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CONTENTS 4 Ariane Jeanjean 6 Faye Lamrani 8 Pietro Risso 9 Charles Houdant 10 Rebekah Seow 12 Philipp Frank 14 Rameen Aslam 17 Jason Park 18 Sila Ceyhan 20

Rebekah Seow 22 Audrea Wang 24 Louis Mouazan 26 Yanis Makhoulf 27 Takayoshi Tokai


32 Gabriel Koiran Portier 34

Ariane Jeanjean

37 Rameen Aslam

38 Gabriel Koiran Portier 41 Philipp Frank

43

45

Faye Lamrani

Jason Park

46 Audrea Wang

47 Pietro Risso

48

Takayoshi Tokai

52 Ece Fisgin


ARIANE JEANJEAN Most European States and most of us Europeans wanted Joseph R. Biden to win the American election — his victory came along with the intuition that the international order would go back to being slightly less chaotic. But was the Trump era really just a brief, shameful (and reversible) phase for American foreign policy, or have the US President and his diplomatic choices stopped being the main determinant of strategic equilibria on the international scene ?

Building Back, or Thinking Over ? assured he would “take immediate steps to renew U.S. democracy and alliances […] and once more have America lead the world”. Indeed, “the international system that the United States so carefully constructed is coming apart at the seams”. He puts this decline in con trast with America’s most glorious times — namely the two World Wars and the fall of national order once again, “with the strength and audacity that took us to victory”. The idea that past American hegemony must return is predominant in Biden’s tribune, and the Trump era is only pictured as a destructive digression, which could be erased through simply rebuilding the previous international order. But should it be simply restored, without being thought over or redesigned? ration envisioned by Biden seems to fail at grasping the obvious mul tilateral evolution of the world order. Thirty years after the end of the Cold War, both worldwide and regional power structures have been transformed dramatically: despite the US remaining the world’s greatest military power, China gained importance one stick to classical International Relations theoretical in terpretation frameworks, two previsions emerge : the return of a bipolar world order between Washington and Beijing, or the replacement of the US by China. But does it really make a lot of sense to set such previ sions in stone so far? Countries, as economically damaged and sick as they

Both scenarios are compatible with the main tenets of “hegemonic liberal

liberalist approach to International Relations: its president, Richard Haass, says In his recent book The World : A Brief Introduction, he states that this cannot correspond es. But the UN seems to be the only legitimate approach to broad international cooperation having proved that the UN’s legitimacy is irreplaceable, at least for now. When denouncing its and more inclusive multilateralism. Again, this approach could favor an inclusive and par ticipative diplomacy, which would respect national governance. It could also prevent Russia

renovation more than it does reconstruction.

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America First ? “America First”’ was one of Trump’s slo gans, and seems yet to shine through the stood not in terms of priority, but in terms of position in the international order. Biden does admit that the most serious issues faced by the USA, from the educa tional system and healthcare inequalities to the failure of the criminal justice sys tem are, indeed, internal. But that does not stop him from wanting the United States to lead a world that “does not run itself”, with “the example of our power but also with the power of our example”. But wouldn’t it and be the priority, at least during the be ginning of Biden’s presidency? If we look at the broader picture, almost half of the American voting population chose Trump at this election — about the same propor Along putting “America First’’, Trump con vinced millions of people to vote for him by swearing to Make America Great Again — meaning, simply, that a lot of things al ready had to be repaired and made great are even more today. Shouldn’t Biden then focus on endemic domestic issues, which threaten the very functioning of America’s democracy? As put by Nicholas Dungan, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council: “Americans have in creasingly recognised and debated their country’s poor rankings against other in dustrialised nations […]. Racism and ra

cial injustice have been shown to be acute problems across US society. Divisiveness and bitter partisanship are acknowledged as gnawing national weaknesses. Hatred has poisoned politics.”. Internal reforms strength in the international order — as far as its leadership is concerned, that re mains to be seen. According to Mr Dungan still, “American foreign policy planners […] must not underestimate how far their country has fallen, and must not overes timate how much its leadership would be welcome.” Alongside Americans, the world watched America’s fragilities come to light, too.

Europe’s Missed Opportunity Most European countries are quite com fortable with their strategic dependence on NATO at the moment — the project of a European independence is weakly carried other Member States from Copenhagen and The Hague all the way to Warsaw. The Union an opportunity for strategic inde pendence, and perhaps for emerging as a contestant in a potential bipolar or unipo lar world order. And yet, the exceptional focus of European media coverage on the American election does show how Eu most importantly on who occupies the solved. This focus seems less revealing, so far, of the importance America has in the

world order, than of Europe’s powerless tegic solution — despite the lessons of the Trump era. The US should probably focus on mending its diplomatic relationships for now, on restoring its reputation and on being seen as a steady and responsible at least long enough for the country to lick its ever so deep domestic wounds. REFERENCES: Marcade, S. (2020) Les Européens souhaitent la victoire de Joe Biden (online) Available at : https://fr.yougov.com/ news/2020/10/08/les-europeens-souhaitent-la-victoire-dejoe-biden/ Biden, J.R. (March/April 2020) Why America Must Lead Again, Rescuing U.S. Foreign Policy After Trump, (online) america-must-lead-again McKinsey Global Institute (2020). James Manyika speaks with Richard Haass about businesses as ‘global entities’ (online). Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/leadership/james-manyika-speaks-with-richardhaass-about-businesses-as-global-entities guin Press CNN. (2016, 2020) Presidential results (online) Available at: https://edition.cnn.com/election/2016/results and https:// edition.cnn.com/election/2020/results/president Dungan, N. (Oct. 2020) What Europe Wants - American reliability within the transatlantic alliance. (online) Issue brief on https://cogitopraxis.com . Available at : https://cogitopraxis. com/issue-briefs/ Marcade, S. (2020) Les Européens souhaitent la victoire de Joe Biden (online) Available at : https://fr.yougov.com/ news/2020/10/08/les-europeens-souhaitent-la-victoire-dejoe-biden/ Biden, J.R. (March/April 2020) Why America Must Lead Again, Rescuing U.S. Foreign Policy After Trump, (online) america-must-lead-again McKinsey Global Institute (2020). James Manyika speaks with Richard Haass about businesses as ‘global entities’ (online). Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/leadership/james-manyika-speaks-with-richardhaass-about-businesses-as-global-entities guin Press

CONSILIUM.EUROPA.AU

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Between a ripping pandemic, an unstable economy and a polarized political stage, Biden will have to face decisive challenges. FAYE LAMRANI

P

will inherit a declining economy, product of Trump’s leadership under a ravaging pan demic. His choice to downplay the disease

Congress to act with a second coronavirus relief stimulus package in order to deliver “immediate relief” for struggling Ameri cans. As he promised during his campaign “I am not going to shut down the economy, I am going to shut down the virus.” America has been divided over crucial matters from

edly called for unity in his public speeches, “I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but unify: who doesn’t see Red states and Blue states, only see the United States.” In order to tackle these pressing issues, Biden scheduled a compact action THE QUARTERLY

plan including pandemic control, economic recovery, racial inequalities reduction, cli mate change mission and more. He plans to commit in a series of political stances that contrast with Trump’s direction, starting with his transparency measures.

Trump is leaving behind him a fragile and bereaved America The world’s largest economy is currently in a recession. Real Gross National Prod since the Great Depression. Even though the American economy is expected to have less damage compared to other Western has resulted in the most rapid shutdown of economic activity that the U.S. […] had ever seen,” said Furman, an economist and pro fessor at Harvard Kennedy School. However, the GDP rebounded in the third

Despite the seemingly positive numbers, the economic growth still undergoes a slow

gle: Biden will have to confront the winter wave of the virus qualifying it as the “very dark winter.” His action plan for this eco nomic lifting mission is to ensure a second round of stimulus checks, debt forgiveness for student loans, helping more small busi nesses, and additional unemployment ben

Regarding the management of the pandem ic, Trump’s administration made it hard er for his successor to take over. Trump is leaving behind him a fragile and bereaved America. The numbers are still alarming


the virus is spreading at an uncontrollable rate making America’s loss even more dev astating. Biden, contrary to his predecessor, vowed in his many addresses that he will be trol the spread of the virus. also determined in reinforcing the adoption of masks in public spaces especially during rectly stated the importance of handling nomic purposes: “we need our workers to be back on the job by getting the virus under control.” tive vaccine, the consequences of the coro navirus burdens particularly the poorest. Until then, Biden’s team will have to prepare the organization of an unmatched mass vaccination campaign. The future tenant of the White House wants to come up with a second wave of coronavi rus relief packages to stimulate the Amer ican economy. An economy strongly built American economic activity. In these times of crisis, these households have been resil ient in their spending customs, hence the a result, the Congress passed in March the

Americans. Assuming the Congress can agree on this new round of stimulus package, it could population. Yet, there is an impossibili ty between Democrats and Republicans in agreeing on the worth of a second round

republicans took over the Senate. This past situation makes Biden a very experienced and suited politician, knowing how to be have. In the event where democrat actions are blocked by the disapproval stamp of Mc Connell’s, he can invoke his Executive Order as a means to implement federal directives This is an additional example, added to the “stolen election” Republican narrative and the rough transition due to Trump’s reluc tance; showing the polarized political stage dividing the Reds and the Blues. All of these challenges are crucial in the idential reelection. Incumbent American

the importance of Biden’s taking up the task of rebuilding a stronger economy and controlling the pandemic in the outlook of the next election. When it comes to inter national trade, Biden will opt for a classic been lacking from Trump’s presidential the protectionist political approach resur faces regardless of the American president. Because of times of global pandemic, we must not expect big results emerging from international trade. For the majority of Americans, it is reassur ing to have an experienced caring leader to take the reins of the nation to navigate these turbulent times.

REFERENCES: Ben Chu, “What would a Biden presidency mean for the US

was not approved by the republican party, proposing in turn the much smaller sum of The impact a president can have on the economy is tightly linked to the ability of enacting legislation. Biden acknowledges that his future projects “depend on the co operation [he] can or cannot get from the United States Congress.” In that sense, the have to face, starting January, a complicated decision making and enacting process. Sen

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/ us-election-2020/biden-economy-jobs-gdp-spendingJim tankersley and Alan Rappeport, “Biden Calls for StimYork Times, 21/12/2020 https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/16/business/economy/ biden-speech-stimulus-economy.html 16/11/2020 https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/11/16/ biden-economy-speech-analysis/ Biden Harris Website https://joebiden.com/the-biden-emergency-action-planto-save-the-economy/ “Chart Book: Tracking the Post-Great Recession Economy,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

next schemes. this polarized dynamic: he already has a his tory of sealing deals with McConnell. A sim ilar situation happened during the last two years of Obama’s administration, where the

SCOTT OLSON/GETTY

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PIETRO RISSO

B

tory over Donald J. Trump was due partly to its ability to swing the re ligious vote. Among the several reli gious denominations on the US territory the vote of protestant evangelicals was conse Generally the main religious denomination of the US is Christianism, which is professed

Catholics represent the second religious

In the past four decades, since Ronald Rea elections, GOP presidential candidates have gelical Protestants, and more in particular the support of white Evangelicals was pivotal religious group, while Clinton counted on a NORC survey showed that white evangelical protestants remained one of mister Trump’s main coalitions group, tending to be slightly older than other demographics, of slightly lower socioeconomic status and geographi cally located principally in the South. forts weren’t strictly focused on pursuing the Evangelical vote, because of the strong historical support that the GOP had within this demographic. Because of the latter fact, Trump’s campaign advisers didn’t preoccupy when polls in early Autumn showed that their support within this demographic was start ing to lessen. Trump lost only about around

this margin turned out to be essential for the the crucial wins in swing states such as Win sconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia, where Biden’s victory was also largely aided by his ability to gain the support of a relatively large number of Catholics as compared to the margin over Clinton with regards to this de mographic, while his margin over Biden in substantial increment of Catholic backing to THE QUARTERLY

Biden’s campaign helped him to gain the sented an important path to his victory. What could be the reasons, then, for such a favorable shift in the religious vote for elections as a moderate, distanc ing himself from more radical Democrats, hence rendering him more appealing to strongly religious voters. Mr. Biden orga nized his campaign rhetoric in order to directly seek the support of Chris tian groups. His slogan “restoring the soul of America”, is a direct ref erence to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference motto of “Redeeming the Soul of America”. Secondly, Biden’s campaign, which instituted a faith engagement com mittee, sought proactively to con cretely captivate the attention of Christian voters by, for example, running ads on Christian radios, the party’s virtual convention in July, hosting weekly devotionals, cultivated prayer groups and built

Thirdly, Biden was able to gain the largest group of clergy to endorse a Democratic presidential nomi nee in modern history. More than within which Jerushah Duford, Susan Johnson Cook, Miche al Kinnamon and Gene Robinson, publicly backed Joe Biden, amid signs that Evangel icals voters were turning away from Trump. gelicals for Biden sprung up in support of the Democratic candidate, despite their dis agreement on his abortion policies. Biden’s campaign successful moves to secure a larg er chunk of religious voters with respect to hand with a larger and larger disbelief of the latter towards the personal conduct of the at the time president Donald J. Trump. In fact, according to a Pew Research Center publi

evangelical Protestants think the Trump administration has helped cannot, or cannot too well, be de scribed as “morally upstanding”. Furthermore, more than say it is ‘very im portant’ to them to have a presi dent who per sonally lives a moral life. Finally, we can restate the im portance that the religious vote for the Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Furthermore, we can also assert that because of Biden’s campaign strenuous ers through the strategies and actions as reported above and the perceived lack of individu al moral conduct of the former white evangelical Protestant, contributed to Biden’s cam paign success in seizing those votes.

REFERENCES: Religion & Public Life, Pew Research Center. “Religion in America: U.S. Religious Data, Demographics and Statistics.” Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project, gious-landscape-study/. Husser, Jason. “Why Trump Is Reliant on White Evangelicals.” Brookings, Brookings, 6 Apr. 2020, is-reliant-on-white-evangelicals/. Orr, Gabby. “How Biden Swung the Religious Vote.” POLITICO, POLITICO, 11 Nov. 2020, www.politico.com/ news/2020/11/11/how-biden-swung-the-religious-

11 Nov. 2020, www.nytimes.com/2020/11/11/opinion/ biden-evangelical-voters.html.

evangelicals-trump. Religion & Public LIfe, Pew Research Center. “Americans’ Views on Trump, Religion and Politics.” Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project, 17 Dec. 2020, www. feelings-about-his-personal-conduct/.


CHARLES HOUDANT

D

failure of this year should teach the Republican Party several lessons for the program to adopt. Actually, this article will assume that Trump’s defeat results from his unachieved promises that made him so popular four years ago. From this assertion, the GOP should therefore fo

this symbolic move involving besides an un ambitious and vague text would be a loss of time. Rather, in the American strategic com petition with China and still in its economic protectionism advocacy, the GOP could draw attention to the race for rare earths and the need for the US to develop such industries in its territory and thus to break Chinese domi nation over these resources.

ments, especially about the environment. First of all, Republicans should not abandon the promotion of economic protectionism but add to it an inclusive vision of the nation that excludes xenophobic connotations. What led the working class to the GOP was the dis illusion brought by Barack Obama, who got known initially for denouncing the violence of globalization powerfully and, once Presi Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

fronting Hillary “the Hawk” in this election. Although Joe Biden has a less shady record support from the neoconservatives has been conspicuous, from Colin Powell’s endorse the Bush administration. Naturally, Joe Biden has nominated in his transition team several hawks.

