multilateralism   29

Donald Trump has ushered in a new global order. Here’s how Canada can protect itself -
JANUARY 21, 2019 |The Globe and Mail | COLIN ROBERTSON.
Colin Robertson is vice-president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.
building_codes  bullying  Canada  climate_change  maritime  multilateralism  new_normal  post-WWII  rogue_actors  rules-based  Thucydides  Donald_Trump  international_system  self-protection 
8 weeks ago by jerryking
Trump’s beggar-thy-neighbour trade strategy is anything but foolish - The Globe and Mail

The U.S. administration’s tariffs are actually perfectly rational – from Mr. Trump’s perspective (i.e. his worldview).

The extent of the punitive tariffs Mr. Trump is imposing is unprecedented. They threaten to bring down the system of global trade – Bretton Woods' meticulously calibrated, multilateral system of rules has 164 member-states and comprises tens of thousands of products--by design.

World Trade Organization (WTO) tribunals – which are about to grind to a halt because the United States has not named a judge to the seven-member Appellate Body – were meant to ensure that everyone sticks to the rules....
The President is now intent on destroying co-operation within the WTO by driving wedges between the world’s trading blocs and countries. The United States would be in a much stronger position if it could negotiate with each trade bloc directly. ....Mr. Trump’s recent musings about replacing NAFTA with two separate trade agreements with Canada and Mexico are further evidence to that effect. Canada risks selling out the WTO by making concessions to the United States.

China, too, is negotiating bilaterally with the United States and is already caving to American demands. In the end, the large trading blocs are likely to divide up the world among themselves; countries with little leverage, such as Canada, could become collateral damage......Where once the goal of the United States was to rise to global hegemony, today its goal is to maintain that dominance.

So, that same rules-based system is now causing competitors.... Under these conditions, it is no longer in the interest of the United States to co-operate; as the global political and economic hegemon, the United States can win a strategic competition for wealth and power. Everyone ends up poorer, but the United States remains top dog because everyone else grows poorer faster than the United States. Beggar thy neighbour. Literally.

But being frank will not sit well with Canadians; painting Mr. Trump as a crazy buffoon is more politically expedient. So, along with the EU and China, Canada falls right into Mr. Trump’s bilateral trade-negotiation trap. R.I.P. WTO. Score: Trump 1; Canada 0.
beggar-thy-neighbour  bilateral  Canada  Canadian  China  collateral_damage  crossborder  Donald_Trump  EU  international_system  international_trade  Justin_Trudeau  middle-powers  multilateralism  negotiations  punitive  rules-based  tariffs  WTO  worldviews  mercantilism  zero-sum  NAFTA  Bretton_Woods 
june 2018 by jerryking
The Enlightenment Project
FEB. 28, 2017 | The New York Times| David Brooks.

Enlightenment thought. The Enlightenment included thinkers like John Locke and Immanuel Kant who argued that people should stop deferring blindly to authority for how to live. Instead, they should think things through from the ground up, respect facts and skeptically re-examine their own assumptions and convictions.

Enlightenment thinkers turned their skeptical ideas into skeptical institutions, notably the U.S. Constitution. America’s founders didn’t trust the people or themselves, so they built a system of rules, providing checks and balances to pit interest against interest.

....Today’s anti-Enlightenment movements don’t think truth is to be found through skeptical inquiry and debate. They think wisdom and virtue are found in the instincts of the plain people, deep in the mystical core of the nation’s or race’s group consciousness.

Today’s anti-Enlightenment movements believe less in calm persuasion and evidence-based inquiry than in purity of will. They try to win debates through blunt force and silencing unacceptable speech.

They don’t see history as a gradual march toward cooperation. They see history as cataclysmic cycles — a zero-sum endeavor marked by conflict. Nations trying to screw other nations, races inherently trying to oppress other races.

These movements are hostile to rules-based systems, multilateral organizations, the messy compromises of democratic politics and what Steve Bannon calls the “administrative state.” They prefer the direct rule by one strongman who is the embodiment of the will of the people.

