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.

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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From the Conveners

A Letter from the Conveners

via Governance In An Emerging New World
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

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

China’s Development Challenge

by J. Stapleton Royvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, October 29, 2018

Over the last forty years, China has stunned the world with the brilliant success of its reform and openness policies in modernizing China at a pace never seen before in world history. Forty years after launching these policies, the size of China’s GDP measured in purchasing power parity terms has surpassed that of the United States. Per capita income has skyrocketed but lags behind the OECD countries because of the immense size of China’s population, now numbering roughly 1.4 billion.

Essays

How Chinese Authorities and Individuals Use the Internet

by Maria Repnikovavia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, October 29, 2018

The adoption of the Internet by the Chinese government in the 1990s was part of China’s ambitious economic reform and opening up. Introducing information and communication technology was seen as a pathway toward innovation, attraction of foreign direct investment, and global competitiveness. In the past two decades, China has significantly reaped the benefits of the Internet. It is now at the forefront of digital revolution. China is moving quickly toward a cashless economy and leads the world in digital commerce, accounting for 40 percent of global e-commerce transactions. 

Essays

China’s Rise in Artificial Intelligence: Ingredients and Economic Implications

by Kai-Fu Lee , Matt Sheehan via Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, October 29, 2018

After nearly four decades as the “factory of the world,”China today is stepping into a new role in the global economy: as a hub for innovative applications of artificial intelligence.According to one recent study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, of the $15.7 trillion in global wealth AI is expected to generate by 2030, a full $7 trillion will occur in China alone.

From the Conveners

A Letter from the Conveners

via Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, October 29, 2018

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: China in an Emerging World

via Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, October 29, 2018

Aspirational goal-setting has been a motivating form of governance for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In a 1957 international meeting of communist leaders in Moscow, Nikita Khrushchev proposed a goal that the Soviet Union catch up with U.S. industrial output within 15 years; Mao Zedong countered, in turn, that within the same time frame China would not just catch up with but surpass the United Kingdom. The result was the disastrous Great Leap Forward and its resulting famine.

Essays

AI Titans, Entangled?

by Elsa Kania via Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, October 29, 2018

As China and the United States enter a new era, in which rivalry and confrontation are starting to extend across all dimensions of this bilateral relationship, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a new frontier of strategic competition. Evidently, nations worldwide recognize the strategic significance of AI technologies to the future of economic development and military modernization. As such, it is hardly surprising that the United States and China have prioritized AI, though taking quite different approaches to policy.

Essays

China’s Demographic Prospects to 2040: Opportunities, Constraints, Potential Policy Responses

by Nicholas Eberstadtvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, October 29, 2018

For any serious attempt to assess China’s future outlook, an examination of the country’s population prospects is not only advisable but absolutely indispensable. There are two reasons for this.   

Observations From The Roundtable

Observations from the Roundtable: Russia In An Emerging World

via Governance In An Emerging New World
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Advancing technologies and demographics portend disruption in Russia, as in many other parts of the world, but volatility has been the rule rather than the exception in this historic power. The fall of the Soviet Union left modern Russia in a state of disrepair. Its economy collapsed alongside its government. Its population decreased, and fertility plummeted. To those living in Russia at the time, it was deeply destabilizing.

From the Conveners

Letter From the Conveners: Russia In An Emerging New World

by George P. Shultz, James Timbievia Governance In An Emerging New World
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Dramatic changes are afoot. The future will not be like the past.  Demographic changes and migration are having a profound effect as the workforces of some countries age and shrink, while others expand. The 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 transformations.  We will explore the implications for our democracy, our economy, and our national security, and for other countries.

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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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