World Order without Hegemony


Most Western theories presume that a titantic clash will occur during a power transition. But what if rising powers cannot assume the burden of underwriting the world order? We must contemplate alternate futures where a changing balance of power does not necessarily yield a new hegemony or a breakdown in the basic tenets of international order. 

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Asia's Geopolitical Challenges: Outlook 2019


Insights from Tiberio Graziani. 

Trans-Pacific View author Mercy Kuo regularly engages subject-matter experts, policy practitioners, and strategic thinkers across the globe for their diverse insights into the U.S. Asia policy. This conversation with Tiberio Graziani – Chairman of the Vision & Global Trends International Institute for Global Analyses in Italy – is the 169th in “The Trans-Pacific View Insight Series.”

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The Brexitconundrum


Published with the kind permission of the author

Instead of being deterred by a ‘no deal’ scenario, the UK shouldadopt a tit-for-tat strategy with the EU.

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The case for taking AI seriously as a threat to humanity


Why some people fear AI, explained. 

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When Gandhi’s statue is removed in Ghana


It is a reminder of his subsequent evolution, and India’s changed place in the world today.

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Information technology in the global age


Published with the kind permission of I.P.O. Information Service

Tokyo, Japan

President of International Progress Organization addresses 12th International Forum on Lifelong Integrated Education.

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Piketty’s plan for Europe would mean more power to the politicians


The diagnosis is a familiar one: Europe is divided, besieged by populists, undercut by feckless tax-dodging corporations and crying out for reform, growth and prosperity. Such is the malaise, our cousins across the water have taken to burning Parisian cars in sheer frustration.

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We shouldn't rush to save the liberal order. We should remake it


The UN security council, the IMF, the World Bank and the ILO were conceived as agencies of change – they can be again 

Nationalist International is under construction. From Viktor Orbán in the north to Jair Bolsonaro in the south, Rodrigo Duterte in the east to Donald Trump in the west, a coalition of nationalist strongmen are cracking down on civil rights, scapegoating minorities and facilitating widespread corruption for their family and friends.

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Money matters


Published with the kind permission of the author

Loss of growth momentum and jobs, induced by demonetisation,are the reasons for government’s demands to raid RBI’s reserves 

Over the last two months, I have been forced tothink about monetary policy, first at a meetingof the Mont Pelerin Society (MPS, the academyof classical liberals set up by Friedrich Hayek) in GranCanaria in early October, then from late October backin India by the continuing disagreements between thegovernment and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Thefirst concerns the instruments of monetary policy. Thesecond, the role of the central bank and its relationshipwith its ‘owner’ the government.

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We need to go beyond self-interest or we’re doomed: Jean Drèze


The Indian education system would be a good place to start with reforms, says the development economist 

Jean Drèze is possibly the world’s most famous Belgian-Indian. He has lived in India since 1979, and is an Indian citizen. As a development economist and activist, he has helped draft some startlingly pro-people legislations, such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005, and the National Food Security Act, 2013. In his most recent book, Sense and Solidarity: Jholawala Economics for Everyone (January 2018), he makes a strong case for combining economic research with public action. In a freewheeling chat, Drèze spoke about, among other things, the problems with economists, his idea of success, nationalism, and activism. Excerpts: 

In general, economists are a part of the problem and not the solution. Would you agree? 

Well, economics can be a very useful discipline if studied critically. But if you are not critical, then it can become toxic. If you take economic models at face value, you could end up being in a world of your own. 

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Rethink Technology: A Personal Odyssey. ~Preface~


© 2018, Tom Mahon 

Copyrights on the illustrations remain with the original copyright holders.

This is my introduction to an upcoming book, drawing from my 40-year love/hate relationship with “high tech” in Silicon Valley. For the past century, the natural and life sciences have shown us the inter-connections evident throughout the universe: the Great Web of Being. Unfortunately, our technologies are still largely based on a wedge shape, separating us from nature, each other, and even ourselves: the Great Chain of Being. The rush to create a virtual, artificial, digital wall to further separate us nature will only make things worse. If technology is how we leverage natural forces to our benefit, then it’s time to rethink the entire technology enterprise. Because what’s coming in the next decade will redefine human being. And we don’t even have an agreed-upon definition of what it means to be human now.  

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National populism is unstoppable – and the left still doesn’t understand it


It’s not about immigration, the financial crisis, globalisation or inequality, but evidence of a broader, older social fragmentation

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New Players In A Dollarized World – Analysis


A multipolar currency landscape could emerge as other nations question the US dollar’s near-monopoly over global trade and reserves. 

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Ease of Doing Business and Getting the Right Indexes Right


Published with the kind permission of the author

Last night I commented on a TV channel about India’s climb up on the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) ladder. I congratulated the government but caveated that if it takes 180 days to get land registered and 156 days to get a building permit, that then that is the critical path line that determines the real EODB. It does matter if a bank sanctions a loan in 30 days, but what is the use if it doesn’t disburse the money till much later and then, given the liquidity crunch, often too little of it? How does it matter if EODB, which is mostly about government sanctions and processes, gets better when it is near impossible to get a trained machinist or an appropriately skilled engineer? The EODB index is meant to measure regulations directly affecting businesses and does not directly measure more general conditions such as a nation's proximity to large markets, quality of infrastructure, inflation, or crime.

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The US culture wars


Published with the kind permission of the author

The coming midterm elections matter because their outcome will affect the cosmological beliefs of much of the world

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Japan joins to shape China’s Belt and Road


On the first state visit to China by a Japanese leader in 11 years, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Xi Jinping announced 50 joint infrastructure projects. This embrace of joint infrastructure investment cooperation through the Belt and Road Initiative in all but name is on a scale even larger than was anticipated before Abe’s arrival in Beijing. There was also a raft of other announcements that will help normalise the political relationship between the two Asian giants that share one of the largest economic relationships in the world. But the most consequential of those could be the joint investment in infrastructure projects. 

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Leaders of Asia and Europe sit down for talks, not sanctions


The 12th ASEM summit came at a crucial time with a divided EU assessing how to respond to China's worrying technological transfer policy and the Belt and Road Initiative

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Lessons from Europe


More than a decade on from the most devastating financial crisis since the crash of Wall Street in 1929, politicians and commentators have been extremely careful in offering predictions on when the next crisis will occur. Playing with economic predictions is like playing with fire. Nobody knows this better than former British prime minister and chancellor of the exchequer Gordon Brown, who repeatedly promised ’no return to boom and bust’.

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A short course on the history of money


Banks are behind our boom-and-bust economy, creating money in the form of loans (mostly to industry, but also mortgages), conducting our industrial policy behind our backs. Why? Are they really so omniscient, so capable of steering us into a bright future? Shouldn’t they have public policy shaping their lending? Isn’t charging interest on money they create a scam? Just rubbing salt in the wound? Stealing based on their original theft from the public?

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‘Great Depression’ ahead? IMF sounds dire warning


Potential flashpoints and a long line of dominos Italy is the current flashpoint – and the latest target of “domino effect” chatter in frothy world markets. China’s shadow-banking bubble, and the extreme opacity and regulations that enable it, also came in for criticism. And, of course, the 800-pound beast in any room where global investors gather these days: Donald Trump’s assault on world trade.Massive government debts and eroded fiscal buffers since 2008 suggest global dominos await a single market crash.

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