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

Featured

Governance In An Emerging New World: Russia

Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Hauck Auditorium, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Faced with an aging and shrinking population and a weak economy, Russia’s future appears uncertain. Participants will explore how Russia is taking on the challenges posed by an aging and declining population and attempting to exploit the economic and military potential of advancing technologies.

Featuring Stephen Kotkin, Maria Smekalova speaking on behalf of former Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, Michael McFaul and David Holloway and moderated by Kori Schake, the Hoover Institution hosted a public panel discussion "Russia In An Emerging New World" on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 from 3:30pm - 5:00pm PST. The event was Livestreamed and can be viewed here.

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Governance In An Emerging New World: China

Monday, October 29, 2018
Hauck Auditorium, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Even as its economy continues to grow, and it becomes a world leader in technology, China must also contend with an aging, unbalanced population and the information revolution. The discussion will examine China’s pursuit of next-generation technologies for economic, political, and military purposes as well as its changing demographics and widespread use of new means of communications.

The Hoover Institution hosted a public panel discussion "China In An Emerging World" on Monday, October 29, 2018 from 3:30pm - 5:00pm PST. The event was Livestreamed and can be viewed here.

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Governance In An Emerging New World: The Information Challenge To Democracy

Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Hauck Auditorium, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The communications revolution has surrounded society with information, some right and some wrong, and enabled people to communicate and organize like never before. It gives new dimensions to the old challenge of governing over diversity. Participants examine the rapid spread of information and means of communicating and suggest responses to the governance challenges posed by social media, fake news, and the decline of confidence in institutions.

Featuring Niall Ferguson and Joseph Nye, and moderated by Condoleezza, the Hoover Institution hosted a public panel discussion "The Information Challenge to Democracy" on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 from 3:30pm - 5:00pm PST. The event was Livestreamed and can be viewed here.

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Governance In An Emerging New World: Latin America

Monday, December 3, 2018
Hauck Auditorium, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Foreign policy starts in the neighborhood. Mexico, Central America, and South America are at the tail-end of decades of rapid workforce growth, a period during which migration was central to their relationships with the United States. The panel will address how a tighter labor supply, alongside new means of production, will affect the economic development of our southern neighbors. It will also consider whether the public transparency offered by new forms of communications can improve governance, and with it, growth.

The Hoover Institution hosted a public panel discussion "Latin America In An Emerging World" on Monday, December 3, 2018 from 3:30pm - 5:00pm PST. The event was Livestreamed and can be viewed here.

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Governance In An Emerging New World: Africa

Monday, January 14, 2019
Hauck Auditorium, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Africa will be home to much of world’s population growth in coming decades, giving it a young, growing, and increasingly urbanized population. At the same time, it faces economic challenges and will acutely feel the effects of a changing climate. The discussion will explore what these demographic and environmental dynamics, alongside the promise of advancing technologies and new means of communications, will mean for governance and development across the continent.

The Hoover Institution hosted a public panel discussion "Africa in an Emerging World" on Monday, January 14, 2019 from 4:00pm - 5:15pm PST. The event was Livestreamed and can be viewed here.

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Governance In An Emerging New World: Europe

Monday, February 4, 2019
Hauck Auditorium, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The Europe of the early 21st century is rapidly changing, as European institutions evolve, populations age, and new political forces emerge. The panelists review how internet and communications technologies, new means of production, and rapid flows of people are affecting governance across the continent.

The Hoover Institution hosted a public panel discussion "Europe in an Emerging World" on Monday, February 4, 2019 from 4:00pm - 5:15pm PST. The event was Livestreamed and can be viewed here.

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In the News

Governance In An Emerging New World: Emerging Technology And America’s National Security

Monday, February 25, 2019
Hauck Auditorium, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The United States finds itself in strategic competition with China and Russia at the same time as its traditional technological superiority faces emergent challenges. The participants addressed how new military technologies might change the strategic dynamic in both Europe and in the Pacific and what these weapons may mean for non-state actors.