Of course Republicans must abandon the xe economic protectionism, and used by Donald

The GOP may uphold a majority in the Sen ate, a majority it should use in a constructive manner: Joe Biden has made some moves towards encouraging economic protection ism, such as his proposal of a reinforced Buy through providing tax credits for investments creating American jobs for example. Republi as well as on the strategy to adopt towards China. No doubt will the Democratic estab lishment’s real, globalist nature come back. At this moment the GOP should expose its the White House by preserving a broad con stituency. Contrary to the blue wave that the polls pre resistance of the Republican Party, who even did better in terms of popular vote in the what this article suggests is not a complete reconstruction of the GOP’s platform, but

All in all, what the GOP should do is to detach e. advocating for a retreat from unfettered, globalized capitalism. Actually, looking at the United Kingdom would be interesting for Re publicans: in the same way that Boris Johnson and Conservative Brexiteers put an end to Thatcherism within the same party, the GOP should accept to make its renouncement to Reaganomics the bedrock of its plat

Democratic Party has not made its aggior namento and does not show a will to make it at all. By calling for an economic protec tion of all Americans, it will contrast with the identity politics omnipresent in the Demo cratic establishment, overlooking Bernie Sanders’ multiracial constituency that could have brought back the working class in the been nominated. Luckily, this promotion of economic pro tectionism goes hand in hand with environ mental concerns. Indeed, it is estimated that due to the production and trade of the goods and services exchanged. Instead of resuming Trump’s denial of climate threat, the Repub licans have here an opportunity to associate the theme of environmental protection. Fur thermore it should not be forgotten that his

actually done more than Democrats in terms of protection of nature. Today, it could adopt a conservationist message with this desire to preserve a common tradition and heritage. One will suggest that the Republicans should

REFERENCES: Albert, Eric. “Comment Boris Johnson enterre le

ical for Republicans, who should promote the disengagement of the US from foreign con

ment-boris-johnson-enterre-le-thatcherisme-au-royaumeBoak, Josh, Seewer, John. “Trump’s Rust Belt revival is fad-

For sure, Trump’s promises have not been accomplished during his presidency. Though he withdrew the US signature from the

Crowley, Michael. “Trump’s Campaign Talk of Troop With-

tained only slight changes. Neither did he

between NAFTA and the USMCA deal that replaces it,” CNN. -

Rust Belt nor did he really disengage Ameri can troops. That’s maybe why he came to lose this year and Republicans should really en gage in these promises.

October 11, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/11/us/ politics/trump-troop-withdrawals-war.html

html Lazare, Sarah. “Biden Is Already Loading His Pentagon TranDecember 12, 2020. https://jacobinmag.com/2020/11/joebiden-transition-team-war-hawks Zenko, Micah. “Hillary the Hawk: A History,” Foreign Policy. July 27, 2020. https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/07/27/hillary-the-hawk-a-history-clinton-2016-military-intervention-libya-iraq-syria/

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REBEKAH SEOW

A

s Biden was declared victor in the

US interest and commitment to ASEAN and

leaders from Southeast Asian na tions congratulated him, with most adding that they looked forward to stron

can anyone forget how Trump withdrew the

Asia has become a geostrategic ground for

Even under the Obama administration, Southeast Asia had been a proxy ground for US and China interactions. For instance, in

To the US, Southeast Asia as a region is sig

vember, Biden introduced his foreign policy team, comprising a generation of foreign cord would reveal Biden’s intentions for the region. Biden’s nomination of Anthony Blinken as Secretary of State speaks volumes. Blinken has a reputation for backing multinational institutions, possibly signaling a shift in US

the Philippines, on the basis of maintaining is attractive as an economic partner. With a largest population in the world and a grow ing economic market. Apart from that, ASE AN’s proximity to China, along with the sea routes that pass gives it geopolitical impor

Trump, the US’ neglect of the region only aggressively, such as through China’s Belt Asian nations signed the Regional Compre alternative to the TPP, strengthening China’s

on Southeast Asia, a region with mixed re sults of democratic leadership[5]. Thus, all eyes are on the US as they observe Biden’s strategy towards China and its im pact on Southeast Asia. Should Southeast Asian nations expect continued US hostility with China and diminished US presence in the region? Alternatively, can they anticipate a stronger US leadership to balance China’s growing prowess?

“The United States has your back and we

ly hostile relationship between the US and China had long worried Southeast Asian countries, as they anticipated the impossible choice of choosing between their long time strategic partner and their largest trading Biden’s victory presents a mixed picture. On the surface, there was hope that the US east Asia, and that it would play a more ac were also those who warned against viewing a Biden administration too optimistically. As outspoken former Singaporean diplomat, Bilahari Kausikan warned, “We will look

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In this matter, the US could have an inter est in Southeast Asia, where historically, democracy has been fragile and illiberal logical rivalry between US and China. Fur thermore, there have also been reports that Jake Sullivan, the incoming National Secu rity Advisor, was contemplating a role of an “Asian Tzar” to manage US relations with US this would suggest a deeper intent to assert US presence in the region. On the other hand, Biden has had a long history with China. While he had been sup portive of US engagement with China in the election campaign, he repeatedly called Xi a “thug”, and had been critical of China’s as Upon election, he made it clear that he had no intention to immediately end the trade

statement by National Security Advisor Rob ert O’Brien was not lost on his audience, as he represented President Trump at an ASE ASEAN summit once again, for the third time. Amidst Trump’s incoherent approach to global politics, it is nonetheless clear that he had deprioritised US involvement in South east Asia.

ed, Blinken espoused the idea of creating a “league of democracies” or “democratic cooperative network” to band US allies to

portunities for cooperation with China, the American public’s increasing mistrust of “America is back. We’re at the head of the ternational diplomacy appears to be one of Biden’s priorities. After all, foreign policy is not unfamiliar to him. He sat on the Senate Foreign Relations Council for decades and

make it hard for Biden to completely re verse US’ hawkish foreign policy towards to become more consistent and stable un der an experienced diplomat like Biden.


REFERENCES: [1] Pizaro Gozali Idrus, “Southeast Asian leaders greet Biden victory,”

[2] Michael Mazza, “An American Strategy for Southeast Asia,” American Entreprise Institute, Aug, 2018, https://www.rsis.edu.sg/wp-content/

Generally, the Biden administration would probably usher in greater engagement with its Southeast Asian allies. US presence in Southeast Asia would help to rebalance vent Chinese dominance. However, the

https://www.usasean.org/why-asean/what-is-asean [5] Refer to reference [2] [6] US-ASEAN Business Council, “Trump slammed for absence from news/2020/11/16/trump-slammed-absence-asean-summit

brookings.edu/research/the-trump-administration-and-the-free-and[8] Bhagyashree Garekar, “US presidential election 2020: How South-

which the pandemic provided a glimpse. China had boasted that its authoritari an governance had enabled it to keep the pandemic under control, a result that US matter, Southeast Asia has followed Chi na’s “model” of strict lockdowns and reg In terms of economic cooperation, the least for awhile. Some US investors might pull out of China and invest in developing

asia-regards-the-two-candidates -

the U.S. has some catching up to do,” CNBC, Jun 12, 2020, https:// www.cnbc.com/2020/06/12/china-is-more-powerful-than-the-us-insoutheast-asia-csis-survey-shows.html [11] Kinling Lo, “Why the RCEP trade deal could strengthen China’s hand in Asia as world waits to see what course US will take in future,” South China Morning Post, Nov 16, 2020, https://www.scmp.com/news/china/ chinas-hand-asia-world [12] Choo Yun Ting, “Asian countries would be very unhappy if they

countries-would-be-very-unhappy-if-they-have-to-choose-betweenus-and-china-pm-lee

com/2020/11/what-would-a-biden-administration-mean-for-southeast-asia/

close economic relationship with China, and open economies, the reduced business

trump-biden-asia-credibility-problem/ [15] Charissa Yong, “‘America is back’: Biden’s picks for Cabinet signal https://www.straitstimes.com/world/united-states/america-is-back-

pandemic has only worsened the economic situation. Additionally, the new administration is likely to continue with Trump’s hardline South China Sea policy, such as the in creased tempo of military exercises with

[16] Klaus W. Larres, “Biden’s long foreign-policy record signals how he’ll reverse Trump, rebuild old alliances and lead the pandemic response,” long-foreign-policy-record-signals-how-hell-reverse-trump-rebuild[17] Alex Fang, Marrian Zhou, Francesca Regalado, “Team Biden says America is back. But is Asia ready to welcome it?” Nikkei Asia, Dec 2, says-America-is-back.-But-is-Asia-ready-to-welcome-it [18] Christina Wilkie, “ Joe Biden names picks for secretary of State, Homeland Security chief, director of national intelligence,” CNBC, Nov top-cabinet-picks-including-secretary-of-state.html

Southeast Asia to monitor closely, since any clash in the South China Sea would destabilise the region, and that is the last thing the region needs. Overall, America’s image in Southeast Asia

story.html [20] William Choong, “US in Southeast Asia: Democracy is (sort of) out, www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/us-southeast-asia-democracy-kinda-out-deterrence [21] Demetri Sevastopulo, “Joe Biden considers appointing a White House tzar for Asia,” Financial Times, Dec 2, 2020, https://www.ft.com/ [22] Bloomberg News, “Biden Gets Muted Reaction in China With bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-11-08/biden-s-long-history-withchina-unlikely-to-mend-trump-era-rift

able to reverse the US’ negative image? Or will US actions only push Southeast Asian nations away from the US and toward greater cooperation with China?

“Xi Jinping congratulates Joe Biden on US election victory,” Financial

sia.com/news/world/us-biden-phase-1-trade-agreement-china-tar-

southeast-asia/

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PHILIPP FRANK

W

hen Donald Trump won the U.S. Presidential election in

President of the United States close coop eration” on the basis of the “values of de mocracy, freedom and respect for the law and the dignity of man, independent of origin, skin colour, religion, gender, sexu al orientation or political views.” After Joe she “sincerely wish[ed] him the best of luck and every success” and was also “look[ing] forward to working with [him]”. The choice of words in these two cases is formal, but hind it, unsurprising to anyone following ent. The German public has overwhelm Presidential election. However, in between all those loud voices on both sides of the Atlantic praising the renaissance of the old, more caution – in this respect, a pragmat relations under President Biden: new guy, new times? This article will analyse this future rela trade & treaties, Energy policy and Foreign and Security policy. President Biden has promised to return the U.S. to a number of international organisations and trea ties, of which the Paris Climate Agreement World Trade Organization probably are, in countries have done well on their climate goals over the last years, however, Svenja Schulze, Germany’s Minister for the Envi ronment, expressed excitement over the U.S.’ anticipated return to the Paris Climate Agreement and possible common future environment policies. Meanwhile, Presi dent Biden appointed former Secretary of State, John Kerry, an experienced diplomat and one of the key ne gotiators of the Paris Climate Agreement, to the U.S. climate envoy, making climate change an Security. Insofar, deepened pol icy alignment on Energy can be anticipated. On the other hand, THE QUARTERLY

there are some issues in need of a common example over the alleged illegal subsidiza tion of Airbus and Boeing, respectively, at the World Trade Organisation or consum er rights and regulation, particularly con cerning U.S. tech companies. Both sides will naturally try to defend their economic interest and national companies, however, it should be noted, that the U.S. is in this case not facing Germany alone, but the whole E.U. In any case, the chances for a

is way less friendly and dovish, as the U.S. is demonstrating rare bipartisanism in the main area of dispute, the construction of the gas pipeline Nord Stream II in the Baltic Sea between Germany and Russia, which the U.S. is vehemently opposing. Under the Trump administration, heavy individual people, as well as east German cities involved in the project. Just last No vember, the U.S. Congress decided to add to its sanction list, severely increasing its pressure, although Germany itself and German plicitly excluded – this measure though, as it was passed just now, would have to be executed by the new Biden adminis tration. Biden himself is ve he

mently opposed to the pipeline. The U.S., regardless of party, sees the pipeline as a threat to German, European, and on a wider scale, its own security, since it would allegedly make Germany more de pendent on Russian gas, reward President Putin economically and might cut Eastern fees. Germany, in contrast to the U.S., is rather divided over the subject. Senior politicians, both from the ruling parties and the opposition, both from more conservative and from leftist parties, have either called for the project’s continuation or cancellation. Its proponents argue that the economy’s ecological transformation cannot be sustained only by renewable energy and that Germany, since it already completely abandoned nuclear and almost completely abandoned coal energy, thus is in need of the gas as a transitional en ergy source. Furthermore, the pipeline is built in one of Germany’s least developed regions, which is why local politicians are particularly concerned about the loss of jobs and missing structural and economic development of their region in the event of the pipeline’s cancellation. Even so, critics see in the pipeline’s cancellation a gesture of reconciliation with the U.S. and a pun ishment of President Putin, whom they consider responsible for the recent poison ing of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny. Thus, both the U.S. and Germany do not expect any rapid improvements in Energy policy disputes with Biden’s inau guration. probably the most dynamic of the three analysed. The question of responsibility and reliance is utmost crucial in this case: Nuclear Deal was very welcomed among German diplomats. On a grander scale, Germany still sees the U.S. as indispensable to its national security, a posi tion which was strongly reaf

France’s President Emmanu el Macron, who would like to see Europe become strategi


cally independent from the U.S. President Trump had very often sharply criticised defence, as agreed upon by NATO mem bers, and announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Germany. Biden is expected to stop the withdrawal, but keep Trump’s position in defence spending, which is a position former U.S. Presidents have also shared. As Ben Hodges, former command er of U.S. Army forces in Europe, put it: the Trump administration, but the pres ties between the U.S. and Germany are very likely to remain in this area, because most parties have either grown more sceptical about military spending in general, or are sceptical about a general, instead of a spe nally are, in the case of Chancellor Merkel’s the ministry of defence for every year of

crisis still only vaguely foreseeable for fu ture budgets, defence spending remains a topic waiting for its solution. The Biden administration will certainly bring a better tone, more trust and reliance as well as clear and honest communica thermore, bilateral cooperation on trade, climate policy and multilateral treaties and organisations can safely be expected. However, strong disparities on Energy and Defence policy remain, with no foreseeable easy outcome. New times have arrived for the U.S. and Germany – they have already brought favourable conditions for a har monious future, what they will bring, re mains to be seen. REFERENCES: Carter, Leah “US election: Germany’s Angela Merkel congratulates Biden on win” Deutsche Welle. Nov 7 2020. https://www.dw.com/en/us-election-germanys-angeEllyatt, Holly “Why Biden is good news for Germany” CNBC. Nov 25 2020. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/25/ why-biden-is-good-news-for-germany.html

drawdown/ Flatley, Daniel and Khrennikova, Dina “US Targets Insurers In Latest Round of Nord Stream 2 Sanctions” Bloomberg. Nov 11 2020. https://www.bloomberg.com/ news/articles/2020-11-11/nord-stream-2-sanctions-tobe-included-in-u-s-defense-bill Giacomo, Carol “Angela Merkel’s Message to Trump” New active/projects/cp/opinion/election-night-2016/angelamerkels-warning-to-trump Kramer, Andrew E. “Pipeline Politics: Why Nord Stream 2 Is

