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World of Global Dependencies Under Scrutiny

By Kerem Alkin

Daily Sabah, July 31, 2022 

World of global dependencies under scrutiny illustration, July 29, 2022  


World of global dependencies under scrutiny


 JUL 29, 2022 - 12:05 AM GMT+3 Illustration by Shutterstock. RECOMMENDED

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Are the global economy and political system facing a new Cold War? Are we entering a period of multipolar tension this time? I hope not ... It’s observed that such questions are extensively handled in all international platforms, from media platforms to think-tanks. During the first Cold War there was no intense global trade between countries, while countries could survive with domestic natural resources and opportunities as much as possible. It was a time of struggle for development. Therefore, a “dependency debate” between countries was not on the agenda. The mobilization in global trade mainly manifested itself in the 1980s.

Today, on the other hand, we are discussing a possible multipolar new Cold War period in very wide geography, including the Atlantic, Eurasia and the Asia Pacific region. Unlike the previous Cold War era, the new period is discussed under the concept of the “world of global dependencies.” Because there is a very complex economic and trade dependency between the parties to a possible new type of Cold War. Everyone exchanges nearly $20 trillion in energy, raw materials, rare metals and elements, intermediate products and final products. The Russia-Ukraine war has become a development that has triggered and flamed the ongoing discussions and conflicts of opinion regarding this situation.

The world's 45 leading countries, many of them members of either the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the G-20, or both, make an effort to discuss these issues without putting forward an understanding of “us versus others.” However, everyone is also aware that the Russia-Ukraine war has triggered a certain level of polarization. Therefore, a limited vulnerability is observed in the idea of ​​not having an understanding of “us vs. others.” Because some leading countries argue that the management of trade under internationally acceptable standards and established rules is a must, they want all leading economies, without exception, to be a part of global trade management that complies with these rules.

However, it’s now observed among the 45 leading countries that the belief that “one fits all” can no longer prevail in a global trade order – where the desire is to operate under internationally acceptable standards and rules – is coming to the fore. Is a multilateral economic-political order at risk? Or are we drifting into the world of isolated blocks? This is where intense discussions take place. If we are on the brink of a possible new style of Cold War. Experts from the international think-tanks also mention that this process may be a “period of isolated blocs” based on “multilateral power-centers” and “dependence on common interests” instead of a “bilateral and ideology-based” bloc. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that they share their concerns.

However, the ideal political economy model of the 21st century should represent a multilateral model based on democracy, trust in the system and good governance. And the most fundamental point of this model should be global common values. All international platforms are debating if we are facing an impasse or not. Will we be able to strengthen a multilateral model based on free trade and a free system? Or will we be completely blocked? We are at a crossroads. Will all countries be able to move to new globalization together? This will be the most important topic of the upcoming period.


Kerem Alkin is an economist, professor at Istanbul Medipol University. He currently serves as the Turkish Permanent Representative to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

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