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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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.


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.


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.

Observations From The Roundtable

Observations from the Roundtable: Emerging Technology And America’s National Security

by Admiral James O. Ellis Jr., George P. Shultzvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, February 25, 2019

When looking at the security environment, we are reminded of President Reagan’s approach to dealing with a complex and dangerous world. The first order of business was to be realistic about the world around you. Then you had to be strong in all senses of the term—military, economically, politically, and in national spirit. Finally, as you went out into the world, you had to set your objectives—know what you want—and focus on that agenda. It was a wise, and ultimately successful approach.


Emerging Technologies and National Security: Russia, NATO, & the European Theater

by Philip Breedlove, Margaret E. Kosalvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, February 25, 2019

Emerging innovations within today’s most cutting-edge science and technology (S&T) areas are cited as carrying the potential to revolutionize governmental structures, economies, and life as we know it; others have argued that such technologies will yield doomsday scenarios and that military applications of such technologies have even greater potential than nuclear weapons to radically change the balance of power.

From the Conveners

A Letter from the Conveners

via Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, February 25, 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.


Europe in the Global Race for Technological Leadership

by Jens Suedekumvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, February 4, 2019

The European Union (EU) is a large and powerful economic area. With a gross domestic product of around 19 trillion dollars in 2018, the EU has a similar economic size as the United States of America.1 It is home to 512 million inhabitants and will remain more populous than the United States even after the possible departure of Great Britain in March 2019.2 Europe hosts numerous world market leading firms, especially in manufacturing, which export high-quality products everywhere. It is a highly competitive and advanced economy.

Observations From The Roundtable

Observations from the Roundtable: Europe in an Emerging New World

by Jim Hoaglandvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, February 4, 2019

After sparking two world wars that brought horrific destruction to its own ancient civilizations, Europe finished the 20th century riding a wave of economic and political success. With decisive economic, political, and military support from the United States, the 15 countries that would form the European Union had rebuilt themselves and helped the United States prevail in the Cold War. They gradually would welcome 13 more countries into their organization, which became widely seen as a pathway to prosperity and a guardrail against the embittered, competing nationalisms that had led to war. Some members of the EU even adopted a common currency, in part to emphasize the benefits of nations working together through economic cooperation rather than trying to dominate each other.


European Demographics and Migration

by Christopher Caldwellvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, February 4, 2019

In December, a group of the French protesters known as gilets jaunes were stopping motorists at a traffic circle where the N151 meets the D951A, next to a forested hill in Burgundy. The gilets, so called for their distinctive yellow traffic-emergency vests, had banded together a month before to rally against a tax on diesel. Over several weeks, though, their grievance had grown less political (about this or that policy) and more existential (about the impossibility of making ends meet in France’s boondocks).


Europe and Technology

by Caroline Atkinsonvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, February 4, 2019

Public opinion and political attitudes have been less welcoming to new technology in Europe than in either the United States or China (and the rest of fast-growing Asia). Although many politicians have acknowledged the importance of fostering the digital economy, European countries have struggled to build a dynamic home-grown tech sector and have been wary of foreign—mainly U.S.—internet companies. There are a number of reasons for Europe’s reluctance to embrace the new technology of the digital era.


Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow
Senior Fellow / National Fellow 2010–11
Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow