Kategorie: Future of Globalisation

A more ambitious G20 for a sustainable post-pandemic recovery and transformation

Photo: Stairs leading out of a dark wood into the light, Image by wen8707270 on Pixabay

The COVID-19 pandemic submerged the world for more than a year now, and global infection numbers are still rising. There are huge differences in the ability of governments and societies to cope with the pandemic: while Europe and the Americas remain epicentres of the disease, there are signs that infections are now also picking up across the African continent.

In an interesting turn-of-tide in discussion, the IMF calls for more public expenditure and higher taxation of the wealthy. The IMF states that economic recovery is possible in 2021 but dependent on both, access to vaccines and other medical interventions, and continuous effective policy support. Policy support needs to cushion the effects of the economic contraction, to decarbonize energy systems and economies, and for intensified multilateral cooperation to ensure universal access to vaccines and therapeutics and adequate financial liquidity of highly indebted countries.

Rethinking cooperation with Africa

Photo of a chruch in Addis Abbeba

What could international cooperation look like that promotes economically, socially and environmentally sustainable development in the interests of the global common good? A few weeks ago, Andreas Freytag and Stefan Liebing argued here that modern cooperation with Africa had to be based on private-sector investment, market principles in project selection, and competition between partner countries for international investment. Paternalism in development policy should be replaced with principles of competition and the social market economy.…

G20 Italy 2021 at the crossroad between closure and the revamp of multilateralism

Photo: Panorama RomeMultilateralism reached its low point in 2020 with the crystallization of the confrontation between major global powers, the further rise of nationalism, deglobalisation and trade protectionism that even threatened access to medical products and more recently Covid-19 vaccines in the midst of a pandemic. The latter profoundly affected global health, peoples’ livelihoods, and deteriorated existing systemic problems, from climate change to inequality, and intensified national reflexes as the G20 leaders turned their focus on domestic management of COVID-19. All these factors stood in the way of a successful G20 Riyadh Summit in November 2020 and still dominate the multilateral landscape in 2021.…

Cooperation with Africa in the 21st Century: On Peer or Paternalistic?

Photo: Ship in a harbour from above

Modern development cooperation renounces paternalism. It relies on the market to negotiate projects and puts partner countries to compete with each other for favorable conditions for investments.

When talking about developing countries, we think primarily of miserable conditions. Too often the three „Cs“ characterize our view of Africa: crisis, corruption and conflict. Positive developments, such as the halving of the number of people living in poverty and the establishment of middle classes are rarely discussed. New, locally adapted technologies have emerged in developing countries. Unfortunately, we pay too little attention to these developments. Accordingly, German and European development cooperation is still far too often based on an outdated image of African countries. It rarely sees actors from African countries as peers.

Political transition in the US – a tidal change for the Future of Globalisation? A collection of experts’ opinions

Photo: The White House in Washington

Globalisation in the sense of increasing global connectedness has seen difficult times over the last years. The global financial crisis showed the vulnerability of our economic systems and middle classes. Multilateralism was challenged by “my country first” movements, not least so from the US, one of the godmother nations to the post-WWII world order. The other godmother, the UK, turned its back to the EU’s integration project. Furthermore, trade wars increased trade barriers and changed the setting for global production chains. And certainly in 2020, a global pandemic was (and is) most effectively curbed by the limitation of individual movements, often reducing cross-border linkages.