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

15 February 2019

Why Nationalism Works And Why It Isn’t Going Away

By Andreas Wimmer

Nationalism has a bad reputation today. It is, in the minds of many educated Westerners, a dangerous ideology. Some acknowledge the virtues of patriotism, understood as the benign affection for one’s homeland; at the same time, they see nationalism as narrow-minded and immoral, promoting blind loyalty to a country over deeper commitments to justice and humanity. In a January 2019 speech to his country’s diplomatic corps, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier put this view in stark terms: “Nationalism,” he said, “is an ideological poison.”

In recent years, populists across the West have sought to invert this moral hierarchy. They have proudly claimed the mantle of nationalism, promising to defend the interests of the majority against immigrant minorities and out-of-touch elites. Their critics, meanwhile, cling to the established distinction between malign nationalism and worthy patriotism. In a thinly veiled shot at U.S. President Donald Trump, a self-described nationalist, French President Emmanuel Macron declared last November that “nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism.”

13 February 2019

Globalization in transition: The future of trade and value chains

By Susan Lund, James Manyika, Jonathan Woetzel, Jacques Bughin, Mekala Krishnan, Jeongmin Seong, and Mac Muir

Global value chains are being reshaped by rising demand and new industry capabilities in the developing world as well as a wave of new technologies.

Even with trade tensions and tariffs dominating the headlines, important structural changes in the nature of globalization have gone largely unnoticed. In Globalization in transition: The future of trade and value chains (PDF–3.7MB), the McKinsey Global Institute analyzes the dynamics of global value chains and finds structural shifts that have been hiding in plain sight.

Although output and trade continue to increase in absolute terms, trade intensity (that is, the share of output that is traded) is declining within almost every goods-producing value chain. Flows of services and data now play a much bigger role in tying the global economy together. Not only is trade in services growing faster than trade in goods, but services are creating value far beyond what national accounts measure. Using alternative measures, we find that services already constitute more value in global trade than goods. In addition, all global value chains are becoming more knowledge-intensive. Low-skill labor is becoming less important as factor of production. Contrary to popular perception, only about 18 percent of global goods trade is now driven by labor-cost arbitrage.

11 February 2019

Globalization 4.0

By Klaus Schwab

The world today needs a new framework for global cooperation in order to preserve peace and accelerate progress. After the cataclysm of World War II, leaders designed a set of institutional structures to enable the postwar world to trade, collaborate, and avoid war—first in the West and eventually around much of the globe. Faced with a changing world, today’s leaders must undertake such a project again.

This time around, however, the change is not just geopolitical or economic in nature. The Fourth Industrial Revolution—the complete digitization of the social, the political, and the economic—is tugging at the very fabric of society, changing the way that individuals relate to one another and to the world at large. In this era, economies, businesses, communities, and politics are being fundamentally transformed.

Reforming existing processes and institutions will not be enough. Government leaders, supported by civil society and businesses, have to collectively create a new global architecture. If they wait, or simply apply a “quick fix” to repair the deficiencies of outdated systems, the forces of change will naturally develop their own momentum and rules, and thus limit our ability to shape a positive outcome.

9 February 2019

The Globalization Chameleon

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William Alan Reinsch

Although last week was eventful—China talks, Brexit debates, among other things—I’m going to take a week off from commenting on current events and instead look at the long term and the changing face of globalization. This is prompted by a McKinsey Global Institute study, Globalization in Transition: The Future of Trade and Value Chains.

In brief, what McKinsey found was that while trade continues to increase in absolute terms, although at a slower rate, the share of goods output that is traded, as opposed to consumed domestically, is declining pretty much across the board—from 28.1 percent in 2007 to 22.5 percent in 2017. At the same time, cross-border flows of services have grown over 60 percent faster than goods trade and intangible assets transferred across borders (software, branding, design, etc.) as well as data transfers contribute substantial economic value not adequately represented in national statistics.

8 February 2019

Democracy in Retreat Freedom in the World 2019

In 2018, Freedom in the World recorded the 13th consecutive year of decline in global freedom. The reversal has spanned a variety of countries in every region, from long-standing democracies like the United States to consolidated authoritarian regimes like China and Russia. The overall losses are still shallow compared with the gains of the late 20th century, but the pattern is consistent and ominous. Democracy is in retreat.

