Governance In An Emerging New World

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Spring Series, Issue 719

Stability in an Age of Disruption
From the Conveners
From the Conveners

A Letter from the Conveners

via Governance In An Emerging New World
Tuesday, May 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. 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. As working-age populations shrink and pensions and care costs for the elderly rise, it becomes harder for governments to afford other productive investments.

Observations From The Roundtable
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.

Essays
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.

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

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

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.

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Essays

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.

Essays

Europe’s Challenges in an Age of Social Media, Advanced Technologies, and Artificial Intelligence

by William Drozdiakvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, February 4, 2019

Europe faces a bewildering array of challenges, including weak banks, immigration, a growing gap between rich and poor, an East-West divide over democratic values, and of course Brexit. But perhaps the most profound and pervasive source of upheaval in Europe arises from current revolutions in information technology, social media, and artificial intelligence. As French President Emmanuel Macron has warned,1 Europe faces a disruptive onslaught on several fronts from three outside big powers. Their deployment of new technologies in the 21st century could undermine Europe’s future as the world’s most powerful and prosperous economic union.

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.

Essays

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).

Essays

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.

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. 

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About the Program

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.

For more information on the program, click here.

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