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.
 


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From the Conveners

A Letter from the Conveners

via Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, February 4, 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

Unlocking the Potential of MobileTech in Africa: Tracking the Trends and Guiding Effective Strategy on Maximising the Benefit of Mobile Tech

by Andre Pienaar, Zach Beechervia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, January 14, 2019

Africa is home to a burgeoning digital domain. Africans across the continent are taking notice of what mobile internet technology offers them. In fact, the vast majority of Africans believe that increased internet access offers paths to improved education, economies, and personal relationships. Though there is scepticism about the role of mobile internet technology in politics, there is a generally positive interpretation of where it could lead. Africans are not timidly wading into the technological fray but rather enthusiastically diving in.

Essays

Africa 2050: Demographic Truth and Consequences

by Jack A. Goldstonevia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, January 14, 2019

No general statement about African demography is true. The variation in the continent is too great. Africa today includes giant countries with populations near or exceeding 100 million (Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria) and tiny countries with populations under 1 million (Comoros, Djibouti, Cabo Verde, Reunion, Mayotte, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles). It includes countries where fertility is rising (Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Seychelles), countries where fertility is high but stable, falling by less than 1% per year (Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, and ten others), and countries where fertility is high but falling very rapidly, 2.5% per year or more (Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kenya, Malawi, and Sierra Leone). It also includes countries where fertility rates are exceptionally high, exceeding six children per woman (Niger, Somalia, Chad, DRC, Mali) and countries where fertility has fallen to replacement levels (2.1) or below (Tunisia, Mauritius). Annual population growth rates for African countries range from under 0.5% per year (Mauritius, Central African Republic, Libya) to eight times that rate, or about 4% per year (Niger, Equatorial Guinea).

Essays

Climate Change and Africa’s Future

by Mark Giordano, Elisabeth Bassinivia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, January 14, 2019

Africa is often described as the continent most at risk to the negative effects of climate change, both because of the expected change itself and because of the perceived lack of capacity of Africans and their governments to adapt. This paper provides an overview of what is known and unknown about Africa’s climate future and examines how possible changes may challenge four critical and inter-related areas: agriculture, health, migration, and conflict.

Essays

African Governance: Challenges and Their Implications

by Chester A. Crockervia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, January 14, 2019

In Africa, as in every region, it is the quality and characteristics of governance that shape the level of peace and stability and the prospects for economic development. There is no more critical variable than governance, for it is governance that determines whether there are durable links between the state and the society it purports to govern. The nature of governance is central because it determines whether the exercise of authority is viewed as legitimate. Legitimate authority, in turn, is based on accepted laws and norms rather than the arbitrary, unconstrained power of the rulers. 

Essays

Africa Trade and Technology

by Anthony Carroll, Eric Obscherningvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, January 14, 2019

It is perceived that economic nationalism has slowed the meteoric rise of global trade. Since the Uruguay Round created the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, trade of goods and services has become a dominant feature in global economic growth. As a result, hundreds of millions of people in developing countries have graduated from subsistence living to middle-class status. The accession of China into the World Trade Organization in 2001 accelerated both the volume and character of global trade. By 2008, Global Value Chains (GVCs) have come to explain up to 70% of global trade volumes. GVCs optimize comparative advantage across borders and have enabled innovation in trade logistics and services technologies, in addition to a general WTO commitment by member states to facilitate trade.

From the Conveners

A Letter from the Conveners

via Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, January 14, 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.
Observations From The Roundtable

Observations from the Roundtable: Africa In An Emerging World

by George Moosevia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, January 14, 2019

The papers and discussion brought into stark relief Africa’s current reality and the dramatic transformations that are being driven by the megatrends of demography, climate, and technology. The roundtable also highlighted the enormous challenges these transformations will present. Together they paint a picture of Dickensian contradictions, with both bad news and good news, and reasons for both hope and deep concern.

Observations From The Roundtable

Observations from the Roundtable: Latin America In An Emerging World

via Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, December 3, 2018

Our takeaway from our roundtable on Latin America in an emerging new world is a region showing gradual—and fragile—economic, social, and governance progress on average, but with significant heterogeneity lying beneath, both within and across individual countries. For example, while Mexican manufacturers are by some counts already more roboticized—and therefore more ready for future disruptions—than those in the United States, citizens in some areas of the country live with few opportunities in conditions more closely resembling sub-Saharan Africa. 

Essays

Latin America: Opportunities and Challenges for the Governance of a Fragile Continent

by Ernesto Silva via Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, December 3, 2018

Facebook Live. That was the platform chosen by Jair Bolsonaro to issue his first statements after learning of his triumph in the presidential elections in Brazil in October 2018.1 It was not a speech at the headquarters of his party or in a public place. It was not the television channels or the radio stations that intermediated in the communication with the citizens. More than 300,000 people saw their statements live, and within the hour there were more than two million people who had seen his eight-minutes long message, approximately, quickly registering nearly 350,000 comments and reactions. 

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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