Governance in an Emerging New World

The George P. Shultz Project on Governance in an Emerging New World explores the challenges and opportunities for our democracy, our economy, and our security posed by emerging technologies and societal changes.

George Shultz has observed that the world ahead will not be like the world behind us. His Project on Governance in an Emerging New World explores the challenge to governance posed by changing demographics, the information and communications revolution, emerging technologies, and new means of production of goods near where they are used. Its contributors aim to understand the impact of these global transformations on our democracy, our economy, and our national security and inform strategies for how best to proceed in a rapidly changing world.

New and rapid societal and technological changes are complicating governance around the globe and challenging traditional thinking. Demographic changes and migration are having a profound effect as some populations age and shrink while other countries expand. The information and communications revolution is making governance much more difficult and heightening the impact of diversity. Emerging technologies, especially artificial intelligence and automation, are bringing about a new industrial revolution, disrupting workforces and increasing military capabilities of both states and non-state actors. And new means of production such as additive manufacturing and automation are changing how, where, and what we produce. These changes are coming quickly, faster than governments have historically been able to respond.

Led by Hoover Distinguished Fellow George P. Shultz, his Project on Governance in an Emerging New World aims to understand these changes and inform strategies that both address the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities afforded by these dramatic shifts.

The project will feature a series of papers and events addressing how these changes are affecting democratic processes, the economy, and national security of the United States, and how they are affecting countries and regions, including Russia, China, Europe, Africa, and Latin America. A set of essays by the participants will accompany each event and provide thoughtful analysis of the challenges and opportunities.
 


A Message from George P. Shultz

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Essays

Youth, Technology, and Political Change in Saudi Arabia

by Hicham Alaouivia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, April 22, 2019

There are two lenses by which to view the political potential of Saudi Arabia’s large, tech-savvy youth generation. The first, optimistic perspective holds that given their social awareness, technological skillset, and creative potential, the Kingdom’s millions of young citizens will be the engine for constructive progress. That progress is defined by post-oil economic transformation, and hence renewed political stability and national unity under the House of Saud. This is the image invoked by Saudi Arabia’s grandiose Vision 2030 initiative, as well as its architect, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

From the Conveners

A Letter from the Conveners

via Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, April 22, 2019

Sharp changes are afoot throughout the globe. Demographics are shifting, technology is advancing at unprecedented rates, and these changes are being felt everywhere. How should we develop strategies to deal with this emerging new world? We can begin by understanding it. First, there is the changing composition of the world population, which will have a profound impact on societies. Developed countries are experiencing falling fertility rates and increasing life expectancy. 

Essays

Climate Change and Environmental Pollutants: Translating Research into Sound Policy for Human Health and Well-Being

by Kari Nadeauvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, April 8, 2019

We are intimately connected to the world around us—to the air, water, and soil that envelop us. The average adult constantly replenishes the oxygen within them by taking 12 to 20 breaths per minute; we regularly consume water, which constitutes over 50% of our body weight; we obtain most of our vital nutrients from the soil through the foods we consume. A healthy vibrant biosphere is vital for our wellbeing.

Essays

Potential Pandemics

by Milana Boukhman Trouncevia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, April 8, 2019

Infectious disease has been a formidable force in shaping human history. In the times past, most people died from two causes: violence and infectious disease, with deaths from infectious disease being many times more common. Bubonic plague killed between a third and a half of the population of Europe in the Middle Ages, thus changing the course of Europe and the world forever. Smallpox killed half a billion people in the 20th century alone before being finally eradicated in 1982.

From the Conveners

A Letter from the Conveners

via Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, April 8, 2019

Sharp changes are afoot throughout the globe. Demographics are shifting, technology is advancing at unprecedented rates, and these changes are being felt everywhere. How should we develop strategies to deal with this emerging new world? We can begin by understanding it. First, there is the changing composition of the world population, which will have a profound impact on societies. Developed countries are experiencing falling fertility and increasing life expectancy. As working-age populations shrink and pensions and care costs for the elderly rise, it becomes harder for governments to afford other productive investments.

Essays

Health Technology and Climate Change

by Stephen R. Quakevia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, April 8, 2019

As you have heard from the other speakers today, there are numerous health risks associated with global climate change. The Union of Concerned Scientists has analyzed this question and concluded that: “Rising temperatures will likely lead to increased air pollution, a longer and more intense allergy season, the spread of insect-borne diseases, more frequent and dangerous heat waves, and heavier rainstorms and flooding. All of these changes pose serious, and costly, risks to public health.”

Essays

Global Warming: Causes And Consequences

by Lucy Shapiro, Harley McAdamsvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, April 8, 2019

The familiar photo of the Earth spinning in the blackness of space that was taken 50 years ago by William Anders, an astronaut on the Apollo 8 lunar mission, starkly illustrated our isolation on this planet. Now we face a crisis as the climate and environmental conditions that support life as we know it become ever more fragile owing to CO2-induced global warming. The evidence suggests there is significant risk that areas of the Earth in tropical zones may become uninhabitable and that significant food chains will collapse in this century. 

Observations From The Roundtable

Observations from the Roundtable: Health in a Changing Environment

via Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, April 8, 2019

Human societies have generally made great progress over the course of history in the mastery of their surrounding environments, climates, and biomes. And the experience of the United States is emblematic of this, across a variety of measures—with significant reductions in air and water pollution, in weather-related mortality, in malnutrition, and in the burden of disease. Progress has been driven by a combination of technology, markets, and governance. Oftentimes difficult social and regulatory choices over the past half century, enabled by technological innovation and ongoing incentives for investments, have allowed this country to stay one step ahead of the variety of environmental and health risks it faces.

Essays

Information: The New Pacific Coin of the Realm

by Admiral Gary Roughead, Emelia Spencer Probasco, Ralph Semmelvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, February 25, 2019

History informs and rhymes, and the admonition of Isaiah Bowman is as valid today as it was in 1946. A participant in the World War I peace conference in Paris and the president of the Johns Hopkins University, whose Applied Physics Laboratory produced breakthrough innovations during World War II and the Cold War (and today), Bowman understood international challenges and appreciated the role of technology in defining national power. He also understood that it is not one sector or particular endeavor that underpins national security—it is the collective responsibility of society.

Essays

Technology Converges; Non-State Actors Benefit

by T.X. Hammesvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, February 25, 2019

The Fourth Industrial Revolution will provide insurgents and terrorists with capabilities that, until very recently, were the preserve of large, powerful, wealthy states. The convergence of new technologies will provide them access to relatively cheap, long-range, autonomous weapons. To define the problem this presents to the United States, this paper will first explore the technologies—powerful small warheads, autonomous drones, task-specific artificial intelligence, and advanced manufacturing—that are providing increased range, numbers, and lethality for dramatically lower cost today.

Pages

Leadership
Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow
Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow
Contributor
Senior Fellow / National Fellow 2010–11
Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow