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Posts Tagged ‘Project Syndicate’

Saudi-Arabien und die Revolution von oben

Posted by hkarner - 17. November 2017

BERLIN – Nun also doch! Sieben Jahre nach dem Arabischen Frühling hat es auch Saudi-Arabien erwischt. Wenn auch auf eine etwas andere, dem Königreich angemessene Weise. Auch in diesem erzkonservativen arabischen Königreich ist es eine junge Generation, nur diesmal nicht gegen die Institutionen und die etablierte Macht gerichtet, sondern innerhalb des Staates und an der Spitze seiner Macht, die auf eine fundamentale Modernisierung des Landes setzt, angeführt von dem jungen Kronprinzen, Mohammed bin Salman (auch in Kurzform MBS genannt). 

Saudi-Arabien war schon immer ein extrem widersprüchliches Land, im Spagat zwischen islamischem Mittelalter und westlicher Moderne. Gründend auf einem sagenhaften Reichtum, den es seinen gewaltigen Rohölreserven verdankt, war es für den Westen und vor allem für die USA ein unverzichtbarer strategischer Partner im Nahen Osten. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Pandora’s Box of the Digital Age

Posted by hkarner - 17. November 2017

Carl Bildt was Sweden’s foreign minister from 2006 to October 2014 and Prime Minister from 1991 to 1994, when he negotiated Sweden’s EU accession. A renowned international diplomat, he served as EU Special Envoy to the Former Yugoslavia, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, UN Special Envoy to the Balkans, and Co-Chairman of the Dayton Peace Conference. He is Chair of the Global Commission on Internet Governance and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Europe.

In the past year alone, a series of hacks and ransomware attacks by hostile governments and other malign actors have raised alarms about a major threat to global stability. Unfortunately, many governments are responding by developing still more cyber weapons, on the mistaken assumption that offense is the best defense.

STOCKHOLM – Is the world sliding dangerously toward cyber Armageddon? Let us hope not; but let us also apprehend the threat, and focus on what to do about it.

One country after another has begun exploring options for bolstering their offensive capabilities in cyberspace, and many other countries have already done so. This is a dangerous escalation. In fact, few other trends pose a bigger threat to global stability. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Upgrade Myth

Posted by hkarner - 16. November 2017

Tony Rothman

Tony Rothman’s latest book is The Course of Fortune, A Novel of the Great Siege of Malta. He teaches physics at NYU.

We are encouraged to believe that the newest technology is also the best. But, at a time when functionality and marketability are valued more highly than simplicity and durability, adopting the newest technology can be a recipe for frustration and misery.

NEW YORK – From the pocket calculator to the Prius, I’ve always been what they call an “early adopter.” I was a technology enthusiast, a lover of progress, eager to move into the future. No more. With the wisdom of age, I now concede the maxim of the occasional software engineer: motion is not progress.

Marketers tell us that endless iterations of word-processing software or smartphone apps are taking us forward, by “adding new features” and “improving the user experience.” More often than not, each new update and upgrade represents little improvement over the last. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Democracy Beyond the Nation-State

Posted by hkarner - 15. November 2017

Kemal Derviş, former Minister of Economic Affairs of Turkey and former Administrator for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), is Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

According to the Harvard economist Dani Rodrik, it is impossible to have full national sovereignty, democracy, and globalization simultaneously. The concept of a “political trilemma of the world economy” is useful, but it becomes less binding when one takes into account levels of government above and especially below the nation-state.

WASHINGTON, DC – According to the Harvard economist Dani Rodrik, it is impossible to have full national sovereignty, democracy, and globalization simultaneously. The concept of a “political trilemma of the world economy,” which Javier Solana also recently explored, is useful, but incomplete.

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China’s Vision for the Next 30 Years

Posted by hkarner - 15. November 2017

Zhang JunZhang Jun is Professor of Economics and Director of the China Center for Economic Studies at Fudan University, Shanghai.

Achieving the lofty development goals China’s leaders have set will not be easy. But with a clear development blueprint and a powerful leader whose political clout all but guarantees continued reform, the country seems to be in a strong position to sustain its unprecedented economic success in the coming decades.

SHANGHAI – Every five years, the Communist Party of China convenes a National Congress, where two key decisions are made: who will lead China for the next five years, and what path to development those leaders will follow. The CPC’s recently completed 19th National Congress did all that and more.

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Angela Merkel’s New Germany

Posted by hkarner - 14. November 2017

Marcel Fratzscher

Marcel Fratzscher, a former senior manager at the European Central Bank, is President of the think tank DIW Berlin and Professor of Macroeconomics and Finance at Humboldt University, Berlin.

