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Amid Global Chaos, The World Needs A New Governance Model

A Palestinian man stands amid ruins in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip
A Palestinian man stands amid ruins in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip
Laurence Daziano*


PARIS — Here we are amid a global rise in military conflicts and political tensions — wars in the Middle East, Ukraine, the exclusion of Russia from the G8, conflicts in the South China Sea, Argentina's debt default, among others. A century after the start of World War I, the planet seems to have succumbed to geopolitical dysfunction, with the new emerging powers front and center.

For the following three reasons, the major risks then are also geopolitical, and more specifically economic.

First, the emerging countries, however motley, do subscribe to a common vision of the world. They belive Western countries have dominated the world economy for too long, all the while imposing their vision on the rest of the globe.

The humiliation of China after the Opium Wars, European colonization, and finally American domination symbolized by the monetary supremacy of the dollar have all left their marks. The BRICS countries are united in questioning a global order that dates back to 1945. China and Brazil are aggregating new powers (South Africa, Nigeria, Indonesia, Mexico, Vietnam) as they continue to contest Western supremacy. At the next UN Climate Change Conference, to be held in Paris next year, rich countries that want to decrease greenhouse gas emissions will face a China determined to defend its right to develop freely.

Second, the formidable growth of the BRICS countries over the past decade — and particularly China emerging as the world’s second-largest economy — has turned the old economic order on its head. The reservoirs of growth and liquidity are now in the emerging countries. With the exception of the United States — which has advantages such as a growing population, the dollar as global currency, and an unmatched entrepreneurial climate (witness Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple) — the Western world is experiencing relative decline in its economic, demographic and geopolitical situation.

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Mercosur and BRICS presidents in 2014 — Photo: Casa Rosada

While China's Central Bank has $2,500 billion in liquidity ready to be invested in the world, Western countries are saddled with explosive sovereign debt that severely hinders their growth prospects.

Finally, the accumulation of geopolitical risks essentially mark — in the absence of a real Cold War — at least a cool war. This cool war reveals, on one hand, fundamental fractures inside the countries themselves, such as the South China Sea conflict between China and Vietnam, or the religious wars between Sunnis and Shias in the Middle East.

On the other hand, it is playing out against a backdrop of globalization, which means that the BRICS countries are confronting Western nations on economic and financial ground. The creation of the BRICS New Development Bank, designed to compete with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, demonstrates this.

Since 2008's global financial crisis, the world has been experiencing profound change. The reality is that it's no longer enough to try and "plug the gaps." A new world in which the ascension of emerging powers is accorded the greatest importance must be created.

Perhaps a new global governance body, responsible for world public property such as water and climate, should be organized. At the outset, this organization could include members of the G20 along with associated countries. It could be subject to a basic agreement with new emerging powers on global issues such as the World Trade Organization, currency and climate.

More than ever, the West must be inventive to build world leadership with the emerging nations and thus avoid a "cool war" between North and South.

*Daziano Laurence, senior lecturer in economics at Sciences Po, is a member of the scientific board of the Foundation for Political Innovation.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

After Abbas: Here Are The Three Frontrunners To Be The Next Palestinian Leader

Israel and the West have often asked: Where is the Palestinian Mandela? The divided regimes between Gaza and the West Bank continues to make it difficult to imagine the future Palestinian leader. Still, these three names are worth considering.

Photo of Mahmoud Abbas speaking into microphone

Abbas is 88, and has been the leading Palestinian political figure since 2005

Thaer Ganaim/APA Images via ZUMA
Elias Kassem

Updated Dec. 5, 2023 at 12:05 a.m.

Israel has set two goals for its Gaza war: destroying Hamas and releasing hostages.

But it has no answer to, nor is even asking the question: What comes next?

The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the return of the current Palestinian Authority to govern post-war Gaza. That stance seems opposed to the U.S. Administration’s call to revitalize the Palestinian Authority (PA) to assume power in the coastal enclave.

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But neither Israel nor the U.S. put a detailed plan for a governing body in post-war Gaza, let alone offering a vision for a bonafide Palestinian state that would also encompass the West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority, which administers much of the occupied West Bank, was created in1994 as part of the Oslo Accords peace agreement. It’s now led by President Mahmoud Abbas, who succeeded Yasser Arafat in 2005. Over the past few years, the question of who would succeed Abbas, now 88 years old, has largely dominated internal Palestinian politics.

But that question has gained new urgency — and was fundamentally altered — with the war in Gaza.

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