DPA

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RAMEEN ASLAM

T

blue, partisans of Biden and Trump watching avidly with bated breath to gauge who might win one of the most tense elec tions of all time. It seems that day by day, Americans are consumed by their individ ual opinions which lie on opposite ends of view, threatening to consume the pop ulation and to destabilize the democratic roots of America. Political polarization is not a new phe nomenon for the United States. In fact, it Union and Confederate states battled over slavery. But this is the very nature of po initial, single political divisive ideology and entrenching itself deeply and dividing points out that “polarization is both a state and a process.” Broadly, it can be divided into elite polarization between govern ments and parties, and mass polarization between the electors in the general public. In the American case, it is this mass polar ization that has become blatantly apparent So why is it that the US has become so dan gerously polarized? Some might blame Republican and Democrat governments other perspective blames cultural divides between citizens, including race, religion, ethnicity. This has led to the general belief that Republicans are conservative and tra ditionalists, whilst Democrats are far more moderate in terms of religion. It may even

point or another. This is where Americans might be entering the rather danger ous realm of identity politics where there is a tendency to remain enclosed in one’s own social bubbles and view those with contrasting ideas as enemies or being com pletely irrational. Evidently, the economic reasons must not be over the American economy with ple unemployed in May, it is very likely to lead to sharp ideological divisions, which forced voters to choose be tween Biden or Trump’s eco nomic policies to be imple mented. But the growing extent of po litical polarization can also be attributed to mass media outlets and the rising pres ence of voters on social me dia. It should be no surprise that articles, videos and news posts tend to be exceedingly ed, which not only creates a dangerous terrain of “us not them” by demonizing pres idential candidates, but is often used as a means of af sentiments are further forti

debate, which descended into infantile

are aggrieved and even in denial about the Democratic victory, with many claiming

tween the two presidential candidates.

the US. As society becomes more diverse

Polarization is often viewed as being

als and beliefs is bound to crop up at one

Wayne stated, “I didn’t vote for him but he’s my President, and I hope he

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does a good job,” upon the election of John F. Kennedy. Contrastingly, in the wake of

claims of a vote fraud and refusal to back down until votes have been recounted. These are merely examples to illustrate how, over the course of time, a loss of faith


in political institutions is prevailing in the American society. The norm of compro mise is fundamental to a democratic re gime according to Beranard Manin, and is an “indispensable source of stability.” With the onset of polarization, opposing political parties view each other as a threat to American society, thus losing complete

ca to recognize the brewing aggression and contempt amongst US citizens.

worst case scenario, voters begin to lose sight of their moral beliefs and values if it

tioning of a democratic regime. In some ways, polarization increases accountability of presidential candidates by bringing their

nance as polarization in politics weakens legislative processes and often results in gridlock.

crats don’t let Donald Trump’s sexual as sault allegations and racial discrimination slide and this is probably for the best as it holds people in power liable for their actions.

Maybe, however, there is a grey area to be explored in the context of polarization. Perhaps these strong and opposing view points encourage voter turnout and en gagement in politics. At the end of the day,

through the masses and create a perpetual vi cious cycle of opposing opinions and mistrust for others? It is worth pointing out that polarization is rooted in ideologies and beliefs and to modify those is nearly impos sible, especially in the

No matter what Biden plans to do for the United States politically and economically as the next President, one thing is for cer tain. The American population is ideologi cally divided and might be so to an irrepa rable extent in the near future.

Apart from psycholog

elections. Granted, this seems like a small number but it still accounts for millions of people and serves as a reminder to Ameri

The US is not the only country plagued with polarization — Bangladesh, Turkey, India and Poland — are just a few exam ples of countries with opposing political parties. So what does this have in store for the future of the United States? Heltzel and Laurin argue that there are two possible futures for the US. On the one hand, po larization may simply continue to rise in a tions signify the “apex” of political polar ization for the US and the next step would be to modify its electoral system.

as a Citizens Assembly.

to the agreement that violence would be

reduce the high levels of competitions be tween political parties.

Can the United States ever escape the trap of polarization, or will it

er, this does not mean that all hope is lost for the American political system. A few remedies include ensuring con tact between opinion ated citizens — so they may debate and express their political opinions to search for a common ground, like in Ireland

Not to mention, political polarization could lead to scenarios of violence as citizens begin to view other human beings as irra tional and a menace to society. In a study,

nate the American political system. The US electorate might also consider more mod erate candidates with centrist policies. In a more extreme case, Kenya resorted

REFERENCES: DiMaggio, Paul, et al. “Have American’s Social Attitudes Become More Polarized?” American Journal of Sociolo-

“Political Polarization in the American Public.” Pew cal-polarization-in-the-american-public/.

-

“What Are the Solutions to Political Polarization?” Greater Good, greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/ what_are_the_solutions_to_political_polarization. Heltzel, Gordon, and Kristin Laurin. “Polarization in America: Two possible futures.” 2020. Understand the Global Spread of Political Polarization.” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, how-to-understand-global-spread-of-political-polar-

US could seek to shift its voting system from the “winner takes all” ap proach which inevitably leads to the dom ination of just two political parties, and possibly implement a proportional vot ing system as is the case in countries like Austria or the Netherlands. However, one must keep in mind that the US is not likely to change its system due to their revered Constitution, and the attachment of citi ing so would at the very least bring an end to the two extremes that currently domi THE QUARTERLY


JASON PARK

P

of Donald Trump’s trade policy that ushered in a new era of international relations for the United States one where the tide has turned from multi lateral partnership to protectionism. Donald Trump and Joe Biden share little in policy prescriptions, but when it comes to trade, Biden’s campaign statements may be damning for globalists. The frameworks of deglobaliza left the United States in uncharted waters and a frantic scramble for masks and ventilators. With mere weeks re can we expect from Biden’s attempt to revert trade policy? many of America’s tradi tional allies, his corner stone foreign policy pertains to China. The retaliatory im position of trade re strictions began in and has continued to normalize re lations through the Phase I trade November, the United imports

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from China. Biden has vaguely announced his intention agreements is unlikely: the administration is expected to take an “aggressive enforcement” of trade deals against China, proposing global procurement rules that would Biden’s assertive trade agenda is predicted and un Pompeo delivered a series of speeches underscoring Chi na as the preeminent threat to global liberty and democ racy. Pompeo also expressed concern with China’s exten encouraged bold operation and initiative displacing the Xi’s expansionist visions would put “our children’s chil dren [...] at the mercy of the Chinese Communist Party.” Notwithstanding the shades of consistencies with Trump, Biden hopes to revitalize the World Trade Or ize resolutions. Perhaps the greatest divergence in Biden’s trade agenda is restoring relations with its traditional allies to collectively confront the hege monic threats of China. Criticizing Trump’s unilat eral approach to China, Biden hopes to spearhead cohesion, the United States is likely to rely more on tax incentives, subsidies, and government spending chains within the borders of the United States. In es sence, Biden’s trade agenda will pursue the amal gam and coexistence of the following three objectives: stimulating domestic competition among domestic industries thereby easing reliance on imports, dis playing international lead ership by working through institutions and mediums promoting cooperation,


the promotion and endorsement of green technologies insofar as it does not threaten domestic industries. Fi nancial markets have also been reactive to global trade headlines. Trade tensions were synonymous with vola tility in currencies; in contrast, the temporary cessation of trade disputes and the Phase I trade deal between the timents. In the likelihood of Biden successfully imple menting a weaker protectionist trade agenda with the cies such as the Euro, Canadian dollar, and the Mexican ment with greater predictability in the global economy. of the US dollar, considered a relatively safe currency. Biden’s approach to China and its ensuing implications hypothetical situation of Biden’s multilateral approach succeeding does not imply the continual implementa

tell.

REFERENCES: Babones, S. (2020, November 18). Note to Biden: Forget Trade, the Real https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/11/18/biden-china-huawei-technology-manufacturing/ González, A. (2020, November 25). What trade policy priorities for the piie.com/events/what-trade-policy-priorities-biden-administration Hayashi, Y. (2020, November 26). Biden Has Early Chances to Show https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-has-early-chances-to-show-alKitch, N. (2020). Would a Biden administration be softer than Trump on than-trump-on-china from

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/can-biden-pick-

As established earlier, the unlikeliness of Biden to re

f r o m

https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-is-expected-to-review-trumps-trade-tar-

Chinese economy, likely strengthening the renminbi along with other emerging Asian currencies that share a strong association with China. This may portend negatively for the US dollar as individuals currencies. A sea change in trade policy is not expected at least in the short term. Biden has time and again pri oritized the American economy; new trade pacts or agreements are not an urgent priority in light of major in vestments to be made in ed ucation, infrastructure, and manufacturing within the United States. Biden has, however, expressed his willingness to work with allies rather than a bi

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGE THE QUARTERLY


SILA CEYHAN

H

e has to pay a price,” said Joe Biden in an interview with the New York Times, pointing to the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s continuing crackdown on dis sent and free expression. Biden’s harsh statements against Erdogan, whom he called an “autocrat”, and his endorsement of the opposition came as a bombshell to Turkish politicians on the eve of the US elections. Presidential spokesperson Ibra ing the remarks as “based on pure igno rance, arrogance, and hypocrisy”. As the previously strained personal relationship between the two leaders, dating back to

Frustrated by the electoral defeat of his “friend” Donald Trump, Erdogan’s govern ment was the last NATO ally to congratu late Biden on his win. In sharp contrast to Biden, sui generis politician Trump had an and a close personal dialogue with Presi dent Erdogan. Under the Trump admin istration; Turkey escaped from heavy US sanctions after purchasing the Russian to withdraw U.S. troops, and continued to deviate from the West with a growing dem will likely become less favorable to Turkey during the Biden era.

This summer, Eastern Mediterranean witnessed a rapid escalation of tensions between Turkey and Greece. As Turkey announced sending its seismic research vessel Oruç Reis to explore oil and gas THE QUARTERLY

in the waters of the Aegean Sea, the de of sovereignty in the Eastern Mediterra was extended to open sea, Turkey’s mari time claims were already problematic as it Republic of Northern Cyprus –a de facto state recognized only by Turkey. The role has remained weak during the Trump era. Even though the United States has criti cized Turkey’s “illegal” oil drilling and ex ploration, Trump was reluctant to impose sanctions. Yet, it is very likely that Biden will have a more aggressive approach to wards Turkey on this issue than did Trump.

president ever elected to the White House. with directing the Middle East policy, Biden has frequently visited Iraq –where he promised Washington’s full support for the Kurds by saying that “the mountains were not their only friends”. It was also that US forces allied with the Kurdish Peo ISIS. Since Turkey designates YPG as a ter relations soured. This situation was lat er reversed with Trump’s rhetoric against “endless wars” and the consequent with

Biden is a close associate of the Hellen

border region, allowing Turkey to launch a

favor of implementing an arms embargo

However, the Turkish objectives of neutral izing the Kurdish forces and repatriating Syrians are likely to fail as Biden prepares

vasion” of Cyprus but also by his personal relationships with the prominent political

Biden’s special concern for the Kurds hints

assertive geopolitical ambitions in the Eastern Mediterranean, Greek analysts feel certain that the Biden administration will favor Greece over Turkey. However, amid foreign policy challenges such as a rising priot interests against Turkey’s aggression will not be a top priority for Biden. In the distant future, though, Erdogan’s insis tence on “two states for two peoples” in Cyprus and oil exploration in the waters claimed both by Turkey and Greece may lations. Apart from his personal interest in Cyprus, Biden is also very much concerned about the Kurds in the Middle East. He is right

with YPG, demonstrating continuity with the Obama years. As the Turkish media slams Biden as an “enemy of Turkey” for

date Turkey’s entrenched fears of Kurdish autonomy for pragmatic cooperation with Ankara. One alternative might be opting for a US coalition with the Democratic YPG, which would be more acceptable to Turkey. Similarly, Erdogan needs to tame alism and his menacing attitude towards


Despite such possible points of bilateral tension, Turkey has such a great geopoliti cal value that Biden cannot ignore if he is to revitalize the transatlantic alliance. Con trary to Trump’s obsession with China’s Russia as the “biggest threat for America’s security”, later followed by China. He has harshly criticized the Trump administra tion for not taking enough action against Kremlin for the Navalny poisoning and the recent cyberattacks, vowing sanctions and retaliation. Therefore, the US foreign policy will primarily focus on rebuilding the transatlantic alliance through NATO, which was abandoned under the Trump administration, to contain Russian and Chinese aggression. Even though the pres ident Erdogan, it is only with the support of Turkey that Biden can establish a strong transatlantic alliance. Despite its friction with other NATO al lies such as Greece and France over in tervention in Syria, Libya, and Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey is still one of the key powers in the bloc. Previously, Anka ra relations with Washington and NATO were strained by Turkey’s purchase of the der the Countering America’s Adversaries

harsh sanctions. Ankara might also need to make concessions regarding its ambi tions in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East as its manoeuvring power will decrease after a revived transatlantic alli ance.

President Erdogan has gotten used to solv ing its foreign issues by engaging in lead Chancellor Merkel and President Trump. Considering that both leaders will step pressure for pragmatic cooperation with the United States to secure its position as a key power in the Middle East as well as to

ernment rests on a coalition with the Na be less willing to make concessions for the sake of better US relations than President Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party Overall, it seems that a rough start with Washington awaits Ankara because of against authoritarian leaders as a Dem ocrat himself. However, the two coun ground for a strategic alliance based on pragmatism to protect their own interests –even though the weak possibility of a new

REFERENCES:

omy from further damage. Yet, it is not re alistic for Erdogan to expect a US alliance with Turkey that is in a wide democratic

Bekdil, B. (2020, November 10). What Biden’s Victory Means for Turkey. Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. https://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/biden-turkey/

dependent in its foreign policy. Does this situation implicate institutional and policy changes in Turkey? The answer is an abso lute but hollow YES!

https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2020/11/01/why-a-biden-

President Erdogan has already begun

-

Ellis, T. (2020, November 22). Biden and the Greek-American community. Kathimerini English Edition. https://www. biden-and-the-greek-american-community

to establish better ties with Israel and

Erdemir, A., & Kowalski, P. (2020, August 16). Joe Biden Will Be America’s Most Pro-Kurdish President. Foundation For Defense of Democracies. https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2020/08/16/biden-will-be-most-pro-kurdish-president/

ulist discourse. He recently replaced the

eastern Mediterranean is less about gas than vaccuum left

minister Berak Albayrak, who also hap actions” with Russia’s defense and intelli gence sectors. Even though Trump refused to sanction Turkey due to his “bromance” with Erdogan, Biden will surely implement the law. However, considering Biden as a pragmatist who has to cooperate with Tur key in cornering the main adversaries of

further democratic and judicial reforms. Despite such developments, much is yet to change. Ankara is unlikely to abandon nei ther its support for the Palestinian cause nor its maritime ambitions in the Eastern should also be noted that the Turkish gov

Makovsky, A. (2020, December). Problematic prospects for US-Turkish ties in the Biden Era. German Institute for Ineu/fileadmin/contents/products/comments/2020C60_ USTurkishTies.pdf McElroy, D. (2020, November 21). Why Biden must not fall thenationalnews.com/opinion/comment/why-biden-mustnot-fall-for-erdogan-s-promised-reforms-1.1115128

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REBEKAH SEOW “

W

ident. All men and women are

know the thing.” I was in my car listening to the radio when I heard Joe Biden botch the American Declaration of Independence. It seemed to me at that time that America was

With his memory lapses and lack of physi cal vigour, can Biden lead America through what looks to be four tumultuous years? swung from voting for Obama, one of its youngest presidents, to Trump and Biden, two of its oldest. Even throughout the dem ocratic primaries, the most prominent have been the oldest American president

Is there a fundamental contradiction to have America run by old men and women who need to tackle newer, intergenerational problems of climate change, healthcare and racism [3]?

