Fractured World Calls for Cooperation
Across the globe, populist nationalism is increasingly driving political agendas and voter behavior. In addition to fears related to immigration, unemployment and wealth distribution, technology has become a new force that is shaping our societies and facilitating new ways of decision-making in relation to – but also beyond – politics.
With this in mind, the 2018 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos was held under the leading theme "Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World." The meeting focused on two current trends: international cooperation and political isolation, with the former expressing the ambition of a shared future for societies across the globe, and the latter acknowledging the fact that we may be moving away from this ambition.
To discuss these trends in Davos, the Credit Suisse Research Institute invited Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Professor Kenneth Rogoff, Senator Mario Monti, Michael Strobaek, and Robert Parker to a discussion panel on the topic of "Rethinking Politics and New Voter (mis)Behavior." The panel focused on the current spread of social modernization, which is substantially driven by the rise of social media, and which occurs faster than political and economic progress. Notably, the panelists mentioned:
- Strong interplay of politics and technology: During the past decade, several data-driven companies have developed into data monopolies that have significant power over individuals' decisions with regard to all aspects of their lives.
- Integration-related challenges in Europe and beyond: Some of the new political parties, especially, but not only in Europe, are based on values of populist nationalism, partially driven by immigration fears and increasing wealth inequality. However, pro-integration politics is not entirely on the defense, especially with France's President Macron taking the lead in actively seeking further integration.
One of the concluding points made during the panel discussion was that, going forward, a key responsibility of policy-makers and educational institutions will be to prepare future leaders to deal with the growing complexity of issues such as technology and social media. Prior to the panel, the Credit Suisse Research Institute published a report on "The Future of Politics."