Remarkable effects of the rapidly changing global political and economic situation, as well as its global “managerial governing structures”, have strong implications for the European lading positions and the member states’ growth patterns. Looking at “fragmentation” in the present pace of globalisation (or de-globalisation, if one likes), it is vital to see the political, economic and security outcomes and consequences.
While the issues of defending the “rules-based” international order has been the main plea of politicians in the western world, e.g. recent global summits at numerous levels, such as G-7 and NATO, African Union and ASEAN, to name a few, it has been acknowledged that the efforts for keeping such “order” alive have been generally inadequate. And it’s not a fault of leaders or those in power; it is the outcome of presently changing pattern of international trade and economic development, as well as global challenges, such as climate change and sustainability.
Most vividly disproportions in a newly formulated world order – from multi-polar-model to trends in fragmentation or/and de-globalisation – have been more clearly seen during and after recent pandemic, as well as through the Russian-Ukraine military conflict and, consequentially, in commodities, energy crisis and rising inflation/recession, etc.
As a result, in numerous states around the world and, particular in the EU, an apparent public discontent is seen concerning negative effects of rampant inflation, increase in energy prices, as well as collapses in the existing value supply chains, in volatile foreign exchanges and problems in the households’ living costs.
Security aspects in modern globalisation issues
Global trade is made up of thousands of ‘value chains’ of businesses, which includes such issues as logistic and transport, basic concepts, production manufacturing and distribution, etc. Numerous states used to impose economic sanctions in response to violations of global trade rules and practices. It happened, e.g. at Russia-Ukraine military conflict, as well as during worst outbreak of pandemic in early 2020, forcing lockdowns and imposing restrictions affecting millions. These developments are causing additional chaos to already fragile global value supply chains, (in short, gvsc). Two years ago pandemic severely disrupted gvsc’s; presently, there are already ten sunctions against Russia and trade tensions with China
Digitalisation of global trade makes the process both easy (facilitated contacts with producers) and risky due to fragmentation. Hence security issues becoming complicated too: e.g. fragmentation “by blocks of states” not only makes production more expensive; it turns former friends and trade partners to foes; e.g. Russia presently “acts” against EU towards China.
Political aspects in security
Political elites and scientific community’s analysis (as well as recommendations) concerning the essence and consequences of the present “multi-polar world’s” transformations varied greatly: both within the western side and among adversaries in the opposite camp.
Some western states’ leaders explore militant rhetoric, like “Russia’s brutal military aggression” and/or “Russia’s unjustified war in Ukraine” alongside numerous – already ten!?- sunctions against Russian economy, which seemingly would not help in eliminating “the conflict”. So far, Russian leaders, according to western media official announcements, do not look like turning to negotiations and/or stop “the aggression” until present Ukrainian leadership instigated mainly by the US government is out of power.
As to the security issues connected to war in Ukraine, a new account by the European Council on Foreign Relations, ECFR shows that the public attitude – to which politicians are accountable – the to the conflict from a “united west”, consisted of about ten wealthy western states (mentioned in the account), i.e. those in the US and EU. A general summary is that:
a) Europeans and Americans agree they should help Ukraine to win, that Russia is their avowed adversary, and that the coming global order will most likely be defined by two blocs led respectively by the US and China.
b) In contrast, citizens in China, India, and Turkey prefer a quick end to the war even if Ukraine has to concede territory.
c) People in the non-Western countries, and in Russia, also consider the emergence of a multipolar world order more probable than a bipolar arrangement.
d) Western decision-makers should take into account that the consolidation of the West is taking place in an increasingly divided post-Western world; and that emerging powers such as India and Turkey will act on their own terms and resist being caught in a battle between America and China.
The authors of the ECFR’s review note that the present view in Europe (with 44% in Great Britain, and 38% across nine EU countries) is that Ukraine needs to regain all of its territory, even if it means a longer war.
