A New Disruptive Political World: Are we going to see major global realignments?

This blog has published stories expressing concerns about the emerging disruptive industries and their impact on implementing the SDGs. In particular, raising concerns that this will lead to an increase in inequality and unemployment. 

Linked to this is the worry that governments were not preparing themselves for what could be considerable change over the coming 15 years nor were they having a conversation with their voters about the changes. You can just see the changes happening daily in so many areas of our life whether it is the driverless cars, the Sophia robots or the 3d printing of houses – these will all mean loss of jobs. 

One way to prepare for this would be a UN Commission to look at the impact of disruptive industries. But of course, this was before the recent US election.

We now have major disruptive forces in our political world as well and soon as they start playing out it will add to changes in our economic world as well. 

It seems clear to me that a form of economic nationalism is on the rise and that at present the moderating forces have no answer.

Much of this can be traced back to the impact of globalization and that not enough was done to help those that it left behind. This was coupled with the 2008 financial crisis which saw some of the same people impacted again and what was the response of the ruling political class?  Except in Iceland very few of the bankers that caused the problems were held responsible and they continued to give huge bonus to the same people who caused the problem. 

If we move forward to 2016 then it is perhaps not surprising to have seen Brexit in the UK and the support for Sanders in the Democrat Party and Trump in the Republican Party. It seemed like the political class were surprised when Trump won the Presidency on a ticket of xenophobia. sexism and 'drain the swamp'. 

We are now in the first few weeks of the new administration and it seems every day there is a new disruption. There isn’t time to full debate a policy or a tweet before the next one comes out. 

Realignment

The world is changing if we look at what President Trump has said or inferred:
1. NATO:  I said a long time ago that NATO had problems," he said in the interview.
"Number one it was obsolete, because it was designed many, many years ago,
"Number two the countries weren't paying what they're supposed to be paying," adding that this was unfair to the United States.

As of the 2nd of February, have open conflict in the Ukraine and it is unclear what the response will be from a Trump Administration. Or if there can be a response from NATO

2. Russia: “They have sanctions on Russia — let’s see if we can make some good deals with Russia,” he said. “For one thing, I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially, that’s part of it. Russia’s hurting very badly right now because of sanctions, but I think something can happen that a lot of people are going to benefit” Trump.

Throughout the Presidential election, Trump has indicated he wants a close relationship with Putin.
 
3. United Nations: The President is expected to issue an Executive Order he hopes to decrease U.S. funding in organizations by at least 40 percent, The Times reported.

This will have huge impacts not the least with UNFPA, funding for the Green Climate Fund and any UN body that questions the President.

4. The UN Security Council:  The five veto power countries have traditionally fallen into two camps: France, the U.K. and the U.S., referred to as the P3, on one side and Russia and China on the other. Is this now going to change as we could be seeing a US-Russia axis.

5. Geopolitical realignment: If the US moves towards Russia what will the EU do?  Are we about to see a massive realignment? The European countries do not trust the US now with Russia. European Union President Donald Tusk says China, Russia and the U.S. administration of President Donald Trump are among the top external threats facing the bloc.

Will the EU response be to start to work much more closely with China? 

Sitting in Brussels the EU, must be starting to plan to approach China to develop closer relationships. In particular, to try and create a more stable geo political world. This might require accepting a larger role for China by Europe. In a disruptive world, you look for stable partners.

At the same time, will they be reaching out to support Mexico and Canada to help them through this destabilizing period?

This blog started by pointing out that the world was facing series problems with the emerging disruptive industries if we add to that a disruptive geo political world then it is not surprising that the Doomsday Clock is now 2 ½ minutes to “midnight,” according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

We live in an increasingly insecure world. It’s at these times that we need strong and robust multilateral intergovernmental organizations.


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