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Lecture Series


25, 27 January, and 1, 3 February 2011
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The participants summarise their talks

  • Brasil. Its role between the emerging markets and the world re-balance
    Javier Santiso

    The world is experiencing a massive re-balance of the wealth of nations. In the decade of 2000-2010, the emerging markets have experimented an increase without precedents that the 2008 global crisis has not stopped.

    In the present decade we are watching an acceleration phenomenon of this transition with growth differentials in favor of the emerging markets, while the OCDE economies are following a more restricted trajectory.

    Not only most of the world's growth is now concentrated in the emerging markets: these are now also intensifying among them the south-south commercial relationships and inversions. In 2009, for the first tome, the principal commercial partner of Brazil, South Africa, or India have ceased to be an OCDE country and now is China.

    The emerging multinationals are now taking the chance to invest in other emerging countries, the same way as in OCDE countries, and the same is true for the sovereign wealth funds of these countries. This massive re-balance of the nations' wealth invites us to re-think our cognitive maps: the world is no longer articulated in Centre (OCDE) and Periphery (Emerging). Even traditional categories of OCDE markets versus emerging markets need to be re-thought. Within the OCDE we find more and more emerging countries (South Korea, Mexico, Chile, Israel, or Poland for example), and within the emerging countries we can now find countries more developed than some of the OCDE.

    Our mental maps and the concepts we are using to read the world need to be urgently reviewed in the light of this transformation. The current European crisis is another episode of the great re-balance of the fluxes and wealth of the world. It is not only a financial and economical crisis, but also a cognitive crisis.

    In the conference, apart from analyzing this new world re-balance, we will emphasize Latin America and Brazil as the main emerging region.

  • Russia, a new feudalism?
    José María Ridao

    The fall of the Soviet Union produced a fragmentation of the political power similar in many aspects to feudalism. The hypertrophied centralism that was required for economical planning and the directing of basically all social realms by the State, caused at the time of the collapse that the different bodies of power fell into private hands. In too many occasions, this process has been interpreted as the rising of the mafia, using an implicit parallelism with some regions of Italy, but it was nevertheless radically different. The Russian "mafias" were not organizations independent of the State who pretended parasitizing it, but were the result of privatizing the powers and resources of the things that had been collective until the end of the Soviet Union. The evolution of Russian policy, particularly the ascension of Putin, follows the same logic as the feudal policy in certain way. Putin has not reconstructed a single power hosted by the State, but has put himself as the supreme referee of fragmented powers, among which he establishes equilibriums to ensure his supremacy.

  • India. The rise of the biggest democracy in the world
    Pablo Bustelo

    India with 1.200 million inhabitants is the largest democratic country in the world. Since 2003 it is starring in a spectacular economic boom, fundamentally based the international supply of services of information technologies (software and related services, call centers, financial and legal analyses, long distance medical diagnoses, etc.) and in the incipient export orientation of its manufacturing industry. This growth has manifested in the increasing political and cultural presence of India in the rest of the world. The country has actively participated in the G20 and BRICs summits, among other international meetings. Also, its societal aspects and cultural industry are becoming more known outside of the country.

    The growth of India is set to continue. It is possible that in the next years their annual rates of economic growth overpasses even the ones of China. In less than fifteen years India could become the third largest economy on the world. It is believed that around 2050 its GDP could be the same as United States.

    In order to consolidate this growth, India has a number of important advantages: a young population, a broad dissemination of the English language, and a democratic political system.

    Nevertheless, India also presents notable drawbacks to be overcome or reduced to reach this consolidation: a still significant rate of poverty (75% of the population has a daily income of less than two dollars), the insufficient creation of employment in the service sector and in most part of the thriving industry, the bad quality of the infrastructures, sectarian violence, a conflicting geographical environment, etc.

    In this conference we will present the outlines of the recent growth of India, as well as their perspectives. We will analyze the advantages and drawbacks of the country in their proposal to go from being a regional power to becoming a global superpower.

  • China. Toward which global supremacy?
    Pablo Bustelo

    Recently, China has become the second major economy in the world, overpassing Japan. The forecasts say that it will become the first one in less than fifteen years, and that around 2050, its GDP will double the one of the United States of America. This spectacular increase, an effect from thirty years of economical reforms with amazing results, has manifested with and economical, political, and cultural presence of China in all corners of the world, from Africa to Latin America, and also in Pacific Asia, Europe and North America.

    This development, fundamentally economical, makes China a different case from the experiences of other emerging powers of the past, like Germany and Japan around the first third of the 20th century. It is also contributing to slowly shape a bipolar world, which will most likely have important consequences in the political scene.

    Nevertheless, many governments and analysts wonder of the Chinese growth will continue during the next decades, considering the great challenges that the country is facing, and if it will continue to be a "pacific development", like until now, or if it will become a political, economic, and military threat for the Western world and Japan.

    This conference will focus, first, on arguing that the economical growth of China will most likely continue, although at a slower rhythm, because the advantages of the country (such as a correct integration within the world economy, the excellent infrastructures, or a very competitive industry) are greater than its disadvantages (like the aging of the population, the deterioration of the environment, or the lack of liberties).

    We will also discuss if the growth of China can be a menace for the Western world. We will evaluate if China has or not the will and capacity to distort the existing international order or to generate serious, economic, or other conflicts. We will address how the "pacific development" of China does not only depende on Beijing, but also on the West and Japan, this is, the confidence these may have in the "pacific development" of China, and their will to leave space for this emerging power in the global centres of decision.

Fundación Juan March
Castelló, 77 – 28006 MADRID – Spain
+34 91 435 42 40 – Fax: +34 91 576 34 20