Biden’s Age and Potential Problems There are some immediate questions that come to mind when one thinks of Biden as an elderly president. One of the most dis cussed includes whether Biden would be able to adapt to the rigour that comes with the top job. It is not just about a president’s daily work hours that matter. A recent report showed that Donald Trump’s work day only lasted yond that, however, an American president has to deal with the emotional burden of his scrutiny while setting a legislative agenda THE QUARTERLY

for a divided Congress that may not agree with him[5]. While Biden may have experi der Obama, age may have caught up with him. Biden was accused of not campaigning

age of politicians have been increasing since Yet, a rebuttal is also evident in Gorbachev’s American counterpart. Ronald Reagan was

which his advisors attributed more to pan demic health restrictions than the limita

Despite his age, he is widely regarded to be one of America’s most transformational

Another major concern with this presiden cy is whether Biden would be able to advo cate for what the youth want. During the

defended Western Democracy against Com munism and for having encouraged Global isation. This theory of transformational and transactional leadership was popularised by political scientist James MacGregor Burns in

stance, when asked about climate change, and promised to solve climate change for her, a move she found “patronising”, espe cially since she wanted to be “at the table at Nonetheless, during the presidential elec tions, it was young voters who propelled him to victory. In Michigan, a key swing

Biden would thus be expected to deliver on his promises to youth.

The Relationship between Age and Leadership Capacity At this point, we can only speculate on Biden’s ability to adapt. A glance at oth er leaders and the correlation between achievement and age could shed light on whether age is a determining factor. The most extreme example of old age lead ing to political downfall would be the geron The line of Soviet leaders on their deathbeds was a reason for the Soviet regime’s inabili ty to reform and to compete with the dyna mism of the US. It was only when the much younger Mikhail Gorbachev came to power ress and better relations with the US. While the US leadership is certainly more nimble than that of the Soviet regime, the average

the values and motivation of their people whereas transactional leaders worked with it does not necessarily determine the out come.

Biden: A necessary transition between Trump and the next? What kind of leader did America see in Biden when they elected him to the presi dency? During the Presidential elections, “Settle for Biden”, a grassroots group recog

that they supported Biden cited that a ma From these, Biden does not appear to be a visionary to most people. He does not seem very aspirational. Instead, he is sometimes even labelled “the lesser of two evils”. And yet, perhaps Biden is precisely what America needs. It needs a leader with ex Biden’s old age and experience, to deal with the racism and internal divisions that popularity of older candidates in the prima ries. America needs a transition between the Trump administration with its division and destruction and the leadership of the next more aspirational president. As part


of the establishment for many years, Biden would be the best candidate for this job. the necessary link. Whether his age and experience lends to a transformational or transactional leader ship would depend on his ability to deliver on his promises. Some believe that Biden’s long tenure within the system would al Biden’s proposed spending on green energy would be twenty times that of Obama’s and not have to reach that far. A transactional leader who puts America back to order, with less confusing Tweets from its president,

REFERENCES: [1] John F. Harris, “Joe Biden: An Old Man Trying to Lead a Young Country,” Politico, Aug 20, 2020, https://www.politico.com/news/ oldest president ever — here are the ages of every candidate,” Business down,” Financial Times, Nov 1, 2020, https://www.ft.com/con-

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/05/a-bro[6] Katie Glueck, “Biden’s Caution: Wise Campaign Tactic or Misguidcom/2020/10/28/us/politics/joe-biden-virus.html

biden-sanders.html [8] Emily Brooks, “‘Patronizing’: Climate activist rips Biden for calling her ‘kiddo’ when she pushed him on fossil fuels pledge,” Washington biden-pledges-to-end-fossil-fuel-after-confrontation-with-climate-activist-over-fundraiser gagement (CIRCLE), “Election Week 2020: Young People Increase Turnout, Lead Biden to Victory,” Nov 25, 2020, https://circle.tufts. edu/latest-research/election-week-2020#young-voters-and-youthof-color-powered-biden-victory [10] Timothy Noah, “America, the Gerontocracy,” Politi[11] Nate Silver, Dhrumil Mehta, “Both Republicans And Democrats fivethirtyeight.com/features/both-republicans-and-democratshave-an-age-problem/ [12] Josh Peter, “Joe Biden will become the oldest president in American history, a title previously held by Ronald Reagan,” USA Today, Nov 5, 2020, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/11/05/ oldest-president-joe-biden/6181672002/ reagan-but-he-may-b/

dent?” Politico, Jan 21, 2017, https://www.politico.com/magazine/ story/2017/01/barack-obama-president-legacy-transformation[15] Bass, Bernard M., and Bruce J. Avolio, “Transformational leadership and organizational culture, “Public administration quarterly [16] “We Settled. We Won.” accessed Jan 25, 2021, https://www.settleforbiden.org tions-of-trump-and-biden/

that-s-not-a-bad-thing

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old-men-like-joe-biden-bernie-sanders-can-make-transformativepolitical-leaders/ 16,

2020,

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/10/

WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY IMAGES TOM BRENNER/GETTY IMAGES

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Identity Politics:

AUDREA WANG

F

days of vote counting, victori

addressed a crowd of supporters in Wilmington, vowing to bring together the country. He boldly stated that he would be a president that “seeks not to divide, but to unify; who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only sees the United States.” Albeit predictable, Biden’s promise of solidarity is ambi tious following a grueling year of in visions among Americans. was rife with the clashing of iden tities and their interests, from the Black Lives Matter move ment to the These tensions raise questions over whether iden tity politics is dan gerous for the future As former American president Lyndon

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B. Johnson stated: “You do not take a person who for years has been hob bled by chains and liberate him, bring ing him up to the starting line of a race and then say ‘you’re free to compete’ and justly believe that you have been completely fair. All of our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates; and this is the next and most profound stage of the battle for civil rights.” This speech was one of which, in contrast to a class politics that claims the primary form of exploitation is class inequality, focuses on the oppression of cultural iden tities involving sexuality, gen der, and ethnic ity. Identity pol itics emerged in the United States along with the so cial movements of which politicized social identities that were not previ ously seen as political. Namely, the civil rights movement and the wom

en’s rights movement brought forth a new form of “cultural politics” that

“When groups feel threatened, they retreat into tribalism.” Although identity politics can be jus torical discrimination faced by mi norities, it can also be argued that over time, its supposedly inclusive on the American public. As the rhet oric of universal human rights and conservatives to oppose policies to re dress inequities, social movements in consciousness and group claims. This characterized the Left’s identity poli tury. However, as Amy Chua wrote


in The Guardian, “when groups feel threatened, they retreat into tribal ism. When groups feel mistreated and disrespected, they close ranks and become more insular, more defen them.” Modern identity politics was thus not exclusive to liberals; while the Democrats appealed to the identities of minority voters, a combination of their increasing frustration over a lack of progress and demagogic politicians on the Right has led the Republican party to morph into that of the White identity. Polarization between the two parties reached an apex under the Trump administration, whose platform en couraged political tribalism and us versus them sentiment. Most notably, Trump mobilized his sup porters around the idea of whites as an endangered, discriminat g ro u p . “ T h e Demo cratic p a r t y, ” said Bill Maher, a Trump vo t e r, “made the white work ing man feel like your prob lems aren’t real because you’re ‘mans plaining’ and check your privilege. You know, if your life sucks, your problems are real.” Meanwhile, identity politics has inevitably subdi vided into new group categories, each demanding recognition. This puts on Democrats to “outleft” the last Left administration. The absence of a unifying identity for the American populace has thus led some academics to denounce identi ty politics altogether and argue that it will be the Democrats’ demise. For

instance, Edward Luce from the Fi nancial Times fears that “Mr Biden will be lured into an unwinnable game of tokenism” and predicts that “[Biden] is almost destined to fall out at some point with the progressive wing of the Democratic party.” These concerns come in tandem with Biden’s prom ises of appointing a diverse cabinet; even his choice of Kamala Harris for

funding the police. In light of Georgia’s Senate race, the Democrats will likely control the Senate, the House of Rep resentatives, and the White House for

he only chose her only because she checked so many boxes, being Black, Asian American and female. More over, the fall election shows that a re markably large number of minority voters are cynical of the Democrats, with Trump taking almost a third of the Hispanic and Asian American vote. Nonetheless, others claim that iden tity politics has always been central to American politics, and that merely the groups and coalitions have evolved over time. James Morone, a political sci ence profes sor at Brown University, claims the real danger lies with attempts to suppress rival voters. “From John Adams, who repressed votes from foreigners, to Southern Democrats who feared Black equal ity, to Donald Trump and his groundless blasts about voter fraud, politicians confront rising new major

vote on a bill, will be invoked to ob struct the Democrat agenda.

to vote.” Morone thus argues that what matters is ensuring everyone is heard on Election Day.

tion seems to be attempting a more centrist platform. It has proposed rais and paying farmers to adopt climate change policies, but supports some limits to abortion and is against de

Nonetheless, slim majorities give con servative Democrats like Arizona’s Manchin unprecedented power, and

Despite these obstacles, the spotlight tration; there is no longer an opposi tion to blame for every mistake, and if the Democrats cannot deliver on their promises, the country will once again be vulnerable to populist rhet oric. Moreover, a centrist approach risks being perceived as indecisive and ly criticizing Biden for pandering to the other party. Biden’s inauguration approaches amidst a spiraling health crisis and domestic terrorism. He will have to choose his words carefully if he wishes to unite American citizens.

REFERENCES: Bernstein, Mary. “Identity Politics.” Annual Review of Sociology, 2005. Brick, Cameron, and Sander van der Linden. “How Idencom/article/how-identity-not-issues-explains-the-partisan-divide/. Chapman, Steve. “Column: What’s wrong with Biden’s ber 2020, https://www.chicagotribune.com/columns/ steve-chapman/ct-column-biden-identity-polifamtq-story.html. Chua, Amy. “How America’s identity politics went from https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/mar/01/ how-americas-identity-politics-went-from-inclusion-to-division. Luce, Edward. “Joe Biden should beware liberal identity politics.” Financial Times, 15 December 2020, https:// Morone, James. “Identity politics keeps American socihttps://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/11/02/ identity-politics-american-electoral-tradition/. Sunkara, Bhashkar. “Democrats are poised to control the ian, 11 January 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/ commentisfree/2021/jan/11/democrats-us-senate-control-georgia-no-excuses. Uhrmacher, Kevin, and Andrew Braford. “Where Trump October 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2020/trump-policies-vs-biden-policies/. “US election: Joe Biden vows to ‘unify’ country in victory speech.” BBC News, 8 November 2020, https://www.bbc.

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What will change?

he trade war implemented between the two most powerful economies worldwide is an example of the prev alence of trade protectionism. The Ger

T

plained by the economist Michael Spencer. Historically, the Democrats have been the

List, in his Outlines of American Political

slightly ‘boxed in’ when it comes to China.

upon protectionism with disdain, a national economy in an early stage of industrializa

He pursues by advocating that there will be a lot of people in the Democratic Party, in cluding the popular Senator Sanders, that will be philosophically opposed to the idea

as an investment in a nation’s future pro ductivity. This advice had probably been taken too seriously by the real estate mag

in policies that would protect domestic in dustries against foreign competitors by or other restrictions or handicaps placed on the imports of foreign competitors. Trump Chinese products before announcing plans Chinese goods. Needless to say that he set up similar measures over aircraft subsi dies for European rival Airbus challenging the world’s economies including the United States themselves, many issues are at stake. duced key members of his economic team at an event in Wilmington, Delaware. What will it mean for the United States’ global trade relations with Europe ? With China ? What will change with global institutions pro Donald Trump decried so much ? Trade tensions with China will remain. “The United States does not need to get tough with China” Joe Biden wrote in a For Lead Again: Rescuing U.S. Foreign Policy After Trump’. But here is the paradox as ex THE QUARTERLY

and moderate Democrats have put for workers by protecting industries. Accord ing to Michael Spencer, Joe Biden will not ly to be reluctant to implement new ones. work with China on global issues such as climate change or health policy. Finally, according to the chief economist, Biden will try to respond to the ‘China challenge’ through domestic industrial policies in the U.S. which require a Senate going along with this. Hence, Michael Spencer expects Joe Biden to counter China by producing a U.S. alternative and not just pushing back on China as Trump used to. To put it simply, it is “unclear how a Biden administration will in both countries after China responded CNBC journalist Evelyn Cheng even though analysts predict Joe Biden to provide cohe siveness in the U.S. to resist the Communist On such, Joe Biden declared: “The most ef fective way to meet that challenge is to build a united front of U.S. allies and partners to confront China’s abusive behaviors and human rights violations, even as we seek to cooperate with Beijing on issues where our interests converge, such as climate change, nonproliferation, and global health security.” Notwithstanding, ‘more stable’ ties and Biden’s sense of holding a dialogue might contribute to soothe diplomatic and

Thus, political discrepancies with a Repub fragile bilateral ties between the two largest economies of the world. Can Europe breathe ? Another Trump mandate would have meant the fall of the ‘transatlantic relationship, the anchor of European prosperity and stability since World War II’ declares Politico before proudly saying that ‘the transatlantic tone will shift from one of hostility to one of mu tual respect’. Trumpism has long been synonymous with

However, as explained earlier, talks with Europe might remain stalled as regards trade arrangements ‘especially considering hand, Europe has looked for implementing a digital tax on tech giants that are ‘the real winners’ of the coronavirus crisis according to Paolo Gentiloni, European Commission er for Economics and Taxation. Needless to mention the lingering dispute over sub sidies for Airbus and Boeing between Eu rope and the U.S Hence, experts expect to Transatlantic Trade and Investment Part Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement

Hence, the contribution of the U.S. to glob al growth would depend on the content of Biden’s plan in matters of taxes, regu


lation and other constraints ‘would harm business’ and hamper growth, Berenberg planned to spend money on infrastructure which is likely to boost the economy and experts and analysts will have to follow

mained faithful to unilateralism while dis regarding international organizations. This might be strange since ideologically the Republican Party is not hostile to these ac tors of the international game and to their existence. On the other hand, it refuses to participate in them in accordance with the

months following the election, which will

Simply, Joe Biden gives hope to many Eu ropean leaders. However, old trade squab bles with Europe are likely to remain still.