The Hoover Institution hosted a public panel discussion "Emerging Technology and America’s National Security" on Monday, February 25, 2019 from 4:00pm - 5:15pm PST. The event was Livestreamed and can be viewed here.

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Governance In An Emerging New World: Health And The Changing Environment

Monday, April 8, 2019
Hauck Auditorium, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The changing environment is introducing new health risks and challenges alongside an increasingly interconnected world. Extreme weather events and warming climates encourage infectious diseases and pandemics to spread, while potentially disrupting ecosystem services and "supply chains" that today's economies rely upon. Panelists will discuss the health and social consequences of climate change and how new technologies enable us to mitigate their effects.

The Hoover Institution hosted a public panel discussion "Health and the Changing Environment" on Monday, April 8, 2019 from 4:00pm - 5:15pm PST.

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Governance In An Emerging New World: The Middle East In An Emerging World

Monday, April 22, 2019
Hauck Auditorium, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Political upheaval, violence, and the Sunni-Shia divide have defined the Middle East and North Africa to outside observers for many years, but states across the region also confront shared global challenges of demographic transitions and governance in the age of social media, as well as the compelling economic potential of new technologies. The discussion will address what these profound undercurrents, as well as the changing climate and expanding role of women, mean for the major Arab states, Turkey, Iran, and Israel.

The Hoover Institution hosted a public panel discussion "The Middle East in an Emerging World" on Monday, April 22, 2019 from 4:00pm - 5:15pm PST. The livestream can be viewed below.

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Governance In An Emerging New World: Emerging Technology And The U.S. Economy

Monday, May 6, 2019
Hauck Auditorium, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, and other new technologies appear poised to transform the world economy, and, though the transition may be painful, the United States is well-positioned to take advantage of these new opportunities. Panelists will discuss the impact of changing demographics and advancing technology on the U.S. economy and what the United States can do to manage these changes and seize their potential, including improving the educational system, removing bias in AI, and ensuring a growing, productive population.

The Hoover Institution hosted a public panel discussion "Emerging Technology and the U.S. Economy" on Monday, May 6, 2019 from 4:00pm - 5:15pm PST. The event was livestreamed and can be viewed here.

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From the Conveners

A Letter from the Conveners

via Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, October 7, 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.

Essays

Governance in a World Beyond the News Cycle

by Karen Tumultyvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, October 7, 2019

The arrival of Donald Trump in Washington has changed many things about the nation’s capital and how it operates. One of the most elemental of those is its metabolism. That became clear to me early one morning just weeks after the 2017 inauguration. It was a few minutes before dawn, and I was getting ready to pour the day’s first cup of coffee when my iPhone started buzzing on my kitchen counter.

Essays

Unlocking the Power of Technology for Better Governance

by Jeb Bushvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, October 7, 2019

The rapid advances of the digital age have radically transformed our private and work lives by making information more accessible, communication faster, and businesses more competitive. But while our private lives have been so quickly transformed, government has been slow to respond. Embracing the technological advances of the last few decades promises to make government more efficient, transparent, responsive, and effective.

Essays

The Promise of Government

by Amanda Daflosvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, October 7, 2019

In 2019, some wonder if American government has the power to persist in the same ways as we’ve known it, while adapting to the future and delivering on the same values. The headlines focus on budget cuts, failed technology projects, vendors accused of overbilling, and a government left behind in the race toward a digital world. Government is the most powerful and ever-present institution in our lives—influencing the food we eat, the water we drink, the streets we drive on, the homes we live in, the air we breathe. Do the agencies we rely on to perpetuate our lives have the steadfastness to adjust?

Essays

On “Forces of History”: Easy as One-Two- Three? Not Exactly

by Charles Hillvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The tension between the concepts of “civilization” and “the forces of history” can be tracked around the world from deep antiquity until at least the early 20th century. Since then, for many political reasons, neither the idea of civilization or historically transformative forces has been considered worthy of attention or even to possess intellectual legitimacy for serious world leaders. This may now however be changing as, for example, the European Union’s disregard for the continent’s civilization (as in the determination not to refer to Christianity in its draft constitutions) has troubled many.

