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World

Middle power conundrum amid US–China rivalry (Shin-wha Lee, East Asia Forum)

The international community has faced an unprecedented social and economic shock due to three ‘big bangs’ — increasing US–China strategic competition, the fourth industrial revolution and the COVID-19 crisis. These three big bangs are interrelated and pose important challenges and consequences for world trade, regional stability and the future of the liberal international order.

Middle power conundrum amid US–China rivalry | East Asia Forum

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World

2021: The year of failed political leadership (Nanjala Nyabola, Al Jazeera)

2021 was the year of political leadership, or more importantly, lack of it, and an invitation to reflect on the social consequences of leadership failures. I think for many of us, it was the year that felt like when time slows down while you are witnessing an accident happen – two seconds that feel like two minutes – or in this case, twelve months that feel like a decade of closings, openings, lockdowns, mandates, curfews, hoarding and devastation.

In this year, in which millions of people lost everything, we are reminded that the purpose of leadership goes beyond telling people what to do. We are prompted to consider – in the spirit of recently departed philosopher bell hooks – how governance that has no love for the people it oversees is vulnerable to tyranny and failure.

2021: The year of failed political leadership | Coronavirus pandemic | Al Jazeera

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World

Clouds Over 2022 (Nouriel Roubini, Project-Syndicate)

Although major economies and markets fared well in 2021 despite all of the uncertainties surrounding new variants of the coronavirus, 2022 will bring new challenges. In addition to central banks shifting toward policy normalization, geopolitical and systemic risks are multiplying.

Clouds Over 2022 by Nouriel Roubini – Project Syndicate (project-syndicate.org)

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World

Undemocratic Uncontrollable World (Timofei Bordachev, Valdai Discussion Club)

In the outgoing year, international politics finally got rid of all remnants of controllability, understood as the ability of states to solve the most fundamental problems within the framework of formal or informal institutions, as well as of democracy — the possibility of fair treatment of the interests of countries regardless of their power capabilities. In principle, the global changes in the balance of power, provoked by the growth of China and the West’s reaction to this, initially did not leave much room for the leading powers to consider the interests of others as among their own.

Undemocratic Uncontrollable World — Valdai Club

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World

Social and development impact bonds by the numbers. December 2021 snapshot (Emily Gustafsson-Wright, Izzy Boggild-Jones, Onyeka Nwabunnia, and Sarah Osborne, Brookings)

Since 2014, Brookings has developed and maintained a comprehensive database on the global impact bonds market. The below data represents a snapshot from that database updated each month.

Social and development impact bonds by the numbers (brookings.edu)

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World

20 Brookings Foreign Policy books for 2021 (Ted Reinert and McCall Mintzer, Brookings)

As 2021 draws to a close — the first year of the Biden administration, and second year of the COVID-19 pandemic — there are no shortage of questions about the future of international order, foreign policy, and American democracy. But a slew of insightful books from Brookings Foreign Policy experts published this year can help us better understand where we stand and where we may be headed.

20 Brookings Foreign Policy books for 2021

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UN launches record humanitarian appeal for 2022 as needs soar (Al Jazeera)

The UN has warned that the need for humanitarian aid is skyrocketing worldwide and will reach an all-time high next year, as the pandemic, climate change and conflict push more people to the brink of famine.

The United Nations’ humanitarian agency OCHA on Thursday appealed for a record $41bn to help 183 million people who are the most in need of life-saving assistance – up from the $35bn requested for 2021 and double the amount sought four years ago.

UN launches record humanitarian appeal for 2022 as needs soar | United Nations News | Al Jazeera

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World

Omicron and What Comes Next (Simon Johnson, Project-Syndicate)

There is an adage that you cannot have back-to-back financial crises. The implication is that a financial crisis causes people to be more careful – so any bank, investment firm, or investor who survives one crisis will not be taking big risks anytime soon. But two years after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced lockdowns, quarantines, and other restrictions, the arrival of the Omicron variant is forcing people to ask: Are we about to go through it all again?

Omicron and What Comes Next by Simon Johnson – Project Syndicate (project-syndicate.org)

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World

World Review: AUKUS, Blinken’s Grilling, and Germany’s Elections (Steve Erlanger, Nirmal Ghosh, Halley Toosi, Ivo Daalder, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs)

This week, Secretary of State Blinken was in the Congressional hot seat defending the US exit from Afghanistan. Ivo Daalder, Steve Erlanger, Nahal Toosi, and Nirmal Ghosh examine what we learned and why it matters for the future. Plus, how the new AUKUS defense pact will affect foreign policy relationships, an update on Germany’s federal elections, and more.

World Review: AUKUS, Blinken’s Grilling, and Germany’s Elections | Chicago Council on Global Affairs (thechicagocouncil.org)

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