ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 28/06/2018

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Project Syndicate – Ricardo Hausmann / Does the West want what technology wants?

  • In a world where technological progress promises large benefits, the capacity to supply “what technology wants” may determine which economies are positioned for success, and which are bound to go the way of the Spanish, Portuguese, or Ottoman Empires. Nowadays, that should worry the West more than it worries China.
  • Technology requires a society that connects to the world, both through trade and openness to talent, in order to exploit the gains from modularization. It also requires a society that is able to develop a shared sense of purpose, one that is deep and powerful enough to direct the government to provide the public goods that new technologies require.
  • Developing these attitudes is not easy. It requires a civic rather than an ethnic sense of nationhood. This is why the stakes in today’s policy debates in the West are not just about values. In a competitive world, societies pay dearly for being unable – or unwilling – to deliver what technology wants.
  • Today’s populist forces may disregard what technology wants and impose their vision on the world. But they will inadvertently leave their societies on a very slow track.

The National Interest – Graham Allison / How JFK would have confronted a rapidly rising China

  • Fifty-five years ago this month, US President John F. Kennedy delivered a the American University one of the most significant speeches of his career, in which he called for “a world safe for diversity”.
  • Rather than demanding that the US bury Soviet-led Communist totalitarianism, JFK stated that the US should now live and let live—in a world of diverse political systems with diametrically opposed values and ideologies.
  • After the Cuban missile crisis, JFK realized that “nuclear powers must avert confrontations that bring an adversary to a choice of either humiliating retreat or nuclear war.”
  • Perhaps this offers a clue for Americans and Chinese today, as we try to cope with a rapidly rising party-driven authoritarian China and a ruling democratic US.

Al-Monitor – Akiva Eldar / How Abbas can tilt Trump’s deal in Palestinians’ favor

  • In an interview on June 24 with the Palestinian Al-Quds newspaper, Jared Kushner (US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and special adviser on the Middle East) explained, “To make a deal, both sides will have to take a leap and meet somewhere between their stated positions.”
  • Referring to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Kushner added, “I am not sure President Abbas has the ability to do that.”
  • Palestinian refusal to address the US plan supposed to be presented soon will free Benjamin Netanyahu of the need to respond to it. The Israeli prime minister will not have to deal with his coalition partners and his Likud party members, whose vocabulary does not include the word “compromise.”
  • The Palestinian leaderships fears, probably rightly so, that Trump’s “ultimate deal” is designed to perpetuate the three-state reality: an expanded Israel, a shrunken West Bank and an isolated Gaza.
  • The way out of this reality is in implementing the principle Abbas laid out: “A single authority, a single law, a single weapon.” As long as the Palestinians fail to set their house in order and refuse to enter the diplomatic arena, the governments of the settlers and of Hamas will keep beating both peoples.

The New Yorker – Adam Entour / Donald Trump’s New World Order

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces. 

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