In states that were already authoritarian, earning Not Free designations from Freedom House, governments have increasingly shed the thin façade of democratic practice that they established in previous decades, when international incentives and pressure for reform were stronger. More authoritarian powers are now banning opposition groups or jailing their leaders, dispensing with term limits, and tightening the screws on any independent media that remain. Meanwhile, many countries that democratized after the end of the Cold War have regressed in the face of rampant corruption, antiliberal populist movements, and breakdowns in the rule of law. Most troublingly, even long-standing democracies have been shaken by populist political forces that reject basic principles like the separation of powers and target minorities for discriminatory treatment.

7 February 2019



When movies imagine the cities of the future, they invariably look like New York or Tokyo. Fritz Lang's Metropolis was an elegant but industrial pile of Art Deco towers inspired by the Manhattan of the 1920s. Blade Runner 's neon-lit city is basically a souped-up Tokyo.

But it seems Birnin Zana, the capital of Wakanda in Black Panther, may be a more accurate vision for the cities of the future. That’s because while the cities of the past sprouted up in Europe, then America and Asia, the megacities of the future look likely to be in Africa.

Africa’s population is growing at a much faster rate than the rest of the world. While roughly one in seven people in the world today are from Africa, the UN predicts that will rise to almost one in two by 2100.

In contrast, Europe’s population is projected to fall steadily over the same period, from 742 million to 653 million. After a period of growth, Asia is also expected to shrink, ending up with a population more or less the same as today.

6 February 2019

Mexico’s Fuel Crisis Throws a Wrench in AMLO’s Big Plans

Paul Imison

Only six weeks into his presidency, Mexico’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador already faces his first major crisis. In part self-inflicted, in part a consequence of the corrupt and weak institutions he inherited from his predecessors, it is nevertheless a sign that governing Mexico will be a formidable challenge for the man who promised nothing less than a fundamental transformation of the country and on whom millions of Mexicans are resting their hopes.

Citizens across western and central Mexico, which includes the 25 million people living in Mexico City and the surrounding State of Mexico, have been waiting in line for hours for gasoline over the past month. The situation is the result of a federal crackdown on oil and gas theft by organized gangs, which has seen the government shut down pipelines and switch to transporting fuel by truck and rail, prompting both the closure of hundreds of gas stations and panicked buying throughout the region.

2 February 2019

Globalisation has faltered

Large and sustained increases in the cross-border flow of goods, money, ideas and people have been the most important factor in world affairs for the past three decades. They have reshaped relations between states both large and small, and have increasingly come to affect internal politics, too. From iPhones to France’s gilets jaunes, globalisation and its discontents have remade the world.

Recently, though, the character and tempo of globalisation have changed. The pace of economic integration around the world has slowed by many—though not all—measures. “Slowbalisation”, a term used since 2015 by Adjiedj Bakas, a Dutch trend-watcher, describes the reaction against globalisation. How severe will it become? How much will a trade war launched by America’s president, Donald Trump, exacerbate it? What will global commerce look like in the aftermath?

1 February 2019

Amid the Trauma of War, Chronic Diseases Should Not Be Forgotten

Dr Sylvia Garry, Rachel Thompson

From starving children in Yemen to bombed-out hospitals in Syria, today’s media offers many images depicting the impacts of conflict on health. Where conflicts occur, international and local aid workers rush to treat the wounded and assist with essential food supplies and vaccinations.

However, many people in humanitarian crises also suffer and die from chronic diseases, which now account for 7 in 10 of all deaths worldwide. Conflicts contaminate the air and water, reduce access to nutritious food and create stressful living conditions. This makes people sicker and more susceptible to chronic illness. At the same time, health workers flee, hospitals are targeted and there are medication shortages.

31 January 2019

Al Gore Declares ‘Full-Blown Global Emergency’ For Earth’s Oceans

Al Gore, Vice-President of the United States (1993-2001), Chairman and Co-Founder, Generation Investment Management, sounded the alarm bells today, proclaiming a “true, full-blown global emergency” for the planet’s oceans. “That reflects what the scientific community has been telling us,” he said, “and their predictions have been right in the past.”