“We cannot accept ei ther a politically unipolar world, nor a culturally uniform world, nor the unilateralism of a single hyperpower.” Hubert Védrine, June 2001

to turn away from unilateralism to make multilateralism prosper. It is worth recall According to James Scott, a professor of Po litical Science at the Texas Christian Uni versity, “multilateralism is a process of or ganizing relations between groups of three or more states.”. He pursues by advocating that “beyond that basic quantitative aspect, multilateralism is generally considered to comprise certain qualitative elements or principles that shape the character of the arrangement or institution. Those princi ples are an indivisibility of interests among procity, and a system of dispute settlement intended to enforce a particular mode of behavior”. Hence, the organizations most strongly embodying the principle of multilateralism importantly in trade with the World Trade vise and liberalize world trade, the WTO is the successor to the General Agreement on

Rapidly, Trump aggressively stood out against the World Trade Organization threatening it: “If they don’t shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO”. Shortly af ter, he bluntly declared: “I don’t know why we’re in it. The WTO is designed by the rest of the world to screw the United States.” In other words, the former president re

international organizations like the WTO which ensures a needy stability in times of turmoil. However, not to sound biased, Joe Biden recently declared wanting “Ameri ca to lead again”. He might opt for a ‘selec tive multilateralism’ according to which the global agenda will be respected as long as it does not encroach on the United States’ private interests too much. That is to say : a

We have seen that Joe Biden is likely to pur sue Trump’s war against China more stra tegically and smartly. He provides hope for European leaders and shows willingness to renew strong ties with Europe to cope with China’s rise to prominence. Hence, opti mism should prevail, as Nobel Prize winner “instinctive view on trade, that it should be good for everyone”.

REFERENCES: BBC News. ‘Biden vows to set ‘rules of the road’ on trade’, November 17th 2020 Hayashi, Yuka. ‘U.S. Exports, Imports Rise for Fifth Month

Smart, Tim. ‘A Focus on Workers, Not Wall Street’, Decemh t t p s : / / w w w . u s n e w s . c o m / n e w s / t h e - re p o r t / a r t itize-the-working-class-not-the-ruling-class

Sullivan, Kate. ‘Key lines from the unveiling of Biden’s new economic team’, December 1st, 2020 https://edition.cnn.com/2020/12/01/politics/biden-economic-team-event/index.html dency means for Europe’, November 10th 2020 https://theconversation.com/what-a-biden-presidencyKamall, Syed. ‘What does a Biden victory mean for global https://www.neweurope.eu/article/what-does-a-bidenvictory-mean-for-global-and-transatlantic-trade/ biden-era-what-can-europe-expect-from-americas-newpresident/ he Biden era: What can Europe expect from America’s new President? Pattanaik, Swaha. ‘WTO is early test of Joe Biden’s multihttps://www.reuters.com/article/us-trade-wto-breakingviews-idUKKBN27P1YN Toohey, Lisa. ‘What a Biden presidency means for world trade and allies like Australia’, November 16th, 2020 https://theconversation.com/what-a-biden-presidencyAmaro, Silvia. ‘Tech giants are the ‘winners’ of the coronabig-tech-needs-to-pay-more-tax-eus-gentiloni-says.html

AMPERSAND.NET

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YANIS MAKHLOUF

A

s November 3rd draws to an end and the polling booths of the United States closed from sea to shining sea, the world watched another episode of Ameri can politics unravel. In the battle for the White House, Joe Biden prevailed. This victory is the result of an exceptional mobilization of voters, with a turnout set to be the highest in a centu ry. However, more than the victory of Joe Biden, this election is the defeat of Donald Trump. This apparent Democratic victory has for the party a bitter taste, perhaps even a taste of de feat. The White House was taken back, but at

Furthermore, this election has shown some worrying trends for the Democratic par ty. Most notably, non negligible losses among minority voters nationwide, showing that the repetitive rhetoric of the Democratic Party on Donald Trump’s alleged racism didn’t relate ed by the issue. The expansion of Trump’s mar gin of victory in Florida, his relatively solid hold over Texas, his margins of victory in Iowa and .

pensive in US history. Democrats largely out spent their Republican counterparts for this election cycle up and down ballot. According to the data collected by the Centre for Respon

administration but the pressure over the most vulnerable members of Congress generally has a tendency to tilt their voting attitudes toward the other side, which may in the case of the Democratic Party further the divide between centrists and progressives. One can reasonably assume that a Senator like Joe Manchin could prove to be a fairly unreliable vote for Demo crats in the realization of their agenda.

among minority voters will have to deal with the legacy of Trumpism while Democrats have to realise that electorates that were once thought to be automatically on their side can shift and have shifted throughout the last four years.

This situation is highlighted even more by the models and polls aggregators, that projected a much larger Biden victory and the hope among

REFERENCES:

ceptional blue wave. According to realclear politics national polls average on Election

‘How independents, Latino voters and Catholics shifted from 2016 and swung states for Biden and Trump’, Washington Post, [online], Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/ elections/exit-polls-changes-2016-2020/?itid=sf_ elections_election-analysis

the results of the election he’s margin is clos

2020 Election Forecast, Fivethirtyeight, [online], com/2020-election-forecast/

Trump. However, the largest discrepancies seem to have manifested themselves on state polls. Taking realclearpolitics average for margin of victory is about less than one per cent. To summarize the situation, major poll sters made a bigger error at the presidential House results where according to The Econo didn’t reach resulting in a very narrow majority for them and a less comfortable situation for the future administration that needs to keep a tenuous balance between its centrists and progressive wings which could jeopardize the ambitious platform of the party.

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now shifting states like Arizona and Georgia to the left of the political spectrum. This election might well be the beginning of a new era in terms of electoral dynamics and a blueprint for future elections for the upcoming decade.

This understanding that complacency has to be expelled from the mindset of both parties as both are being challenged in regions and ar eas then once perceived as strongholds is key to analyse the stakes, the atmosphere and the structure of American politics to day.

into account along with the fact that due to fund shortages, the Trump campaign had to withdraw ads from several key states and one realizes why the disappointment is so import ant among the Democratic leadership with at duced House majority increasingly divided between its progressive and centrists wings. Of course, control over both houses will be a cru

Still, there are also some positive dynamics for the Democratic Party. This election has shown their ability to drive up turnout and strength en their standing with suburban voters which were key in enabling the transition of states like

President-Forecasting the US 2020 Elections, [online], Available at: https://projects.economist.com/ us-2020-forecast/president Election 2020 General Election: Trump vs. Biden, [online], Available at: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/ epolls/2020/president/us/general_election_

record’, [online], Available at: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/28/2020-election-

ight, [online], trump-score/?ex_cid=irpromo

Avail-


W

hen Joe Biden is sworn in on Janu

United States of America, much of the world may very well let out a deep breath of fresh air. However, in Taipei, Taiwan, Biden’s counterpart, Tsai Ing Wen, may still be waiting tensely, with bated breath, nervous about how it will be regarded by the new ad ministration. The fate of the Republic of China of Taiwan, has long been intertwined with that of the United States’s. Al

TAKAYOSHI TOKAI

century, including during WWII, strong ties between the ROC and the US endured even after its relo cation to the island following the events of the Chinese Civil cial ties were severed following the normal ization of ties between the US and the People’s

insistence on the One China Policy, which states that there is only one China with one legitimate government. Since then, Taiwan the wider international community. However, countries, not least with the US, which is re quired by its Taiwan Relations Act to consider wan issue as a matter of “grave concern.” Today, Taiwan plays a crucial role in the glob as Foxconn playing crucial roles in the sup

However, with the rise of China and the shift policies of the United States with regards to Taiwan has become even mvore important. The Trump presidency was, on the surface, marvelous for the Taiwanese. With his dis regard for diplomatic precedence, President Trump pursued a policy that was remarkably a call from the Taiwanese president congrat something that had been unheard of since

lowed many high level exchanges between the Rejecting his predecessor’s multilateralist approach towards managing the rise of Chi a trade agreement in which Taiwan had des perately sought inclusion. The departure of Washington from these talks deprived Taipei of its typical champion for inclusion in an in ternational partnership. This was a recurring theme during Trump’s presidency; the erst while president’s isolationism and Amer ica’s reduced presence in international ential advocate for Taiwan’s inclusion longer there, something Taipei could However, Trump remained popular in Taiwan for being unprecedent gestures. Joe Biden, a much more measured politician, therefore, was not necessarily the candidate many Taiwanese had hoped for gratulations to Biden in lieu of a call following his electoral victory in part of the Taiwanese can be explained by the increasing pressure the Chinese government has put on Taipei, particularly in the interna tional sphere. Apart from its exclusion from participating with the World Health Organi nese pressure, the number of countries that

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MAKATO LIN/OFFICE OF PRESIDENT

due to China’s chequebook diplomacy. Incursions into Taiwanese airspace and waters have also become more commonplace; Chinese warplanes the day before the US presidential election. On Sep spected boundary between Chinese and Taiwanese air space no longer existed. However, Taiwanese leaders ought not to worry too much about the commitment of a Biden administration to the small island. Joe Biden, after all, voted for the Taiwan Re visited following his appointment as chair of the Senate

Although a Biden administration is expected to adopt a much more multilateralist and a much less pugnacious changed. American leaders no longer regard China as a potential partner, but as a rival. No need to look further Biden dismissed the idea of China as “competition for us,” stating that “they’re not bad folks.” A little over half a year later, Biden called Xi a “thug” and his campaign accused Xi’s regime of “genocide” in Xinjiang. Rather than cozying up to China, Biden can be expect ed to pursue a hybrid of the two preceding presidents’ approaches towards China. Although he may treat China as a strategic competitor much like his Republican pre will not be as pugnacious; it has never been his politi such as arms sales, Biden may prefer something that may ultimately be a lot more valuable: with America back as have a superpower championing its cause once again.

REFERENCES: Carr, Emily Carr Young, and Oriana Skylar Mastro. “Biden Will Speak Softer but Act Stronger on Taiwan.” Foreign Policy. Foreign Chong, Ja Ian. “Support for Trump in Hong Kong and Taiwan Is

Hernández, Javier C., and Amy Chang Chien. “After Trump, Biden Faces Pressure to Stand Up to China by Embracing Tai-

“Joe Biden’s China Policy Will Be a Mix of

-

Mulyanto, Randy. “Taiwan Weighs Options after Diplomatic Allies

-

Nov. 2020. Nov. 2020. Van Der Wees, Gerrit. “What a Biden Presidency Means for Tai-

“Why Taiwan Has Become a Problem for WHO.” BBC News. BBC,

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YANIS MAKHLOUF

E

thiopia is once more engulfed in war, destroying the hopes that emerged after Premier Abiy Ahmed received the Nobel

peace in a country divided by ethnic, religious, political lines and more importantly his success Eritrea, opening a new era in the relationship be tween those two countries. At that time, Ethiopia and its Prime Minister seemingly represented a new face for Africa, one of peace and prosperity as the Ethiopian economy though still bearing the scars of past famines, of the socialist regime of Mengistu and more recently of the war with Eritrea

the collapse of Mengistu’s communist dictator by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who emerged vic torious in an internal power struggle and gained the EPRDF into the Prosperity Party, merging all political forces of the coalition except the TPLF. The latter controls the province of Tigray, Ethi opia’s northernmost province and its regional government. Behind this power struggle lies

are already being seen with the thousands of

refugees crossed the border towards Sudan. the crisis seemingly contrasting with his reform ist agenda, is better understood when looking at his military background. This however, along with the potential for violent ethnic confrontations and the PM’s refusal to ac cept the involvement of the international community creates an important uncer and makes any information released by each

only to Nigeria on the continent, Ethi opia seemed promised to a brighter fu ture as one of Africa’s giants. Whether the war in Eritrea will simply be a pa renthesis or a true breaking point can only be known in the future. However, back for Ahmed’s government that was MSN ASSOCIATED PRESS

tions as part of the democratic transi tion process led by the Prime Minister. creating further uncertainty, in a country with a still traumatizing memory of political violence.

massive ethnic massacres and a major humani

The central government recently claimed victory at Mekelle, Tigray’s regional capital. If this information is true, then the TPLF’s retreat to the more mountainous areas of the region might well set up the stage of a prolonged guerrilla warfare theatre that could last for years if not decades. .

Ethiopia’s political landscape. The TPLF has es sentially tried to preserve its grip on state insti tutions and key positions held by Tigrayans who As an Oromo, Ethiopia’s biggest ethnic group

This war also has economic consequences for one of the fastest growing economies in the world. According to the World Bank, the Ethi

and the war in the province of Tigray promise a particularly grim horizon for Ethiopia in the near future. If not dealt with properly this crisis could be a turning point for Ethiopia and make it fall to its old ills. Without political stability, it seems unlikely that Ethiopia will be able to sustain its economic development and attract foreign in vestments. It is also important to look at the role China will take in the near future and how the Chinese government will react to the war. Ethi opia is indeed a key piece in the Chinese strategy on the African chessboard. The war currently opposes the TPLF which was previously the leading force behind the EPRDF

ulation and engaged in a series of reforms that have further increased the feeling of discontent present within the TPLF. Privatisations, release of political prisoners and a very proactive foreign policy culminating in a peace deal with Eritrea, opening of a new page in bilateral relations and a key milestone for Ethiopia that has a strategic interest in Eritrea due to its status as a land locked country with the potential of creating an alternative to Djibouti as a trade route to access maritime international trade. This is a crucial el as the TPLF and Eritrea are known for their mu

launched rockets against the Eritrean capital of Asmara and that Eritrean forces are involved in Eritrea that borders Tigray and the ethnic ten sions boiling in Ethiopia creates the potential for

The question is now open whether the Prime Minister’s response will only be reserved to this wartime situation or will last beyond it, indeed deep uncertainties remain about the organiza tion of the upcoming elections that will be key to determine Ethiopia’s path either towards greater democratic politics or a potential backslide to wards authoritarianism. This war is a setback for Ethiopia whose consequences could go far beyond a temporary economic downturn and a deepening of ethnic divisions and impact the geopolitics of the region. China’s response to the vide an opportunity for the Chinese Communist

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NARIMAN EL-MOFTY / ASSOCIATED PRESS


Party to show the extent of its power projection by deploying the forces located at its Djibou ti base. The US also has a base there and has operations, the Ethiopian question is one the Biden administration will have to deal with. Should it prove capable of leading a successful an early foreign policy success while position ing itself in a strategic region for China.

GABRIEL KOIRAN PORTIER exclusively on a pay-as-you-go basis, which makes it unviable; and countries like Germany (2001 and 2005 reforms) have already shown that a transition to a mixed system that includes capitalization is possible.

