The Global Policy Institute is a London-based think tank on international affairs. It was founded in August 2006 as a research institute at London Metropolitan University to analyse the issues of globalisation and to formulate innovative policy solutions. It is based in Moorgate in the City of London, and draws on both a rich pool of local academic and business professionals and its extensive international connections. The Institute gives non-partisan guidance to policymakers and decision takers in business, government, and NGOs.
The Institute is now focusing on the dynamics of the post-globalisation era. In the era of globalisation, OECD countries, led by America, forcefully promoted neo-liberal policies. Their objective was to boost growth by liberalising markets, spreading democracy, and opening cultures to outside influences. These goals gained legitimacy with the apparent economic success of the consumerist Anglo-Saxon economic model, and the support of powerful international institutions, such as the IMF and the World Bank. This phase ended abruptly with the banking crisis and is now giving rise to a new era. The world is rapidly moving towards a new, post-globalisation world that will be more complex, diverse and consequently, challenging to understand and analyse.
- Neo-liberal economics has been discredited, but not replaced.The banking crisis and the apparent success of different economic models, particularly that of China, mean that economic consensus is no longer just ‘made in Washington’. A new economic framework has yet to emerge; it may require new economic theories, new models, new regulation, and painful adjustments, as economic power shifts to new players. Meanwhile, the state has been making a comeback and will by necessity play a more integral role in future economic management.
- Power is now multi-polar, and increasingly regional. Although nationalism has made a comeback in the early stages of the crisis, in the absence of global solutions, regional solutions are becoming increasingly pertinent. The emerging regional blocs want to change the rate and rules of trade liberalisation and seek to establish regional monetary unions to reduce their dependence on increasingly volatile global capital markets. The emerging blocs also attempt to shape the worldwide movement of rights and democracy to conceptions of community and the common good, which are not exclusively individualist in aspiration. And the forces of consumerism and lifestyle choice in many regions exist in an unresolved tension with the desire to project and create a distinctive identity and way of life based on culture and religion.
- Resource constraints and political pressures are increasing. Access to water, energy, and key commodities, and approaches to dealing with the effects of climate change, have become top priorities. Across the world, social and ecological sustainability, social justice and equity are seen as critical, although there still exists an older Hobbesian world, in which interests and resources are secured through dispute and conflict. To avoid a ‘return of history’ and great power conflict leading to even more destructive wars than in the 20th Century, law, regulation and cooperation have to become central features of international diplomacy.
- Europe faces historic choices. Europe has attained a special status as a cosmopolitan region characterised by the absence of war, the relative protection of social justice and welfare, the promotion of the common good. It has also become the poster child and test case for supranational governance. Rattled by a burgeoning government debt crisis that has led to unprecedented austerity measures across Europe, this reality is now in jeopardy. Despite the enormity of challenges Europe faces, the current crisis also provides the opportunity for Europe to finally become the global player and take the global leadership role its has long sought. Europe may yet find a European identity: It needs to decide between retirement from and rebirth on the world stage. Meanwhile, Europe and America must decide on convergent or divergent futures. The future of the West will depend on the choice they make.
London faces new risks and new opportunities. The UK capital has a special status as an international city and business centre linked to developments throughout the world. London has unique advantages, but must address serious challenges in the wake of the banking crisis. It must find an approach to financial regulation that will discourage risk-taking excesses, whilst still supporting a flourishing financial sector. London does have, in its favour, an enviable track record of adapting to and profiting from change.
Shaping the future. Although the new dispensation offers challenges, it also offers opportunities, as new markets develop and mature. Global governance will, one hopes, become central to a new, inclusive global order. This will happen, however, not by default, but through intellectual rigour, social justice and political courage. In this endeavour, the Global Policy Institute will be an active and enthusiastic participant, helping scholars and policymakers discuss, understand, and influence the powerful forces that are shaping the next phase of post-globalisation global integration.