The prominent environmental activist warned that global warming now traps the equivalent heat energy of 500,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs every day. As oceans warm, the impact on humanity is devastating, he said, with more common extreme weather events and food scarcity resulting from lower oxygen levels, and migrations and die-offs of vital fish stocks. “Apologies to Las Vegas,” said Gore, “but what happens in the ocean doesn’t stay in the ocean.”

Other experts echoed the urgency of Gore’s message. “If everyone knew how serious this is, everyone would be activists,” said Nina Jensen, Chief Executive Officer of REV Ocean. “In our lifetime – in the last 40 years – we’ve lost 40% of life in the oceans.”

Players’ Skewed Maps Complicate Eurasia’s 21st Century Great Game – Analysis

By James M. Dorsey

The United States and China are playing Eurasia’s 21st century Great Game from different but equally skewed maps. While the US map appears to be outdated, the Chinese map portrays a reality that is imagined.

If the skewed realities of both China and the United States have one thing in common, it is in strategist Parag Khanna’s mind the fact that neither realizes that the Great Game’s prize, a new world order, has already been determined.

“We are living – for the first time ever — in a truly multipolar and multicivilizational order in which North America, Europe and Asia each represents a major share of power,” Mr. Khanna says in his just published book, The Future is Asian.

Global Talent Shortage is Top Emerging Risk Facing Organizations

Staff shortages have escalated in the last three months to become the top emerging risk organizations face globally, according to Gartner, Inc.’s latest Emerging Risks Survey.

“Organizations face huge challenges from the pace of business change, accelerating privacy regulations and the digitalization of their industries,” said Matt Shinkman, managing vice president and risk practice leader at Gartner. “A common denominator here is that addressing these top business challenges involves hiring new talent that is in incredibly short supply.”

30 January 2019

Why Tackling Global Economic Inequality Is Liberal Democracy’s Next Big Challenge

Hampton Stephens

Globally, economic inequality is on the rise, leading to social polarization, nationalism, violence, criminal behavior and the emergence of populist politics. 

Inequality became resurgent as an issue in U.S. politics after the global financial crisis. But it has a much longer and more prominent history in middle- and low-income countries, where economic inequality takes on additional importance because it is coupled with low average incomes and in many places extreme poverty. It’s hard to argue that income inequality is not an important problem where inequality exists alongside abject poverty. 

However, while it’s easy to be convinced that not much can be done about the causes of economic inequality, the best evidence available demonstrates that this way of thinking is wrong. Inequality cannot be completely controlled, but policymakers have a wide variety of tools at their disposal to produce changes in how the economic pie is divided.

29 January 2019

The steam has gone out of globalisation

WHEN AMERICA took a protectionist turn two years ago, it provoked dark warnings about the miseries of the 1930s. Today those ominous predictions look misplaced. Yes, China is slowing. And, yes, Western firms exposed to China, such as Apple, have been clobbered. But in 2018 global growth was decent, unemployment fell and profits rose. In November President Donald Trump signed a trade pact with Mexico and Canada. If talks over the next month lead to a deal with Xi Jinping, relieved markets will conclude that the trade war is about political theatre and squeezing a few concessions from China, not detonating global commerce.

Such complacency is mistaken. Today’s trade tensions are compounding a shift that has been under way since the financial crisis in 2008-09. As we explain, cross-border investment, trade, bank loans and supply chains have all been shrinking or stagnating relative to world GDP (see Briefing). Globalisation has given way to a new era of sluggishness. Adapting a term coined by a Dutch writer, we call it “slowbalisation”.

Venezuela's on a Road to Nowhere Good

By Reggie Thompson

The United States and Venezuela's government opposition will increase pressure on the administration of President Nicolas Maduro in an attempt to further divide the country's ruling elites.

U.S. punitory measures, such as an oil import ban, will drive some military officers and key officials to consider pushing Maduro from office to avoid heavier sanctions and ease internal competition for scarce revenue.

The severity of Washington's approach, combined with the Venezuelan government's reluctance to voluntarily step down, make a violent exit for Maduro increasingly likely.