Though Ethiopia gained the upper hand in recent years against Egypt notably due to its favourable geographical position uphill of the Nile, a prolonged civil war could tip the scales. Indeed, this war has the potential to become a bargaining chip in the geopolitical confronta tions in the region should the Ethiopian Armed Forces prove unable to reach a decisive victory against the TPLF. Without peace the promise contained in the name of Abiy Ahmed’s party, and this would not only be a setback for the Ethiopian Lion but for the entire Horn of Africa made of ethnic upheaval, war, political insta bility and misery.

L

ast year, the French government pro posed a pensions reform project, an swering an important question on the

Ethiopia Overview, World Bank, [online], Available at: https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/ethiopia/overview Available at:

Throughout the twentieth century, global cap ital yield remained under the growth rate, with

fairness. The rhetoric of equality was invoked to reject the current system of fragmented and

Today, the macroeconomic landscape has mas

al branch. As part of this project, previsions on

portfolios, like state obligations, stakes in large global corporations can be expected to yield

This approach is problematic because it framed

lic trust future pensions. enced exceptional economic growth, allowing many European countries including France to

REFERENCES:

At the time, the social and political context of reconstruction did not allow the question of sustainability to emerge. And although at the time only one pension was publicly supported for every four working contributors, demo graphic considerations began to dawn on pub

that include systemic crashes. The sum of de

in France. Piketty’s equation r>g sums up this trend. Despite the latter’s proposals, no amount of redistribution can alter this fundamental ag gregate fact when it comes to pensions.

al counted on continued increases in national revenue to pay for the engagements that were starting to accumulate.

https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/

‘Ethiopia: What we know about the war in the Tigray region’, Wall Street Journal, [online], Available at: https://www.wsj.com/articles/ethiopia-what-we-know-about-the-war-in-the-tigray-

France had mostly paid for the preceding world war by annihilating the private savings of the creating a class of elderly destitutes.

‘Desert Locust “re-invasion” threatens millions across Horn of Africa’, UN News, [online],Available at: https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/12/1080202

Indeed, the yield of a capitalization system is tem too has an implicit yield. It is equal to the growth rate of the general economy, when the

It had to be mandatory in order to avoid repro ducing the predictable failures of older volun plement de retraite de l’Education nationale et

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can be expected to yield very low if not negative results. The increasing worry at the treatment overall, France’s engagements


Illustration : Jimena Madrigal

towards currently active generations are much too high to be sustainable, and a regime that

ly, however, the much higher yield of capital

better prospects.

mean a much smaller increase, probably inferi

How should the French government act now to

alistic, leveraging public debt can also ease the transition. The current context of low rates for public bonds means that today is the moment to engage in this transition.

a fully capitalized system is not reasonable be cause it would render the government insolv able for currently due pensions. A mixed system is more advisable. Workers would on one side contribute to a pool consisting in an assortment of proposed pension funds, with more or less choice in the types of investment. On the oth er side, they would continue contributing to

Many could fear that the volatility of the capital market would translate into volatile pensions under such a scheme. However, the sheer size of a mandatory pension funds system would allow the government to compensate for low

vantage of diversifying pensions is to mitigate

conversely on years with high yield.

nomic growth or the capital market.

Although these policy proposals exist in the frame of a still public system, capitalization has the advantage of being easily transferable from the public to the private sector and vice versa. This opens possibilities for multiple combina

datory contributions for the transition gener

promises, and create a large enough capital isation fund to pay for the future pensions of

REFERENCES: Seuil). Figure 10.10. Accessible online at http:// ses.ens-lyon.fr/articles/le-capital-au-xxie-sie[2] Conseil d’orientation des retraites (2011, August 5). L’évolution du ratio actifs cotisants / retraités. Accessible online at https://www.fonction-publique.gouv.fr/fonction-publique/carriere-et-par-

Prospects 2021.

well as greater accountability for contributors on the investments made with their income.

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33


Opinion

ARIANE JEANJEAN

D

egrowth economy. Or ‘économie de la décroissance’. I would bet a pout of disgust or a mocking smile just appeared on your face, dear Quarterly reader; please give me

seems to gain a bit more visibility, and neither As the global capitalist system was radically halted, growth stopped being pursued at all costs and governments started putting their and researchers advocate for societies that creasing consumption. Politicians and liberal economists, despite having applied some of spirit, remain dramatically opposed to any the most ludicrous thing they had ever heard. damaged economies, in a world that is getting warmer and more polluted every day, and most importantly within sick and economically hurt populations, what does a slower economy have

forever. And yet, this is barely the yearly reduc

be met by means of an economic slowdown, as decreased reliance on oil and gas production is employment in this sector? As much as it would reduce its environmental im costs and destroy thousands of jobs. activists advocate for a global slow down in all energy production and consumption: energy is actually the solution to global warming as much as it is the heart of the problem. Should only the production of oil and gas be economies on it diminished, every placement than letting our economies go down a rabbit hole — or back down for. Renewable energies are a great solution, but this is about as far as t h e

planes, and way less cars quite obvious that we cannot live like that

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ory goes: those sectors do need to grow instead of conventional ones, but their growth would be


France alone, the renovation and thermic iso thanks to the gains in purchasing power for the households which reduced their energy con

economic crises, so why would an intentional

need for relocalized medicine and food pro

as it turns out, a global slowdown in fossil fuel consumption can be initiated and compensat ed by much more than glass wool under your

But save the cargos and plane transport? An other degrowth pillar is the creation of local, circular economies: the national level is a good start, especially when it comes to the most im portant sectors. Again, only some things are

energy sector, other sectors could experience jobs could be created in the renewable energy reach when it comes to compensating a fall in GDP, employment and revenues, like the one

but rejecting all of it might be too radical and fundamental taken on its own could provide solutions to many burning issues: dissociat ing production from emissions. Aiming for a would do little good to those who most need it — making that production less dependent

and economic losses. How could degrowth credibly help in anything but making every

percussions, no matter what conservatives tell you.

REFERENCES: [1] Global Energy Trends 2020 - Update

growth: in the end, a helpful use of this the ory would start by slowing down the most polluting sectors of our economies, only to preserve and boost the growth of those who very much need it. Beyond energy, the production and consumption of goods and services remains as polluting as it is essential. As for that, no degrowth sounds even tolerable before a solid

would not be as easily compensated, should all sectors of our economies slow down. Solutions lie within durable agricul

plan de rénovation des passoires énergetiques en 10 ans : http://renovons.org/IMG/pdf/sce_nario_re_novons_2020_vf.pdf

Jobs in Renewable Energy, IRENA 2020 RENOVONS. (2020)

Scénario Rénovons 2020 -

passoires énergétiques en 10 ans. (online) Available at : http://renovons.org/IMG/pdf/sce_nario_re_novons_2020_vf.pdf d’une relance verte. (online) Available at: frama.link/

on na

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35


Opinion

RAMEEN ASLAM

W

ith lockdowns, curfews and so cial distancing measures, the last few months have seemed tic scenario out of a science

It eliminates the storage problem as it can be promising vaccine is the collaboration between

like a perpetual, inescapable cycle of deserted roads, weakened economies, and crumbling social morale.

ed as a full dose, and half a dose a month later. However, this vaccine was recently subjected to

But could there be a light at the end of the tun nel? It seems quite promising as companies

lower dose was not intentionally administered

alistic rather than an optimistic outlook. How do vaccines develop over time? What can we For our exploration of vaccines and how they are developed, let us retrace humanity’s steps

the disease was only completely eradicated by

Years of research and testing led to a vaccine mutation of the virus. Chickenpox is caused by the varicella zoster

production and distribution. The developed economies of the United States and Canada for example, have ensured that they will be provid ed with enough doses for the entire population. However, inequitable distribution favouring the developed countries would not eliminate to ensure the vaccine will be available globally

miologist reminds us, “The things that really distinguish one thing from another are not the early promise — it’s how they do over the long run.” This minor setback forces us to slow down and recognize the reality of the situation. Never be fore has a vaccine for such a highly infectious disease been produced in less than a few years. Furthermore, no vaccine exists yet against the coronavirus strains in humans. In February

severity of the virus forced governments and companies to begin clinical trials at a rapid develop such advanced vaccines. But what does this mean for the general public? As of right now, the aforementioned companies can inoculate a limited number of people.

rates to initiate the biggest global vaccination campaign in history Evidently, this is an aston

this purpose. Some people argue that vaccines should be available freely to countries such as India and Africa so this is certainly on the charts as well. There is no doubt then, that there is a global it seems like an optimistic operation present ly. After the death of millions of people across the globe, humanity desperately needs to cling cines.

REFERENCES: cess of trials. A preclinical phase determines dosage, formulations, and may involve testing on animals. Phase I is the key step in injecting healthy volunteers with the vaccine and a ‘con trol’ such as a placebo. Phase II test for toxici ty results and injects more healthy volunteers. Phase III continues to monitor for any side ef fects and is then submitted for approval. Phase vaccine is utilized and marketed. As of Decem

It is worth delving into particularities to com pare these vaccines. The most promising ones trial. However, a drawback of this vaccine is Fahrenheit which might make it inaccessible to areas with a warmer climate or rural areas. The Moderna vaccine is also an mRNA vaccine like

Felter, Claire. “What Is the World Doing to Distribute Council on Foreign Relations, www.cfr.org/backvaccines. -

medical conditions and the elderly. It is esti

cy/.

people to be vaccinated.

et al Stephen Mayhew, et al. “Nature Reviews Drug velopment landscape,

The public debate and distrust regarding the munity demanding more data and statistics, claiming the government is injecting microchip trackers into their bodies, or falsely claiming so getting vaccinated is futile. Though a number of vaccines have been ap

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The Long Read

SPECIAL FOCUS

GABRIEL KOIRAN PORTIER

J

to comment on Mr Biden’s choice of a sec ond term for Mr. Powell or a renewal of the US central bank’s leadership.

The basis of monetary policy as we know it to F.D. Roosevelt started applying Keynesian eco nomics to respond to the crisis that followed

According to most analysts, the Fed’s monetary late August speech are nonetheless unlikely to change as a response to political circumstanc

With the unprecedented slowdown of the econ

tarist concerns regarding expansionist mone tary policies have underlined that the Fed and have coincided with one of the lowest periods remark is legitimate: in a context of slowing growth, one should indeed be weary of an in crease of monetary mass especially when it is

basic tools nore the more advanced methods stimulus, stressing that a central bank cannot on its own bring the economy back on track. Overall, the decisions currently being taken by the board of directors as a response to the cur jectives in the near future relies in part on the case wherein such policy intrications will be crucial in years to come.

sively defaulting on their debt or businesses from shutting down. Buying the US govern ment’s debt wasn’t going to help the real econ omy during an undetermined and uncertain future. Under the leadership of Mr. Powell, the Fed took a try at a new approach in addition to low rates and QE: direct loans to large corporations, support program amounts today to more than

Consumption, production and investment, on the other hand, are constrained by an exoge nous upper bound: the political restrictions on businesses and individuals. The impossibility to engage in economic activity, rather than frilos ity, is the reason that governments are engaged in such ambitious stimulus programs; an ex pansionist monetary policy cannot, therefore, reasonably be expected to restore a normal level of growth and employment. At most, it can attempt to mitigate personal and corpo rate bankruptcies, or help prepare the future through education and vocational training. important excess of liquidity lodge itself?

tic liquidity injection program might come with central banks, cherishes its independence. It is free to pursue the objectives laid out for it by term by the president of the United States, and

The sector of large technological companies presents a few worrying characteristics remi niscent of the situation that led the stock mar The policy of low rates over a long period, in In this year’s third quarter, the total market val ue of Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon rose

Mr. Powell, a moderate Republican, was named private investment, which temporarily found

for bipartisan agreement and the likelihood of a Republican majority in the Senate after the

This nomination also depends on how well Mr. Powell goes along with Mr. Biden’s plans during prudent and steady leadership during the Covid crisis, the chairman will have to adapt to the change in political leadership. Similarly, Mr. Biden’s administration must not neglect the etary policy will undoubtedly pose.

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which took little more than two years to rise by

securitized subprime loans, and of the homes on which themselves were founded, started ris reckless mortgages, eventually bringing down the global economy. crises over the last forty years has to teach us, it is that monetary creation in excess of rea sonably safe investment opportunities in the real economy is dangerous. If excess liquidity doesn’t go towards building useful equipment, generating production and consumption, or in when normal loan opportunities are less prof itable because of low interest rates.

The lack of tangible prospects in terms of in creased dividends leads to believe that this rise is indicative of a bubble. With big tech corpo rations being often denounced for their lack of transparency, the evaluation of their growth prospects and the possibility of tangible tech that count on marketing and communication stunts to boost their market value, a moment of reckoning could come sooner or later, putting


SAMUEL CORUM/GETTY IMAGES

an end to the current technological euphoria However, it must be underlined that these are established corporations with a history of gen erating income and dividends, in contrast to which were merely speculation over com panies which had barely been established. A lower ratio between market value and annual

news for the soundness of the tech market, in comparison to two decades ago.

day’s tech market is much more consolidated than it used to be. This recent rise in stock val ue could genuinely be a signal from the mar

developments such as the expansion of tele work or streaming. Fortunately, if such is the underlying rationale of the current market value expansion, market anticipations will be more able to evolve dynamically, as changes in the real economy modify corporate prospects.

How is Mr. Biden’s policy agenda likely to af fect the systemic risk resulting from the Fed’s expansionist monetary policy? Firstly, the dy namism of technological innovation itself will resorb.

If Mr. Biden decides to take a hard stance on the issue in the following years, this could be age of tech. By enacting heavier regulation, enforcing corporate transparency, controlling splitting up Facebook or Google, Mr. Biden could put an end to investors’ bullish antici

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pations. Furthermore, if Biden is successful in making tech more competitive by reducing anticipated monopolistic windfall, therefore leading to real novelty and increases in total market size, in vestors will be rewarded for their gamble, thus avoiding a bearish panic. The ability of large of innovation on which they founded their cap ital expansion is thus crucial. The impact of economic and labor policy also determine whether the Fed can continue

unemployment statistics, these discouraged masses are ready to take up employment once again as soon as the market tightens. This gives employers an essentially unlimited access to a cheap workforce in the short term. Wages and prices do not have to evolve when the equilibri um on the labor market shifts.

ers through an ambitious stimulus program that will determine whether the Fed’s relaxed monetary policy is in a position to strengthen boost the stock market.

included an increase of pension contributions

the current lower bound for interest rates, and continuing to limit the Fed’s ability to act on this variable.

The three policy domains of innovation and competition, the labor market and retirement savings showcase just a few of the channels by which Mr. Biden’s political majority and Mr. Powell’s independent central bank will inter US economy back on track without causing a

bring rates up again without slowing growth. This, in turn, rests crucially on Mr. Biden’s suc cess in revitalizing the American labor market.

the most important, yet overlooked dimensions of choosing the right monetary policy for an economy, especially in the context of a major contraction.

current sanitary crisis, Mr. Powell therefore Indeed, monetarist theory predicts that the Phillips curve is essentially vertical in the employment but by interest rates. This implies the existence of a neutral rate which does not

Monetary policy is guided by a steady hand with Mr. Powell in charge. But other aspects that the

gets of Mr. Biden’s administration.

seem to be lower than ever: in January, just a few months before the virus arrived in the US, the Fed had been raising rates but had to re

REFERENCES: the Fed could not lower rates much more as

[1] Condon, C. Here’s what a Biden victory means for the

to QE and unconventional loans instead.