When Trump calls the media the “enemy of the people” he is going after the system of conversation, debate and inquiry that is the foundation for the entire Enlightenment project....
David_Brooks  grand_strategy  history  Yale  John_Locke  Immanuel_Kant  rules-based  Abraham_Lincoln  multilateralism  De_Tocqueville  the_Enlightenment  skepticism  checks_and_balances  Stephen_Bannon  worldviews  zero-sum_games  strongman  constitutions 
march 2017 by jerryking
The Obama Doctrine - The U.S. president talks through his hardest decisions about America’s role in the world
“ the moment Obama decided not to enforce his red line and bomb Syria, he broke with what he calls, derisively, “the Washington playbook.” this was his liberation day.
But he also has come to learn, he told me, that very little is accomplished in international affairs without U.S. leadership.
Obama talked me through this apparent contradiction. “I want a president who has the sense that you can’t fix everything,” Obama said. But on the other hand, “if we don’t set the agenda, it doesn’t happen.”
“One of the reasons I am so focused on taking action multilaterally where our direct interests are not at stake is that multilateralism regulates hubris,” Obama explained.
“We have a history [of American self-righteousness] in Iran, we have history in Indonesia and Central America. So we have to be mindful of our history when we start talking about intervening, and understand the source of other people’s suspicions.”
He is clearly irritated that foreign-policy orthodoxy compels him to treat Saudi Arabia as an ally. And of course he decided early on, in the face of great criticism, that he wanted to reach out to America’s most ardent Middle Eastern foe, Iran.
In Asia, as well as in Latin America and Africa, Obama says, he sees young people yearning for self-improvement, modernity, education, and material wealth.
“I’ve been very explicit in saying that we have more to fear from a weakened, threatened China than a successful, rising China,” Obama said.
Obama announced that no one except the secretary of defense should bring him proposals for military action.

Politics  Management  military  multilateralism  import_lifesnippets  Lifesnippets 
may 2016 by eocas
CHINA’S CYBER-DIPLOMACY — China Media Project — Medium
For one thing, we can say that if the multi-stakeholder approach had been truly and properly implemented in practice, then massive spying programs like that of America’s National Security Agency (NSA), [exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden], would not have happened, because other stake-holders could have monitored such conduct, other national governments and international organisations could have pressured the United States over these programs, corporations could have resisted demands that they be complicit, and civil society groups could have spoken out on the issue.

And what if a “multilateral” system had been in place instead? In that case, NSA spying would probably have been more reckless, because each national government could claim a leading role on questions of domestic internet governance, and civil society groups and ordinary consumers would be given inferior status. Other national governments and international organisations, meanwhile, would have no right to say a thing.
internet  governance  china  multilateralism 
december 2015 by ahmetasabanci
Olivier Geden - Pragmatism in Climate Policy | Project Syndicate - Nov 2015
Re environmental activists finally openly recognizing top-down binding negotiations have been and will continue to be guaranteed to fail
Pocket  international_political_economy  international_organizations  multilateralism  UN  diplomacy-environment  climate  energy  environment  grassroots  from pocket
november 2015 by dunnettreader
Jan Wouter - Investment Treaties: A Renewed Plea for Multilateralism | OECD Insights - Sept 2015
Jan Wouters, Professor of International Law, Director of the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, University of Leuven -- We are living in interesting times for investment treaties, whether bilateral treaties or investment chapters in free trade agreements. Never before have they aroused such an interest from parliaments. People and politicians alike are concerned about their impact on international and domestic affairs. Their scope is expanding dramatically: just think of mega deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the rise of intra-regional investment agreements. Debates on investment agreements have intensified recently within the EU because of the European Commission’s newly-acquired exclusive powers in this arena.
trade-agreements  ISDS  capital_flows  emerging_markets  FDI  OECD  multilateralism  Pocket  arbitration  global_governance  G-20  investment-bilateral_treaties  from pocket
september 2015 by dunnettreader
Jeffrey A. Bader - Changing China policy: Are we in search of enemies? | Brookings Institution
East Asia has avoided major military conflicts since the 1970s. After the United States fought three wars in the preceding four decades originating in East Asia, with a quarter of a million lost American lives, this is no small achievement. It is owing to the maturity and good sense of most of the states of the region, their emphasis on economic growth over settling scores, and the American alliances and security presence that have deterred military action and provided comfort to most peoples and states. But above all else, it is due to the reconciliation of the Asia-Pacific’s major powers, the United States, and China, initiated by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger and nurtured by every American administration and Chinese leadership since. In the inaugural Brookings China Strategy Paper, Jeff Bader evaluates the recent rhetoric towards China, and argues that the United States and China should work out their differences in a way that promotes continued economic dynamism and lowers tensions in the region. Jeffrey Bader is the John C. Whitehead Senior Fellow in International Diplomacy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. From 2009 until 2011, Bader was special assistant to the president of the United States for national security affairs at the National Security Council. In that capacity, he was the principal advisor to President Obama on Asia. Bader served from 2005 to 2009 as the director of the China Initiative and subsequently as the first director of the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution. His latest book, "Obama and China’s Rise: An Insider’s Account of America’s Asia Strategy," was published by Brookings Institution Press in March 2012. -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  US_foreign_policy  China-international_relations  maritime_issues  East_Asia  US-China  diplomacy  US_military  US_politics  international_political_economy  global_economy  global_system  global_governance  NPT  IR  multilateralism  hegemony  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
OECD Reinvents Itself | Foreign Affairs
For the past decade, a quiet experiment has been underway at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Paris-based body composed of the United States and other advanced market democracies. Although it is often dismissed as sleepy and technocratic, the OECD has found a way to remain relevant in a quickly shifting global landscape, and other multilateral organizations would be wise to pay attention. 
oecd  multilateralism  politics 
march 2015 by sbostwic
Hilde Eliassen Restad - Old Paradigms in History Die Hard in Political Science: US Foreign Policy and American Exceptionalism | JSTOR: American Political Thought, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Spring 2012), pp. 53-76
Most writers agree that domestic ideas about what kind of country the United States is affect its foreign policy. In the United States, this predominant idea is American exceptionalism, which in turn is used to explain US foreign policy traditions over time. This article argues that the predominant definition of American exceptionalism, and the way it is used to explain US foreign policy in political science, relies on outdated scholarship within history. It betrays a largely superficial understanding of American exceptionalism as an American identity. This article aims to clarify the definition of American exceptionalism, arguing that it should be retained as a definition of American identity. Furthermore, it couples American exceptionalism and US foreign policy differently than what is found in most political science literature. It concludes that American exceptionalism is a useful tool in understanding US foreign policy, if properly defined. -- extensive bibliography of both historians and IR theorists -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  17thC  18thC  19thC  20thC  21stC  political_culture  US_history  American_Revolution  American_colonies  Puritans  American_exceptionalism  national_ID  nation-state  US_foreign_policy  IR_theory  IR-domestic_politics  IR  Founders  Manifest_Destiny  multilateralism  international_law  Jefferson  imperialism  republicanism  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2015 by dunnettreader
Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order - WSJ
Aug. 29, 2014 | WSJ | By HENRY KISSINGER.