From welcoming refugees to improving gender equality, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s talent at bridging social and political divides has made Germany’s transformation into an open society possible. This, not economic policy, has been the greatest achievement of her tenure.

BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) may have won a majority in September’s federal election, but that does not mean that the country’s future is clear. What emerges as Merkel seeks to form a new coalition with the Greens and the Free Democrats will not only shape Germany’s economic trajectory over the next four years; it will also determine the fate of the country’s transformation into a truly open society.

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How to Combat Populist Demagogues

Posted by hkarner - 14. November 2017

We will never know whether greater honesty on the part of mainstream politicians and technocrats would have spared us the rise of nativist demagogues like Donald Trump in the US or Marine Le Pen in France. What is clear is that lack of candor in the past has come at a steep price.

CAMBRIDGE – At a recent conference I attended, I was seated next to a prominent American trade policy expert. We began to talk about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which President Donald Trump has blamed for American workers’ woes and is trying to renegotiate. “I never thought NAFTA was a big deal,” the economist said.

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China’s New World Order?

Posted by hkarner - 12. November 2017

Ramesh Thakur

Ramesh Thakur, a former assistant secretary-general of the United Nations, is Director of the Center for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament at Australian National Universit

Now that Chinese President Xi Jinping has solidified his position as China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, he will be able to pursue his vision of a China-led international order. But if China wants to enjoy the benefits of regional or even global hegemony in the twenty-first century, it will have to prove itself ready to accept the responsibilities of leadership.

CANBERRA – Two parallel geopolitical narratives have dominated the twenty-first century so far: the relative decline of the United States since the end of the post-Cold War period; and the rise of China as an economic, political, and military power. How China behaves on the world stage will thus be a defining geopolitical factor in the decades ahead.

Looking forward, China’s strategic vision will most likely mirror that of its president, Xi Jinping, who has now consolidated his position as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. In his marathon address to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on October 18, Xi proclaimed a new era of Chinese national strength, self-confidence, and global power.

Xi envisions a world in which China, having achieved geopolitical parity with the US, asserts itself diplomatically and assumes a larger role in writing the rules of the international system. Accordingly, the world should prepare for a surge in Chinese foreign-policy activism. To understand what form that activism will take, and what effects it will have on international relations, the insights of Project Syndicate commentators, who have long chronicled China’s emergence as a regional and global power, provide an invaluable resource.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Banking on the Unbanked

Posted by hkarner - 12. November 2017

Reeta Roy

Reeta Roy is President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation.

Despite significant gains in financial inclusion, a quarter of the planet still lacks a bank account or easy access to one. With bank accounts, budding entrepreneurs can establish their creditworthiness and tap responsible, formal lenders, enabling small enterprises to grow and create urgently needed employment, especially for young people.

TORONTO – In a sea of gloomy news, one bright headline appears on the horizon. The World Bank’s latest figures on individuals’ bank accounts, to be released next spring, are expected to show that the number of people holding accounts at banks or other formal financial institutions has grown.

The last time the World Bank published its Global Findex report, in April 2015, an estimated 700 million adults, mainly in developing countries, had obtained access to financial services during the previous three years. That amounted to an increase of more than 21% in the global number of “banked” individuals. Because broader access to financial services helps to create a path out of poverty, any increase in this metric is a positive sign for human development.

But my organization won’t be declaring victory when the new report comes out. No matter what the World Bank data show, universal financial inclusion for the world’s poorest remains a distant goal. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Facing the Four Structural Threats to US Democracy

Posted by hkarner - 11. November 2017

Laura Tyson, a former chair of the US President’s Council of Economic Advisers, is a professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, a senior adviser at the Rock Creek Group, and a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Gender Parity.

Lenny Mendonca

Lenny Mendonca, Senior Fellow at the Presidio Institute, is Senior Partner Emeritus at McKinsey & Company.

During a time of deep political dysfunction in the United States, it is easy to assume that American democracy has gone off the rails, perhaps for good. But if Americans can look past the slow-motion travesty unfolding in Washington, DC, they will find that it is still within their power to effect meaningful change.

BERKELEY – It has been one year since Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, and America’s democratic institutions are clearly under strain. A mere 20% of Americans now trust the federal government to “do the right thing,” while trust in Congress has fallen below 9%.

Among congressional Republicans, in particular, a “take-no-prisoners” extremism is undermining the federal government’s capacity for action, which is precisely what many on the far right want. According to some pessimists, the US Constitution was not designed to address the challenges of a country so sharply divided by income, race, and partisanship. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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