Accessible online at https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ markets/stocks/news/heres-what-a-biden-victory-means-

According to some, demographic changes that

announced a new strategy. The Fed’s new sures that the Fed will not simply raise interest

This strategy, however, relies on the premise these two variables are intrinsically linked, and that unemployment must go down when

rate in the economy. Because the world has been getting older and richer over the past investments to save up for their retirement. But such opportunities for productive invest ment are not becoming more plentiful; in to day’s context of lockdowns and uncertainty, they have even been much rarer. This leads to a drop of interest rates for bonds and other safe investments, a tendency which central banks have little choice but to follow.

encloses this relationship is, according to data, room for the Fed to maneuver. Short of clum sy explanations based on eviction by imports

One of them, the persistence of large masses of discouraged workers on the periphery of the American labor market, provides an interest ing explanation. No longer actively looking for jobs and therefore no longer accounted for in

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global, a large share of retirement investments in the US are provided by Americans, who are richer than other retirees across the world, and have to rely on individual precaution or private insurance contrary to their European counter parts, who rarely capitalize in the longterm. Mr. Biden has not subscribed to the idea of a rad ical upheaval of retirement suggested by Mr. Sanders and other members of the “democrat ic socialist” movement inside the Democatic pension system is for the moment out of the question. On the contrary, Mr. Biden’s platform

[2] Timiraos, T. Fed Signals Low Rates Likely to Last Several sible online at https://www.wsj.com/articles/fed-signals-in-

2018. Accessible online at https://www.wsj.com/articles/ -

more could it do ? Brookings Institution, consulted January 10th, 2021. Accessible online at https://www.brookings.edu/

ity Programs and the Balance Sheet. Accessible online at https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/bst_recenttrends.htm accassible online at https://tradingeconomics.com/unit-

zon-third-quarter-earnings

-

January 10th, 2021 Data accessible at https://www.marketwatch.com/investing/index/comp


Opinion

PHILIPP FRANK

O

scar Wilde once famously said: “All great ideas are dangerous.” A time less wisdom, but especially salient in

drastic measures are implemented to end the global public health and economic crisis. Considering the precarious economic envi ronment, it is clear that the decision of Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest petroleum and nat ural gas company, to stick to its plans of paying

clear that one cannot reasonably expect any pe years and a repeated oil price shock. Howev er, with such a reduced net income and a fresh commitment to the promised quarterly divi

REFERENCES: 2020. https://corporate.exxonmobil.com/News/Newsports-results-for-third-quarter-2020 Stevens, Pippa. “Chevron Revenue plummets more -

fore, in order to fund the unearned dividend, ron-announces-third-quarter-2020-results

Selling bonds now is a dilemma for the com pany – not in the short term, certainly. Saudi the least. On the other hand, the world econ omy has been going through transformative times recently, and particularly the Oil & Gas industry. This process appears to be acceler ments around the world increasingly demand better and more concrete action to build an ecologically friendly economy, driven by com panies with economically friendly business sis. BP and Royal Dutch Shell both do not see a future in Oil and have begun to turn to and expand their businesses to renewable energy

parts of the world and the global economy still Gas Industry, Saudi Aramco at its heart, found itself having to cope with the third oil price col most valuable company, reported three con secutive quarterly losses last year, with a net

ans overall did better, with Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Total even making a third quarter net tively, compared to their previous year’s third

and its de facto leader, Crown Prince Moham med Bin Salman, have seen this and launched a massive economic transformation process less dependent on oil in the future, for which Should the company want to survive in the al energy markets, it needs to start transform ing now, invest in technology and diversify to promising, renewable energy sources, be it so lar energy or Hydrogen. Oil will continue to be important for many decades to come – but the race of who will be important after that starts right now. Saudi Aramco will need to answer this question, otherwise it will eventually be presented with an answer it may not like.

-

-

-

27 2020. https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/ news-and-insights/press-releases/third-quarter2020-results.html -

https://www.total.com/sites/g/files/nytnzq111/files/

Billion Bond to Fund Dividend Pledge” Wall Street Journal. Nov 17 2020. https://www.wsj.com/articles/ aramco-raises-8-billion-bond-to-fund-dividendKerr, Simeon and Raval, Anjli “Saudi Aramco to sell billions of dollars in international bonds” Financial Times. Nov 16 2020. https://www.ft.com/content/ Raval, Anjli “Saudi Aramco to pay bumper dividend

Brüggmann, Mathias “Die Saudis brauchen ein neues www.handelsblatt.com/meinung/kommentare/kommentar-die-saudis-brauchen-ein-neues-geschaeftsWitsch, Kathrin “Shell, BP, Total: Das Ende des Ölzeitalters naht” Handelsblatt. Oct 6 2020.

respectively. It must be said in all fairness, that despite this year’s economic environment and events, Saudi Aramco, proved once again that it remains the its western rivals. However, putting these num

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Illustration : Jimena Madrigal

Is data the new gold rush?

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Opinion It has been said that data is the new gold – but it depends who detains it. Data has also been greatly compared to Oil, enhancing an unre solved debate over which one has become more valuable. The spread perception of “Data is the new oil” clearly aroused the minds of The New York Times, The Economist and Wired journal

FAYE LAMRANI

optic networks, compared to the harder pro cess of oil collecting. We enter an era where the economy is shifting to a “data economy.”

Because the quizzes you take on Buzzfeed and the Konbini interviews you watch matter.

Some experts are viewing the best side of the business of Big Data: promoting the revenue

hen browsing on your Internet research, scrolling down your In stagram or even strolling down the street with your phone in your pocket, one would never imagine the amount of data being processed leaving an indelible dig ital trail carefully stocked. Yet, that is how the

egies for companies. For example, the data an

W

Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Face book all became economically heavier than many countries hundreds of billions of dollars.

ing data to help their clients “gain insights and solve problems.” It allows companies to spend money where it will be best spent. It helps to better understand the customer and produce smarter products and services. Amazon uses it with its recommendation over future pur the collection of data can predict patterns, it is perceived as useful in a myriad of domains. The as crime prevention. The problems caused by this system were not what its inventors intended. Nowadays, few in stagram’s feed, Amazon’s deliveries and Twit

ing of democracy, manipulation, propaganda this industry is becoming an unethical money machine. It describes the collection of a large amount of data – both structured and unstructured – that can potentially be used as a busi ness end. Data collecting has some history. Since the emergence of the digital age, the amount of data collected has exploded. Thanks to computers, new technological gems and the rise of the Internet, we can now harness infor mation and process a weight of data at a scale that had never been reached before. It is dis we detain in the world have been created. Get ting information has never been that easy… all answers are just a click away. The most valuable part of the process is not of this data. You can now use data as an as set that you can choose to sell and monetize. Thiel, is an immense company of data analytics unknown from the digital world rookies. This but also for private companies, helping them detect patterns in large datasets.

Roger McNamee, early investor of Facebook ex all of these goods were then sold to customers. But For the last ten years, the biggest Silicon The saying “if you are not paying for the prod uct, then you are the product” could not make more sense. The tech giants are all competing for our attention with whole business mod els based on keeping people engaged on their screens. All of the supposedly free Internet experience is, in reality, not the case. Indeed, It has been prepaid by the advertisers, making the users the very product. More precisely it is said that “it’s the gradual, slight, imperceptible change in your own behavior and perception that is the product.” fed into these systems that have almost no hu man supervision and making better predictions on what we’re going to do.” With that informa tion, they build models that predict our actions, and creates a race over who has the most ac curate predictions. Algorithms are created to

your preferences so that you keep scrolling and don’t let your phone down. The basic three main goals of these companies are: the engagement goal – to feed information and keep scrolling – the growth role – wanting nally the advertisement goal – to make sure to make as much money from advertising. Hence the common mistake of calling Social Media a tool.

This makes us puppers in the hands of engi neers designing our addiction based on the vulnerability of our human psychology. It is still unclear whether the Internet is a bless ing or a curse, created and strengthened by hu manity’s will of pushing the barriers of knowl edge. The new challenges of our civilization brought by this digital age have to be perceived, comprehended and shared to all. Whether we are trapped in a business model centives rule, or whether democracy is being undermined by the Internet, new solutions ought to be found. The regulation of big com panies acting as de facto governments as well as public pressure should be the next step lead ing future generations to a better future.

REFERENCES:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernard-

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcoun-

https://www.northridgegroup.com/blog/more-valuablethan-oil-data-reigns-in-todays-data-economy/ Antonio García Martínez, “No, Data Is Not the New Oil,” https://www.wired.com/story/no-data-is-not-the-newoil/ Peter Silva, “Oil vs. Data - Which is more Valuable?” f5, https://www.f5.com/company/blog/oil-vs-data-whichis-more-valuable

https://www.economist.com/leaders/2017/05/06/theworlds-most-valuable-resource-is-no-longer-oil-butdata

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BNP PARIBAS


tice. An unusually low interest rate has led prices upward. In the United States, this phe nomenon explains the stock market’s growth pandemic.

households along with possibly creating a di

With electoral interests taking prece dence,president Moon is receiving criticism politics. Continually exploiting housing poli cies as a means to rally supporters, the gov

lawmakers have also been accused of owning multiple homes shedding light on the double standards. A hot mic moment has also caught Democratic Party assembly member Jin going to fall” after a debate arguing in favor of government policies. The surge in house prices has also pushed JASON PARK

K

with ensuing burdens such as but not limited to transportation and loans to seek housing to

orea’s real estate policy is spiraling out of control and the staggering house prices in Seoul have spoilt the

ministration and the Democratic Party have announced a host of laws thanks to the major ity earned from the April parliamentary elec

has once vowed to uphold in his in auguration. President Moon has implemented a series of seemingly remedial policies––nota bly higher taxes to curb speculation––but they have largely failed and prices have increased

idential real estate investors, restrained gap investment to remove excess liquidity, and real estate––an example is the “New Deal Fund” promoting investment for governmen tal projects.

Moon’s approval rating has recently dipped his presidency. While the future of the Ko rean housing market is hard to predict, what we know is that any of Moon’s future housing policies may make or break the legacy of his presidency.

REFERENCES: Herald, T. (2020, July 26). S. Korea’s housing prices soar ahead of the real economy. Retrieved December php?ud=20200726000102 K. (2020, December 02). KBS WORLD Radio. Re-

With less risk and a history of high returns, of the stock market is an intuitive practice in South Korea. Real estate investments are also made possible by a unique jeonse rental sys may seem illogical but there is more to it than what meets the eye. The tenant places a depos

has ushered in punitive taxation and regulato ry measures as the foremost economic policy prescription, but they have failed to material ize. This failure is rather unsurprising as it de supply and demand: the government’s relent less attempts to decrease demand for homes have not been supplemented by an increased supply of houses, distorting the market with

of the home––for the duration of the lease and the landlord returns the entire deposit at the

term house prices. What’s more, the massive

The practice known as ‘gap investment’ that cleverly generates returns based on the said jeonse system has become an enterprising process for landlords. As an example, a me thodical landlord could buy a condominium

Yonsei University economist Sung has voiced

deal with a jeonse renter who would put down of appreciation in Seoul, the landlord could sell renter and subtracting the initial investment, has seen a growth in aggressive gap invest ments by landlords seeking to capitalize on this distinctive system of real estate contracts. This creates an incredibly vulnerable and downturn in the real estate market and thus a landlord’s bankruptcy would immediate ly wipe out millions in jeonse deposits. Gap investment would thus act as a harbinger to higher prices of real estate. The central bank’s however, only further exacerbated the prac

co.kr/service/contents_view.htm?lang=e Kang, J. (2020, August 22). Foreigners blamed for high https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/2020/08/02/ business/economy/real-estate-foreigners-econoLee, K. (2020, November 12). Lawmaker seeks to prohibit Chinese from buying land. Retrieved Decemtimes.

in tandem with continued low interest rates would indubitably cause a housing market bubble.

trolling supply and demand in lieu of the policies that curb demand. The current set of regulations and its de facto implications pertain to the inability to get mortgages. The government has supported the steps as necessary to bring stability to a market shaken by speculators. Sung has repeat edly refuted this policy as young people living in rented apartments are unable to purchase their own homes. A tighter value ratios is a contributor to higher rents. The very citizens the government has promised to protect has now fallen victim to the real estate policies. Despite the Ministry of Economy and Fi nance stating the intent to supply more ratio, Moon faces a ‘third rail’ political issue that has hindered the practical re alization of the proposals. Lowering the wealth tied to a major portion of Korean

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tate that following the vaccination of essential workers, inoculation should begin with those of highest risk and move down a list of demo graphic groups towards those of low risk. How ever, others argue that there would be a lower death rate if the “high transmitters” were vac

Commission of the mechanism while a member country challenged its legality at the Court of Justice of the European Union and in the lim EU budget, hindering its validity for the ap proval of future projects under the EU budget

spreading the disease. In fact, biostaticians at the University of Washington predicted that tribution was done in a way to minimize mor tality. Evidently, geography would also have implications on this model. Tyler Cohen, an economics professor at George Mason Univer sity, proposed vaccinating based on city popu lations in states rather than by age in order to achieve herd immunity faster. As per the Cato Institute, “that way we could at least achieve lo calized herd immunity more quickly, allowing certain places. We therefore potentially reduce the economic welfare costs of the pandemic along the path to the eventual goal of full na tional herd immunity.” end to the pandemic is in reach. However, the scarcity of doses exposes the shortcomings of the free market when it comes to public goods, and raises questions about equity. One can only open their eyes to the humanitarian and global nature of this health crisis and set appropriate priorities accordingly.

REFERENCES: Cato Institute, 11 December 2020, https://www.cato.org/ blog/economics-vaccine-distribution.

At a prima facie understanding, it would seem that the negotiations principally favoured the their slice of EU budget, of which they are

PIETRO RISSO

F

ollowing the European Parliament’s

mechanism, because Hungarian PM Orban is currently challenging its legality in front of the CJEU, last arbiter of the contention. Orban’s negotiation strategy might have been forward looking to his future national political role.

of funding for its member states in the incom Nevertheless, the Council’s approval of the MFF wasn’t an easy one, to the extent that it brought

summer, Poland and Hungary vetoed it in early

come countries.” World Health Organization, September -

omies, according to new report by the Eurasia Group.”

have received their respective part of the EU budget only if they abode by the EU principle of the rule of law as promulgated by the Treaty of Lisbon. The two vetoing countries, especial ly Hungary, have been arising preoccupations over their democratic qualities in Brussels

2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/25/business/ coronavirus-vaccines-global-economy.html. Twohey, Megan, et al. “With First Dibs on Vaccines, York Times, 15 December 2020, https://www.nytimes. com/2020/12/15/us/coronavirus-vaccine-doses-reserved.html. Zimmer, Carl, et al. “Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker.” times.com/interactive/2020/science/coronavirus-vaccine-tracker.html.

membership through a negative mechanism, meaning that in case a country wouldn’t con form with the EU principle of the rule of law, their stimulus would have been withheld. Now, after strenuous negotiations in the early days of December, the Council of the EU, led by the rotating presidency of Germany, has been theless the price for unity has been high. Thus, what has been the price for European unity and who turned out to be the winner and the losers of the negotiation process?

which were strongly welcomed by the negoti ation committees of the two leading members the implementation refrain of the European

So, it seems that the price to pay for a collec tive stimulus package was the perpetuation of the authoritarian grip on Hungary of its PM, which was the primary objective of the very statement must be weighted. In fact, the CJEU ruling, if swift and positive with respect to the substantially increase Poland’s and Hunga ry’s danger of not receiving the EU budget. Furthermore, we could infer that the EU has preferred to give a second chance to the two rather than completely cutting the tie with the two and further isolating them on the Europe countries could have chosen the legally chal

The latter would have implied that the twenty their own coronavirus stimulus package in an EU subgroup by providing capital to back com monly issued debt.