Some other outcomes in the ECFR paper are well worth mentioning:
= Over half of those surveyed in the US (55%), Britain (64%), and nine EU countries (54%) perceive Russia as an “adversary”, while further 16%, 12%, and 12%, respectively, perceive it as an “rival”; just 14% in the US, 15% in the EU-9 and 8% in Britain look at Russia as either an “ally”. Many citizens also now hold extremely negative perceptions of Russia – usually describing it as “aggressive” and “untrustworthy”.
= Europeans are determined not to buy Russian fossil fuels – even if it harms their energy supplies. Across the nine EU countries polled, about 55% support this move. Just a quarter (24%) believe the priority should be to ensure undisturbed energy supplies.
= Among other “global powers”, many believe the war should end as soon as possible – even if that means Ukraine is forced to cede territory. In China (42%), Turkey (48%) and India (54%), pluralities or majorities hold this view, whilst just 23%, 27%, and 30% in each, respectively, believe Ukraine should regain all its territory, even if it means a longer conflict.
= However, other states still see Russia as a “strong” presence, as well as an “ally” and a “partner” in international relations, and “partner” despite Russia’s “special military operation” now reaching the one-year mark. Thus, around three-quarters of those surveyed in China (76%), India (77%) and Turkey (73%) believe that Russia is either stronger, or as strong, as they claim they viewed it before the outbreak of war. They also, in some cases overwhelmingly (as high as 79%), see Russia as either an “ally” or “partner” of their country.
= Many predict that the US-led liberal order will cede its global dominance over the next decade. In China, India, Turkey, and Russia, many expect the West will be just one global power among several. Single-digit percentiles in Russia (7%) and China (6%) predict a global US domination in ten years from now, with the prevailing view in these two (33% and 30%, respectively) being that the dominance will be more evenly distributed among multiple countries.
= New Eurobarometer survey (22.02.2023; over 26 thousand citizens were interviewed in all EU-27 states) shows that the majority of EU citizens (56 percent) are satisfied with the EU response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with 91 percent in favor of providing humanitarian support and 84 percent in favor of the bloc reducing its dependency on Russian sources of energy. Source: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_23_1142?utm_source; and https://europa.eu/eurobarometer/surveys/detail/2872
Bottom-line: most western politicians are really worried about recent statistics, such as a majority of Chinese people (79 percent), Turks (69 percent) and Indians (80 percent) still see Russia as a partner or ally, while they mistrust Western motives for supporting Ukraine.
As to the pure military aspects in global military security, Russia has already chased France out of its previous dominance: after 13 years in Burkina Faso, French troops had to leave the West African country at the end of February 2023, after being given one month to scram. It’s the third such setback for President Emmanuel Macron, with France also recently forced out of Mali and the Central African Republic. The reasons for France’s waning influence are multi-faceted, rooted in its colonial history, but its troubles are also a consequence of Russia’s ambitions to expand its foothold on the continent.
Security’s view “from the West”
An interesting approach to global security issues has been presented in the first months of 2023 by the SDSN’s president and UN Secretary-General special adviser, J. Sachs; below are some extracts from his opinion-notes.
Contemporary world-wide turmoil is essentially geopolitical based on changes in the “US-led world” and emerging numerous blocks in different parts of the world. Hence the world has become multipolar, in which each region strives to pursue its own interests and play a role in global politics. This trend shows that no country, not a single region can any longer determine the “fate of others” or being in charge of the rest of the world.
However, the management of a new multipolar world is both a complicated and difficult issue, which need active dialogue among various parts/blocks of the world and avoiding fake and “simplistic propaganda” by some states and governments. As J. Sacks notes: “in the West, we are bombarded daily with ridiculous official narratives, most originating from the US: Russia is pure evil, China is the greatest threat to the world, and only NATO can save us”.
These naïve stories, spun out endlessly by the US State Department, represent a great hindrance to global problem solving: “they trap us in false mindsets; even in wars that should never have occurred and which must be stopped by negotiation rather than escalation”.
As soon as the global development is based on multipolar realities, it is possible to solve numerous problems: first, argues J. Sacks, it is necessary to “understand that military alliances such as NATO offer no answers to the real challenges; military alliances are in fact a dangerous anachronism, not a true source of national or regional security”. And Mr. Sacks provides several examples: the US attempt to expand NATO to Georgia and Ukraine which triggered the wars in Georgia (in 2010) and in Ukraine (2014 until today); neither the NATO bombing of Belgrade in 1999, or fifteen year failed mission in Afghanistan, or bombing Libya in 2011, accomplish any real objectives”.
