‘Economic Security & Statecraft: The Quest for a New Global Economic Equilibrium’
The book explores the multiple interconnected phenomena that aggregate daily occurrences with pervasive trends and could be said to place countries, regions and the world itself at a turning point at the beginning of the 21st Century. These phenomena, coupled with the appearance of unforeseen social, political and economic developments, have made both the reasonable accuracy of predictions and the adoption of corresponding policies problematic. In these circumstances, the traditional wisdom simply will not do. This is a study of new factors contributing to disequilibrium in the global political economy, and how these elements mutually influence each other and what the resultant impediments are to achieving equilibrium. The study posits that the world has entered a new era that follows a world order that has lasted for almost five centuries following the Peace of Westphalia of 1648, where a range of new challenges emerge in a confluence of different aspects of global security, geopolitics and geo-economics.
This study analyzes the evolving identity of global economic security and the various factors that provide it with growing significance for policymakers worldwide. By examining the interactions of these factors and the measures deployed by states to address threats to economic security, it outlines a range of modern developments and behavior, as well as widely used policy measures, that affect the global economy. Through the prism of the divergent influences that impact the world economy today, it sets out specific aspects of policy-making and statecraft that could prove worthwhile areas of focus.
The first part of this study, The Global Economic Disequilibrium, analyzes different aspects of economic security and various threats that the global political economy faces in a world system that has moved beyond the order that has been prevalent since the Peace of Westphalia of 1648. It focuses on 21st century global economic security risks such as the structural imbalances and weaknesses of the current political economy and challenges that the world economic order is facing. It aims to identify the various trends and themes most pertinent to contemporary economic security developments. On that basis, it addresses these topics from the perspective of both the global economy and global political order as well as from the point of view of the various regions of the world.
The second part of the study, Quest for a Global Economic Equilibrium, explores the measures of economic statecraft that states may employ to mitigate threats to themselves, as well as to global economic security. It explores the various areas that require additional focus and the measures to address anticipated threats to economic security and facilitate the achievement of a desirable equilibrium. To achieve a comprehensive understanding of these measures, the study considers alternative scenarios and corresponding policy options for both governments and non-state actors. By recognizing that a new equilibrium will eventually be reached, the study endeavors (at times irreverently) to assess the global political and economic security path to the future: What form will the new equilibrium take? How will we arrive at a new balance, and what turbulence will we go through before equilibrium occurs? And perhaps most importantly, what decisions, for better or worse, will mold the new equilibrium?
On that basis, the study draws conclusions about the directions in which economic statecraft and security will develop. What appears to be a characteristic feature of the post-Westphalian world is the rising importance of the actions that impose the will of a specific actor on the international agenda. The importance of economic statecraft has gradually become equal and, to an extent, supersedes the importance of political and military factors in international relations for state actors. Enhancing the economic underpinnings of geopolitical power has led to the elevation of economic statecraft to a new level, setting the stage for the emergence of geo-economics as a prioritized tool to be wielded by policy-makers. The cause of this prominence of economic statecraft and geo-economics can be attributed, in very simplified terms, to the increasing dominance of economic security concerns in policy-making.