Essays

The Democratic Distemper

by Morris P. Fiorinavia Governance In An Emerging New World
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

I have been tasked to write on governance in the contemporary era, a time when many knowledgeable commentators believe that democracies across the western world are performing poorly in the face of new challenges arising from demographic and technological change. Commentary on the state of contemporary liberal democracy clearly tends toward the pessimistic: The vague and persistent feeling that democracies have become ungovernable has been growing steadily in western Europe. The case of Britain has become the most dramatic example of this malaise…

Essays

Governance Challenges to Infrastructure and the Built Environment Posed by Climate Change

by Alice Hillvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii sits two miles above sea level and over 2,200 miles from the nearest continent. For decades, scientists in this government laboratory have collected data on the atmosphere. In recent years, the world’s eyes have been fixed on a particular set of numbers coming out of Mauna Loa—readings of atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), a key heat-trapping gas associated with climate change. Since the late 19th century, CO2 emissions have grown to unprecedented levels. In 2013, the daily average concentration of CO2 surpassed 400 parts per million for the first time in modern history. Emissions of CO2 continue to rise, reaching the largest amount ever recorded in 2018, according to the International Energy Agency. Greenhouse gas emissions have resulted in an increase of average global surface temperatures of approximately 1°C since the 1880s.

Essays

How Will Demographic Transformations Affect Democracy in the Coming Decades?

by Jack A. Goldstone, Larry Diamondvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

In 2007–2009 a major drought—the worst in forty years—struck northern Syria, the country’s agricultural breadbasket and a region that had already been suffering from loss of irrigation subsidies and water shortages. Syria’s young and fast-growing population meant that over a million people in the region were directly affected by the drought. In “the 2007/2008 agriculture season, nearly 75 percent of these households suffered total crop failure.” Hundreds of thousands left their lands and moved to the cities of Aleppo, Hama, and Damascus. Because Syria already was suffering from widespread popular discontent over political exclusion and corruption, these refugees added to the existing weight of urban misery and anger with the regime. Two years later, when a rebellion broke out in southern Syria, revolt quickly spread to these northern cities and precipitated civil war. The war in turn created millions more refugees, who spread to Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, and then to Europe, where a sudden surge of over one million war refugees sought asylum in 2015.

Observations From The Roundtable

Observations from the Roundtable: Emerging Technology and the U.S. Economy

via Governance In An Emerging New World
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Classical approaches can work. That was the message delivered by discussants at our roundtable on the interaction of emerging technologies with the domestic economy. Education, migration, and responsive regulatory policy were all offered as examples of policies that have worked before to help the United States economy take advantage of rapid changes while mitigating their disruptions. It's tempting to frame rapid technological change as an unprecedented challenge for this country, and one requiring unprecedented forms of governance. Similar arguments were, for example, to try to deal with the unexpected inflation of the early 1970s through "new methods" such as draconian economy-wide wage and price controls. Those failed spectacularly and sent the U.S. economy on a decade-long spiral. Our discussants therefore warned against throwing out orthodox policies for untried alternatives, as the result of doing so would be to replace one set of uncertainties—the complexity of the coming change itself—with two.

Observations From The Roundtable

Observations from the Roundtable: Stability in an Emerging World

via Governance In An Emerging New World
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The world’s population is being reordered. From 2020 to 2060, the working-age populations (15-64) of Europe, South Korea, and Japan are projected to shrink by over 140 million people, and, come 2060, Germany and Japan will have more people over the age of 70 than under the age of 20. The U.S. working-age population will also likely grow in that period, but as the U.S. Census Bureau has observed, the growth will be driven primarily by immigration. At the same time, sub-Saharan Africa’s working-age population will increase by nearly one billion. That region plus nine countries—India, Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Guatemala, and Honduras—will account for the vast majority of the world’s new working-age men and women, over 1.4 billion in total.

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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