Venezuela is heading toward a chaotic, violent transition of power. The government is fighting a losing battle against declining oil output and its own voracious political elites. Low oil prices, high government spending and extreme corruption destroyed Venezuela's energy sector — the country's sole source of export revenue. Without vast sums of oil money to line their pockets — and fund populist social programs — Venezuela's powerful political leaders have no choice but to compete for what's left of the revenue. And what's left will not be enough to keep all of them happy for long. Irreconcilable differences are fast emerging. Impelled by U.S. sanctions and more intense opposition protests, divisions among the country's rulers are widening. The key questions to ask at this stage are how will members of the Venezuelan government settle their differences — and when.

26 January 2019

Governments must become as agile as startups. Here’s what they need to do

Mauricio Zuazua

The new phase of globalization we have entered, Globalization 4.0, is making a core competency of governments and major businesses far less relevant.

Businesses have become remarkably good at planning and then executing plans across complex, global supply chains. Similarly, many governments increasingly excel at setting boldly progressive policies and executing large, ambitious programmes. The problem for both is, the world is shifting under their feet.

A range of powerfully disruptive trends mark Globalization 4.0, among them:

Fragmenting global order: Escalating trade conflict and eroding multilateral consultation on trade have significantly slowed (and sometimes reversed) what once seemed the inexorable advance of economic globalization.

25 January 2019

Long Live Globalization


GENEVA – Will global cooperation finally emerge from the doldrums in 2019? The international community’s recent agreement on a “rulebook” for implementing the Paris climate agreement seems to offer some hope. But opinion polls suggest that many remain concerned that a global economic recession or major geopolitical crisis will test the international system’s resilience. And it is not at all clear that the system will pass.

As it stands, perhaps the biggest barriers to international cooperation are political. In recent years, there has been an intensifying backlash against international cooperation, rooted partly in fears – stoked by populist political leaders in many countries – that transnational “elites” are trying to impose “globalism”: an “ideology that prioritizes the neoliberal global order over national interests.”

24 January 2019

These are the biggest risks to the global economy in 2019

Kenneth Rogoff

“It ain’t what you know that gets you, but what you think you know for sure that just ain’t so,” as the old adage goes. Over the next two years, the biggest risks to the global economy lie exactly in those areas where investors believe recent patterns are unlikely to change. Major risks include a growth recession in China, a rise in global long-term real interest rates, and a crescendo of populist economic policies that undermine the credibility of central bank independence, resulting in higher interest rates on safe, advanced-country government bonds.

A significant Chinese slowdown may already be unfolding. President Trump’s trade war has shaken confidence, but this is only a downward shove to an economy that was already slowing as it makes the transition from export and investment-led growth to more sustainable domestic consumption-led growth. How much the Chinese economy will need to slow is an open question, but given the inherent contradiction between an ever-more centralized political system and the need for a more decentralized consumer-led economic system, the long-term growth slowdown could be quite dramatic.

These 13 charts show what the world really thinks about Globalization 4.0

Mark Jones

The rise of populism, nationalism and protectionism are all associated with waning support for globalization, but a new poll for the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2019 shows high levels of support worldwide for international collaboration, immigration, and the personal benefits from globalization.

The survey, conducted in January by polling firm Qualtrics, was taken by more than 10,000 people in 29 countries who answered questions about globalization 4.0, including the impact of technology, the future of work, education, and social mobility. These are the main findings:

1. Countries should help one another

Concerns about the rise of nationalism and isolationism dominate the global political agenda. But the survey suggests there’s a bedrock of support for international collaboration with majorities in every region agreeing that countries should help one another. That sentiment is particularly strong in South and East Asia and in sub-Saharan Africa.

These are the biggest risks facing our world in 2019

Joe Myer, Kate Whiting

What keeps you up at night?

For leaders surveyed for the latest edition of the World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report, environmental threats dominate the list for the third year in row - both in terms of impact and likelihood.

“Of all risks, it is in relation to the environment that the world is most clearly sleepwalking into catastrophe,” the report warns.

What are the biggest risks?

The report offers a unique perspective on the threats facing our world, by looking at not only those risks that are most likely, but also those that would have the biggest impact.