The Great Debate UK
from The Great Debate:
This is the second in a series of responses to Ian Bremmer’s excerpt of Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World. The first response can be read here.
It’s said that predictions are risky business, especially those about the future. No one knows that better than Ian Bremmer, who in addition to his multiple books has created one of the more successful risk analysis organizations. Being in the business of highlighting risks, he has for the past few years focused on the breakdown of the world order most of us grew up with, whether a 20th century world of great-power struggles or an early 21st century world of American economic and military preponderance. Now, says Bremmer, those systems are finished and in their stead we have... nothing.
It’s a compelling, alarming and yet exhilarating vision – though few probably embrace that last adjective. Compelling because it admits that most of the models we use to predict what will be are based on a world that no longer exists and hence are likely to be wrong. Alarming because it leaves us with a tabula rasa whose outcomes are utterly uncertain. Yet exhilarating because it offers the promise of a brave new world that may go in any direction, including more productive and positive ones than many observers currently assume.
Bremmer extrapolates from current trends about what this world might look like, and tends to focus on the dangers that lurk rather than the diamonds in the rough. He sees tough times for China, whose model, he predicts, will be less able to adapt to a world of increased competition for natural resources and more state capitalism that competes directly with the Chinese. He sees hard roads for weak states and troubled societies, with Syria’s grinding civil war and lack of international action just a harbinger. He sees a United States constrained by debt and a public looking inward, and a euro zone mired in years of crisis. And while he does acknowledge that even a G-Zero world will have winners such as Brazil and Turkey, he sees the emerging vacuum as more of a challenge than an opportunity.
from The Great Debate:
As governments grapple with the global crisis, politics has taken on central importance in determining the course of the world economy -- and political risk is more significant than ever.
Two leading experts on the financial crisis and its political dimensions -- Nouriel Roubini and Ian Bremmer -- gave exclusive answers this week to Reuters questions on the key risks for 2009 and beyond, and the countries to watch.