The prospect of Joe Biden in the White House is starting to revive hopes of a renewed push for a multilateral world. But such success depends on America’s allies as much as it depends on President-elect Biden.
The fact that the US election has raised such hopes solidifies the reality that the foundations of a globalised business world are political. Yet much of the commentary about globalisation, international trade, and multilateralism is seen in the economics and business pages of newspapers and magazines. Business leaders plead for an accommodation with China, fearful of the short-term financial consequences of a new Cold War.
This misses the bigger picture, that the multilateral system is a political construct that can only survive and be effective in political terms. The economics flow from having a stable political framework, not the other way around.
Families without parental authority are anarchic. A wolf pack that loses its alpha male or female will disintegrate unless someone else takes on the leadership role.
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