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TAKAYOSHI TOKAI

O

ver the course of its history, the small East Asian island of Taiwan has been

of Portuguese discoverers. As a Dutch outpost, and a Spanish one as well. Koxinga, a Ming dy nasty military leader and loyalist, made it the base from which he would reclaim the main land from the Qing usurpers. It later became a province of Qing China. The Japanese, eager to establish an empire of its own after its late Taiwan and regard it as a model colony with

In conclusion, the winner of the MFF nego tiations have been democracy and unity and the European Union has taken a step forward in the consolidation of democratic principles through the highly debated and contested

nevolence of its colonial might. Following the fall of Japanese empire and the retrocession of the island to the Republic of China, it once again became the staging ground for an exiled Chinese military leader’s attempt to regain the mainland.

guage learning institutions, for example, were rule, with an eye on assimilating the disparate ethnic groups of Taiwan into Japanese culture and society. As a prominent proponent of this policy stated, this policy was implemented with the belief that “the Japanese language is the spiritual blood of the Japanese people.” see the implementation of a similar language policy, albeit with Mandarin Chinese as the “national language” instead. Suppression of lo cal languages, be they languages of indigenous groups or of ethnic Chinese groups was the law of the land in a drive to instil a common Chi nese identity. It is important to remember that was a common language already spoken by a language most used in public life under Japa

REFERENCES: Jaansalu, Liis. “Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027 Adopted.” Consilium, 17 Dec. 2020, www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2020/12/17/multiannual-financial-framework-for-2021-2027-adopted/.

century, the identity markers associated with Taiwan began to be more about Taiwan itself. It was labeled one of the Asian Tigers, on account of its rapid industrialization and economic growth. It began to be referenced internation ally as a beacon of democracy and free speech. spect to other, more powerful countries, Tai

News and Media, 16 Nov. 2020, www.theguardian.com/ world/2020/nov/16/eu-hungary-veto-budget-viktor-orban.

has alternatively been Dutch, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and then Chinese again.

the Rule-of-Law Hook (for Now).” POLITICO, POLIThook-for-now “Poland and Hungary Will Be Losers from a Budget Veto.” Financial Times, Financial Times, 8 Dec. 2020, -

cally referred to in Taiwan as simply “Taiwan

unintelligible with Mandarin. The suppression of the Taiwanese language in public life under the Nationalist dictatorship was part of a grand project to completely si nicize the former Japanese colony, which was treated simply as a small province that was part of a greater Chinese nation. Language police, for example, existed in many schools to dis courage and punish the use of Taiwanese. Although Taiwan had historically been part of Qing China and had a predominantly ethnic Chinese population, this was not enough for the authorities. Taiwanese is a language with origins in southern China, to where a majority of Taiwanese people can trace their ancestry. It was quickly adopted as a language of resis tance, a symbol of Taiwanese localist identity ism championed by the state. The political spectrum in Taiwan today is a tes tament to the struggle between the two identi

With its long history of migration and its many former foreign masters, Taiwan today is a particularly rich when it comes to language, something so crucial to the establishment of an identity that it has historically been used as a tool by ruling authorities. Japanese lan

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nese Nationalist Party is the dominant party, descendant of the localist movements that had resisted authoritarian Nationalist Party rule, advocates for an independent Taiwanese na tion and a distinct Taiwanese identity.


Illustration : Jimena Madrigal

party was elected. Since then, proponents of a distinct local Taiwanese identity have

weekly instruction in the native languages wanese, Hakka, or one of the many indigenous es were declared national same recognition was ex tended to Taiwanese and Hakka. However, despite these measures and the fact the

population

the home. This has led to a “persistent simpli

cy comes at a time when, ironically, a sense of Chinese identity among Taiwanese people is

ese language in public life under the Nationalist dictatorship was part of a grand project to completely sinicize the former Japanese colony, which was treated simply as a small province that was part of a greater Chinese nation.

speaks

ered to be in decline. With the preeminence of Mandarin in Taiwanese society following ese language skills” has come to pass, as Tai wanese has long been consigned primarily to

indicated that two thirds of Taiwanese people consid er themselves as Taiwanese,

language that unites the nation. Neither does Mandarin, nor any other language. But the fact that a greater respect for the diversity of language in Taiwan has developed can only portend good things for the island’s identity: respected and diversity celebrated.

ering themselves as both Tai as solely Chinese.

The Taiwanese language, however, has long been the domain of those descend ed from the Chinese settlers who had come from southern China. The strengthening of Taiwanese local identity is not simply a product of the strengthening of such senti ment from the descendants of such people, including descendents of the Chinese who had come to Taiwan with the Nationalists. With the emergence of a multicultural Tai wanese identity, Taiwanese need not be the

REFERENCES: May

2020,

www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/ar-

Hollo , J. Zach. “As Taiwan’s Identity Shifts, Can the Taiwanese Language Return to Prominence?” tity-shifts-can-the-taiwanese-language-return-toprominence/. Klöter, Henning. “Language Policy in the KMT and McDonald, Kate. “ Speaking Japanese.” Placing Empire: Travel and the Social Imagination in Imperial

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CARLOS BARRIA/REUTERS


ECE FISGIN

A

manifestation of Chinese resistance against urban development, nail hous es have oddly embellished Chinese cities’ topography as individuals and families have disapproved of the government’s ongoing demolition of living spaces with plans to gentrify or replace former apartments with new housing projects. Though not physically the same in nature, such resistance isn’t solely witnessed in China. Cities and its inhabitants across the world are now facing the conse quences and proliferation of economic policies motivated by neoliberalism, inaugurated under the tenure of Thatcher and Reagan from the not in an urban setting. Yet, at the scale we see it now, from the creation of touristic hubs to but at what cost to its residents?

by French philosopher, Henri Lefebvre, assem bled his theory on spatiality by distinguishing three modes of space. Without getting into detailed theory: l’espace conçu, or conceived space, can be considered as the mental con struction of space—think of the city thought out, rationalized, and divided up. This is where our ideas roam freely in relation to the sec The third mode arises as a result of complex intersections between the former two. Space becomes produced, appropriated, and trans formed on the basis of its inhabitants’ use and relationship with it. Through analyzing a city, we are therefore given the opportunity to un derstand its residents—their priorities, their politics, and more relevantly the power hierar chies that exist. To put this in context, when we see mass evictions and rising real estate prices, we see a rather forceful relocation of former habitants to new areas, and therefore the space is transformed not only physically, but socially and economically. Implications of this include the loss of spatial justice and historical culture. Lefebvre observed that spatial transformations associated with capital accumulation, industri agency of inhabitants. In The Right to the City, he argued that there should exist a claim of ownership to the city by its inhabitants, call ing for the restructuring of social, political, and economic relations in ways to reorientate the evant in understanding our relationship with the cities we inhabit today, and how these shift as our economic policies do.

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viously been nudged out of lower Manhattan by

In an era of increased capital mobility and the has drastically shifted the role of cities within nations, as Neil Brenner, inspired by Lefebvre, Spatialities” when referring to individual cit ies’ growing presence at the forefronts of an international economy. This concept revolved around an impetus of local governments for adopting neoliberal doctrines with the gener alization of private property and prioritizing comparative advantage, shifting away from their dependence on national governments to advocate for their own economies. With hopes to attract international investment, cities have therefore augmented the value of urban spaces through implementing general reforms in at tempts to maximize the capitalization of their geographical, his torical, and social leverage. As a result, foreign corporate In an era of increased buying in cities has increased. From foreign acquisition of urban proper ty in cities grew by

ments. The capitalization of space began with merely possessing, but steadily has become a process of investing and destroying. With such changes, we now witness a larger scale of new opportunities for speculative in vestment in real estate markets, “highest and best use” as the basis for major land use plan ning decisions, and new incentive structures to reward entrepreneurialism and to catalyze en dogenous growth. At the same time, we see the elimination of public monopolies for the pro vision of municipal services and the razing of commodation. In other words, urban environ ments as incubators of neoliberal experimen however disruptive socially. A powerful eco nomic force that has supported incredible economic progress, neoliberal urbanism can also be held accountable for gaping inequalities in cities and increased segregation of inhabitants by race, edu

capital mobil

spaces, globalization has drastically shifted the role of cities within nations, as Neil Brenner, inspired term of “New State Spatialities” when referring to individual cities’ growing presence at the forefronts of an international economy.

for Beijing. This cor porate overhaul of cities has many po litical and social im plications, however, before discussing these, it’s important to understand how this came to be.

class. The reengineering of cities with little concern for the integration of its inhabitants can have dire consequences, and instanc es have emerged long be fore the implementation of neoliberalism, for example, Haussmann and his craft ing of modern Paris in the

the city’s complex sewage network, commissioned reservoirs and aqueducts to bring clean drinking water, and replaced a chaotic laby rinth of slums with wealthy arrondissements, he also socially reengineered the geographical demographics of the city—

rods in London and Saks Fifth Avenue in New York. Such strategy has changed since then,

lies and replacing them with buildings beyond

velopment of cities. The principle of creative destruction is much more apparent in the pat terns of corporate acquisition of property in current times—the buying of land or property only to destroy and replace it with more luxu rious spaces. If we regard capital as imprisoned in land and property, a way to remobilize it and

contemporary times, especially considering eral urbanism has further contributed to and exacerbated the marginalization of minority populations of cities. radic, being utilized in a limited number of global cities like New York and London. Since then, the practice has extended to many more cities, from Sao Paulo to Mumbai to Tokyo. In many cities, especially in the US, creative de

example is the buying of Atlantic Yards in New York City by one of the largest Chinese building

cases accompanied with the pursuit of capi

residential towers, after relocating former in habitants of modest backgrounds who had pre

of neighborhoods through the establishment of new private amenities and housing projects


generally appease and mographic than the one previously inhabiting it. extreme consequenc es, result in displace ment of the neighbor hoods’ citizens, as the introduction of broken windows policing, in creased surveillance techniques, and zero tolerance policies along with enormous tax in creases of homes rap idly doubling or tripling in value force families out. Of course, there are winners and losers in urban restructuring. New habitants may en joy a community with reduced crime and bet ter facilities, while gen

RECLAIMBOSTON.ORG

former community and their concerns become overshadowed by those crafting a new space, along with, at times, an erasing of the former culture and history of the neighborhood as what happens with “rebranding”. Families that es are pushed away, leading to deeper divides between classes. This leads to physical obsta cles as well as social ones, as families and indi viduals forced to the peripheries lose access to better education, greater mobility, and forms of government support, all the while left with no one to turn to.

What is troubling is that the governing of cities have transformed incredibly since the era of Le febvre. With the rescaling of governance at sub and supranational scales gaining more respon sibility and authority, local city governments have taken on new duties like the provision of infrastructure, economic development, and urban planning. However, in order to ensure its competitive advantage while at the frontlines of the global economy, cities have “outsourced” some of their functions and responsibilities to private bodies to reorient themselves and in themselves to more rapidly adopt new ideolo gies, strategies, and technologies. This in turn

With a more complex and rapidly changing set of institutions now involved in governance, there is an addition of actors that cannot be directly held accountable under conventional democratic processes, mainly being elections. With an absence of democratic political struc tures as a means to check such actors’ power and insert citizen voice, what or who is?

Order: A Study of Urban Change in the River North District of Denver, Colorado” (2015). Undergraduate Honors

We don’t generally consider the space we in habit as a product of its residents, therefore belonging to us socially, nor examine our re lationship with how we produce it. However, in an era marked by urbanization and oth competitive market, cities are taking on new priorities and responsibilities. These new re sponsibilities demand not only a shift of power from governing bodies to private businesses and corporations, but also one away from cit izens. Under the slogan, The Right to the City, or as many Latin American cities call it, “Es tamos presentes,” urban dwellers have taken to the streets to demand the acknowledgment of their needs, presence, and disapproval of urban restructuring within their cities. From Berliners opposing the demolition of parts of the Berlin wall in order to build luxury condos, to Istanbul’s protests against the building of a commercial mall to replace a public park, and to the residents of Rio resisting eviction prior

Florida, Richard. “Confronting the New Urban Crisis.” Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg, 11 Apr. 2017, www.bloomberg. duces-the-new-urban-crisis. Galès, Patrick Le. “Neoliberalism and Urban Change: Stretching a Good Idea Too Far?” Territory, Politics, Gov-

Néolibéral Et Propriété Dans Trois Petits Centres Urbains Du Ghana Et Du Burkina Faso.” Politique Africaine, vol. Jordan, David P. “THE CITY: Baron Haussmann and Morange, Marianne, and Amandine Spire. “A Right to the City in the Global South?” Translated by Oliver Waine, Metropolitics, Metropolitics, 17 Apr. 2015, metropolitiques. eu/A-Right-to-the-City-in-the-Global.html. Peck, Jamie, et al. “Neoliberal Urbanism : Models, Moments, Mutations.” SAIS Review of International Afsais.0.0028. Purcell, Mark. “Possible Worlds: Henri Lefebvre and the

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against a loss of ownership to space. The Right cal ownership, but rather an inclusion of the residents in shaping the city for those that live in and produce the space.

REFERENCES:

why-this-urban-takeover-should-concern-us-all. Xiao, Yiping, et al. “How Far Has China’s Urbanization Gone?” Sustainability, vol. 10, no. 8, 20 Aug. 2018, Yale Insights, and Karen C. Seto. “What Should We Uninsights.som.yale.edu/insights/what-should-we-understand-about-urbanization-in-china. Xiao, Yiping, et al. “How Far Has China’s Urbanization Gone?” Sustainability, vol. 10, no. 8, 20 Aug. 2018,

to Rio 2010.” Habitat International Coalition, hic-gs.org/ articles.php?pid=6810.

Yale Insights, and Karen C. Seto. “What Should We Uninsights.som.yale.edu/insights/what-should-we-understand-about-urbanization-in-china.

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Winter Edition 2021 - The Quarterly  

Dear reader, We are delighted to present The Quarterly's latest edition. Between hopeful dreams, heavy expectations, and defeatist fears, o...

Winter Edition 2021 - The Quarterly  

Dear reader, We are delighted to present The Quarterly's latest edition. Between hopeful dreams, heavy expectations, and defeatist fears, o...

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