A strategy for sustainable global development
Global interdependence is greater than ever before. Therefore, Germany holds a great deal of potential to exert a transformative role in global sustainability policy. First of all, it has to answer fundamental questions: how can the international capabilities of all the ministries be mobilised and networked? Can collaboration within alliances of trailblazers (e.g. in sustainability policy) reinvigorate the multilateralism that is currently blocked in many areas? How can a culture of global cooperation be fostered successfully? Many reform initiatives already exist, but the effort to root them must be greatly increased.
Tectonic shifts of power towards emerging economies, above all China, India, and Brazil, are undermining the dominance of the West.
Since the end of the Cold War, the following four mutually reinforcing waves of global transformation have created a new reality for the international system:
- the networked global economy: accelerating economic globalisation, which creates manifold opportunities along with global vulnerabilities and risks;
- diffuse architectures of power: tectonic shifts of power towards emerging economies, above all China, India, and Brazil, which are undermining the dominance of the West and bringing forth polycentric constellations and blockades of power;
- the Anthropocene Era, the geological era of human dominance: the knowledge that human beings have become the driving force of the earth system and that over the course of this century a transformation of the planet is likely, with unforeseeable consequences for a human population that will soon total nine billion, if the global economy continues to pursue its established path of greenhouse gas-driven and resource-based growth;
- communications infrastructure for global society: for the first time in human history, new communications technologies have made possible a real-time exchange of information, knowledge and news that spans the globe, opening up new, virtual cross-border spaces and possibilities of cooperation, while at the same time creating previously unknown forms of data control and surveillance.
No political system has yet been found or founded which could, within this new reality of the international system of a highly interconnected world, ensure security, prosperity, and democracy for as many citizens of the world as possible.
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