He concludes: “neither is China the grave threat that is portrayed today in the West”; besides, the US tries to pretend that it is leading the world and “that China is a dangerous pretender that must be stopped’. In reality, China is an ancient civilization of 1.4 billion people (almost one in five in the world) that also aims for high living standards and technological excellence. Hence, he argues, global problems could be solved not by “trying to contain China, but by trading, cooperating, and competing economically with China”.
He acknowledges that Europe is in the environmental lead with the European Green Deal: the EU’s main geopolitical goal is to encourage other regions in the world to adopt their own similar and bold green deals: :that’s a far better task for Europe than expanding NATO, fighting an endless war in Ukraine, or confronting China”, he adds.
As soon as technological changes are, probably, the most fundamental drivers in both globalisation and in national transitions, it is necessary to better understand the technological “component” of modern crises: in climate change and wellbeing, in science and education, as well as in health and sustainable economy. Besides, Mr. Sachs argues, some negative effects of digital revolution shall be also confronted in national decision-making, as the digital technologies are often misused and business and citizens are confronted with disruptions and inequalities caused by artificial intelligence, robotics and rapid transformations in the workforce’s abilities.
Generally, he concludes, “the negative effects of global changes and challenges, disruptions and associated crises are numerous and astounding”: most vivid solutions lie in cooperation and problem solving based on a better understanding of the new patterns in the global economy.
Source and references to: https://sdsn.mobilize.io/links?url=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.us19.list-manage.com%2Ftrack%2Fclick%3Fu%3D50ec04f7fdd8f247aecfa0ddf%26id%3D98038b5cea%26e%3Ddac1cabb02&lid=-oUAUajiisRj7YXoWYcKMw
Modern diversified production pattern based on specific and often quite rare resources depends on closer cooperation with “geographical owners”. For example, some resources without which modern technological revolution would be impossible, are base on certain states’ territories: e.g. lithium is concentrated in Chili, Platinum in South Africa, nickel in Philippine and Indonesia, copper in China, cobalt in the Republic of Congo, and so on and so forth… Without good relations with these countries it would be difficult to modernise “green production” and sustainable economies.
Then, the issues of currencies in the world: in the forex market the US dollar is number one followed by the Euro, Japanese yen, and Pound sterling.
= The US dollar is the world’s primary reserve currency and is held by most central banks and commercial banks globally. Because of its widespread adoption, the US dollar also accounts for around 88.3% of daily trades in the foreign exchange market. However, the only comes 10th when ranked as a contender for the world’s strongest currency, according to CMC Marker research and forex.
= Swiss franc comes in as the first currency to be higher value than the US dollar. This, however, is no surprise given that Switzerland is one of the most stable and wealthy countries in the world. It also acts as a safe haven currency for investors in periods of economic instability, along with USD and JPY. The Swiss franc is also the 7th most traded currency in the world, gaining its popularity as a safe bet when trading or storing currency, due to its strict monetary policies and low debt levels
= One of the newest –since 1992- currencies, the Euro is the official currency of 20 EU member states (out of 27 countries in the block), which makes it the most widely used ‘official currency’ in the world; it is often known as the world’s second reserve currency. It is also the second most traded currency on the foreign exchange market only preceded by the US dollar; in the most traded forex pair in the world, it accounting for almost a quarter of daily forex trades. This makes it the strongest currency in the list so far, and the 8th strongest in the world.
= The Great British pound, the GBP is the 5th most valuable currency in the world; although the GBP is not the strongest currency in the world, it does keep the title as the oldest currency still in use. The GDP is the 4th most traded currency globally, accounting for around 12.8% of daily trades on the foreign exchange market.
= The Australian dollar is the 5th most traded currency on the forex market and accounts for around 6.8% of daily trades; the reasons the AU dollar is so popular is the currencies stability, its high-interest rates and the view that it holds diversification benefits.