To play a responsible role in the evolution of a 21st-century world order, the U.S. must be prepared to answer a number of questions for itself: What do we seek to prevent, no matter how it happens, and if necessary alone? What do we seek to achieve, even if not supported by any multilateral effort? What do we seek to achieve, or prevent, only if supported by an alliance? What should we not engage in, even if urged on by a multilateral group or an alliance? What is the nature of the values that we seek to advance? And how much does the application of these values depend on circumstance?

For the U.S., this will require thinking on two seemingly contradictory levels. The celebration of universal principles needs to be paired with recognition of the reality of other regions' histories, cultures and views of their security. Even as the lessons of challenging decades are examined, the affirmation of America's exceptional nature must be sustained. History offers no respite to countries that set aside their sense of identity in favor of a seemingly less arduous course. But nor does it assure success for the most elevated convictions in the absence of a comprehensive geopolitical strategy.
U.S.foreign_policy  Henry_Kissinger  geopolitics  dual-consciousness  crisis  Kissinger_Associates  strategic_thinking  strategy  questions  21st._century  international_system  grand_strategy  history  national_identity  unilateralism  multilateralism  arduous  APNSA 
august 2014 by jerryking
"A New Multilateralism for the 21st Century: the Richard Dimbleby Lecture" By Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
I have talked tonight about the main pressure points that will dominate the global economy in the years to come—the tension between coming together and drifting apart; and the tension between staying strong and slowing down. I have talked about pressures that would have seemed familiar a century ago, and some that are entirely new.
multilateralism  lagarde  imf  unitednations  trends 
february 2014 by sbostwic
Where Obama Shines -
Published: July 19, 2012

it should be noted that Barack Obama has been a good foreign policy president. He, Vice President Joseph Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the rest of his team have created a style of policy making that is flexible, incremental and well adapted to the specific circumstances of this moment. Following a foreign policy hedgehog, Obama’s been a pretty effective fox. ...Obama has shown a good ability to combine a realist, power-politics mind-set with a warm appreciation of democracy and human rights....Obama has also shown an impressive ability to learn along the way....Obama has managed ambiguity well. ...Obama has also dealt with uncertainty pretty well....Obama has also managed the tension between multilateral and unilateral action...And, partly as a result of his efforts, the world of foreign affairs is relatively uncontentious right now. Foreign policy is not a hot campaign issue.
U.S.foreign_policy  Obama  David_Brooks  unilateralism  multilateralism  foxes  hedgehogs 
july 2012 by jerryking
中新网图文直播-开拓多边外交 共建和谐世界
The latest MFA online chat examines multilateral diplomacy 开拓多边外交 共建和谐世界
MFA  statement  multilateralism  from twitter
january 2012 by fravel

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