L’Echec de la Mondialisation
Henri de Grossouvre versus Bernard de la Villardière
Moderator : Alain Jourdan
There are three areas where globalization is failing: the response to climate change, the failures of the financial system, and increasing inequality within and between countries.
While it is too easy to blame all the world’s problems on globalization, slimming down of factories in the 1980s and abroad, UN troops in the Congo, USAID in Afghanistan, the incipient brutality of the IMF, it is not that globalization has failed, rather that for many it has simply not even happened. Human solidarity often does not extend much beyond the next valley.
It was noted that the world had been bipolar from 1945 to 1990, and monopolar since but that we are perhaps now entering a new phase. The key dimension appears to be openness to the world versus rootedness. In this sense, the EU represents neither.
The question of whether the system of global security could be repaired and whether increased exchange between countries could alleviate conflict was asked. Perhaps a better route might be the resolution of conflicts within regions rather than globally. It was also suggested that there was no longer a world policeman and that from now on there would only be one-off special operations. Regarding the role of France, it was observed that France wants to be liked too much, but it also needs also to be respected. In military terms, the country needs to amount to more than just its nuclear deterrent.
The question on how globalization affected action on climate change and the ambition to move towards a circular economy was raised.
It was discussed that the rise of Germany’s Greens from a fringe protest movement to a government coalition partner, partly driven by younger voters are the most concerned about climate change. With current concerns about dependency on Russian gas, one ten-year objective could be to replace it by developing biogas production. Another area that will be essential for addressing the crisis in democracy is adopting consensus-building approaches involving public bodies, citizens and companies.
In the global economy, the US dollar’s status as global reserve currency is now at risk, for example with China and Russia’s alternatives to the SWIFT payment system. Could cryptocurrency end the dominance of national central banks and establish real multi-polar globalization?
Is Europe naïve in the face of rising power of China? How to make Europe stronger, militarily and in the digital domain? Comments were expressed from the floor that the US was indeed naïve in giving too much to China, particularly in delocalizing production. It now needs to develop the relationship based on areas of shared interest. An economist in the audience noted that China’s development had allowed one sixth of humanity to lift itself out of poverty.
To conclude the debate: Crises often generate positive solutions, so it’s better to be an optimist, to keep to our principals and command respect, but also understand how other people live and their point of view.