled their children who had been “disappeared” by the military junta. That many of the thousands of corpses were dumped from planes into the Atlantic between 1976 and 1983 was not yet known.

29 March 2018

Liberal World Order, R.I.P.


America’s decision to abandon the global system it helped build, and then preserve for more than seven decades, marks a turning point, because others lack either the interest or the means to sustain it. The result will be a world that is less free, less prosperous, and less peaceful, for Americans and others alike. NEW DELHI – After a run of nearly one thousand years, quipped the French philosopher and writer Voltaire, the fading Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire. Today, some two and a half centuries later, the problem, to paraphrase Voltaire, is that the fading liberal world order is neither liberal nor worldwide nor orderly.

27 March 2018

The world is descending into tyranny

By Ralph Peters

It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. After the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, democracy was supposed to be irresistible. While some of us were more skeptical than others, even cynics allowed that freedom seemed to have the upper hand. Instead, barely a quarter-century along, democracy and political freedoms are newly embattled, as one society after another defaults to reborn tyranny, striding behind religious extremism, xenophobic nationalism — or both.

8 March 2018

** The Trap of Empire and Authoritarianism

Robert D. Kaplan


For thousands of years the tragedy of politics has been that empire affords the answer to chaos. Imperialism, as the Oxford historian John Darwin says, “has been the default mode of political organization throughout most of history,” as the capabilities needed to build strong states, owing to the patterns of geography, were never evenly distributed, so that one ethnic group usually emerged to rule the territory of others. Yet, because conquest leads to conceit, militarism, overextension, and bureaucratic calcification, the very act of building an empire indicates, in the view of German philosopher Oswald Spengler, decadence and cultural decline. Empires (especially those of Great Britain and France) were never so obvious as before their collapse.

4 March 2018

The Evolution of Autocracy: Why Authoritarianism Is Becoming More Formidable

By: Erica Frantz 

The twenty-first-century autocrat is not the same as his Cold War predecessor.

Globalisation, shifting power dynamics and the growing availability of the internet and other communication technologies have significantly changed the environment in which autocrats operate. Some observers have concluded from these changes that citizens now hold the upper hand, and that dictators’ days are numbered.1 The centralisation of power, according to this argument, is a requisite of dictatorship. In a world in which power is diffusing across NGOs, corporations, and wealthy and technology-empowered individuals, dictators will soon find themselves unable to build and maintain the power needed to uphold their repressive systems of rule.

3 March 2018

An Arms Race Toward Global Instability

by Omar Lamrani
Source Link

The United States is gearing up once more for a struggle between giants. On Jan. 19, the Pentagon released a new National Defense Strategy, the first in 10 years, in which it called strategic competition the "central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security" as Russian and Chinese military capabilities expand. U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis echoed that concern Feb. 2 in the preface of the Nuclear Posture Review, arguing that the United States could no longer afford to pursue a policy of nuclear arms reduction given the steady growth of the Chinese and Russian nuclear arsenals. The U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense Review, due for publication soon, is expected to emphasize the same key points, namely that the United States should bolster its missile defenses to better repel threats as strategic competition builds.

2 March 2018

“Asian Century”: A Book Review

by Frank Li

1. "Asian century," really?

Calling the 21st century the "Asian century" is like calling the 20th century "the West's century" - It is correct, but inaccurate. Instead, we should call the 21st century "China's century", just like we call the (2nd half of the) 20th century "America's century" - It is correct and accurate!

1 March 2018

Can the nation state survive?

In his speech to the United Nations in September, Donald Trump called for a ‘great reawakening of nations’. How realistic is this? There is evidence to suggest that, far from a resurgence of the nation state, we may be nearing the end of the nation-state era. 

When I was in New York as ambassador to the UN, one of my favourite questions to ask American friends was, ‘Do you think that the United States will exist within its current borders in 100 years’ time?’ Without exception, the answer would come back, ‘Yes, of course – why wouldn’t it?’ In my view, however, it is almost inconceivable. 

28 February 2018

Global Elites Cannot Save a World In Turmoil

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Last weekend’s security conference in Munich was a stark reminder that this class has nothing of substance to offer a world in turmoil.

Eighty years ago in Munich, French and British politicians handed Czechoslovakia over to Adolf Hitler’s carving knife. Twenty-five years later, a German veteran of the ensuing war founded a conference in Munich that, in its own way, was designed to ensure that such a mistake would never reoccur. That veteran, Ewald von Kleist, came from a distinguished Prussian military family; he served as an officer in the Wehrmacht, had opposed Hitler, and participated actively in a plot against him. He was sent to a prison camp, and was lucky to have escaped execution.

27 February 2018

ESSAY March/April 2018 Issue AfricaGlobalization Stranger in Strange Lands

By Adam Hochschild 

In the late nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth, nothing reshaped the world more than European imperialism. It redrew the map, enriched Europe, and left millions of Africans and Asians dead. For example, in 1870, some 80 percent of Africa south of the Sahara was under the control of indigenous kings, chiefs, or other such rulers. Within 35 years, virtually the entire continent, only a few patches excepted, was made up of European colonies or protectorates. France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom had all seized pieces of “this magnificent African cake,” in the words of King Leopold II of Belgium—who took an enormous slice for himself.

25 February 2018

Everyone Wants Innovation -- Why Is It So Persistently Hard To Find?

Victor Lipman

Breakthrough innovation is the Holy Grail of business. Everyone wants it, yet it remains frustratingly elusive. 

When I was in the corporate world, we had no shortage of methods to try to coax more innovation out of employees: incubators, innovation centers, brainstorming sessions... yet acutal creative innovation was inevitably challenging to find. It's hard to be "innovative on demand."

Which is why I was interested in a survey of CFOs I just happened across from last fall from Robert Half, examining barriers to workplace innovation.

21 February 2018

Brexit, the US, China and the future of global trade

Anabel Gonzalez

Some years ago, the distinguished economist Richard Baldwin said: “Regional trade liberalisation sweeps the globe like wildfire”. He was right. Preferential trade agreements (PTAs) increased from 20 in 1990 to close to 300 today, and have become a key feature of the international trade policy landscape.

Every country in the world is party to at least one PTA, with Mongolia the last to join the pack when it signed a deal with Japan in 2016. But Brexit, the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have been a major shock for the world trade system.