Towards a Fragmented World
Written by Alfonso Elizondo
According to Karin Von Hippel, Director-General of the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies, we are now living in a world threatened by specific problems, such as the collapse of the United States, tensions over a possible nuclear war, conflicts in the Middle East, the disinformation that comes from social networks and the use of cyber attacks that have appeared even in the most secure companies.
Despite this complex global situation, the US continues to be one of the most worrisome factors, because, according to the Executive Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, US policy has been fractured for a long time. The political parties have been divided and there are serious flaws in the electoral system as far as their primary elections are concerned.
In another region of the world, Kishore Mahbubani, Senior Advisor and professor in the Practice of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, points out that the world is fractured because we are living in a completely new era and every day the world is collapsing. A couple of centuries ago the main economies of the world were China and India and now, the European countries and the US have taken the place of those nations, although at the moment the roles are again being reversed.
According to Mahbubani’s predictions, by 2050 the world’s main economies will be China, India, the US, Japan and Indonesia, although at the moment you may be seeing a world that is very strange and many may feel lost. Asian young people do not share the pessimism of the West because only in China has there been significant improvement in the situation of the population over the last 30 years.
Although there are great cultural differences between East and West, there needs to be a balance between both regions. In recent years we have seen a certain trend in elections worldwide as people have started to vote for ‘strong leaders’ due to insecurity and the fact that these leaders inspire confidence in the population.
Mahbubani says that there is a relationship between the current ‘fractured’ world and the global economy. Everybody believes that protectionism is on the rise when in reality it is people’s feeling that’s growing. Trade flows have not declined, but are increasing and many economies have grown.
What is really happening is that the US has made serious strategic mistakes in Asia, such as its abandonment of the TPP and the Paris Agreement. The US is losing influence in Asia because of those mistakes. The experts say that there are four situations that must be resolved urgently: climate change, the relationship between China and the US, the empowerment of women and the inclusion of more economies in the current world order.
Addendum: Actually, nobody has the slightest idea of what is going to happen in the world not more than tens years into the very near future.