The Future of the Global Order: Power, Technology, and Governance
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From Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea to the global economic and political effects of new technologies, the post-Cold War global order may be at a tipping point.
Broader systemic trends, such as globalization and climate change, mean that the challenges of today and tomorrow will be global - and require global responses.
The role of automated trading algorithms in the 2010 “Flash Crash” in the United States, combined with the specter of drone warfare around the world and the proliferation of military robotics, highlight how the intersection of technologies presents enormous challenges and opportunities for global norms.
Fundamentally, The Future of the Global Order research theme examines implications of changing global power dynamics, impacts of new technologies, and contributions of governance institutions for the future of international cooperation. It seeks to understand the drivers of change and the varied implications of those changes. Additionally, it offers new ideas for the preservation and evolution of the international order.
Standing faculty members from Penn provide guidance and direction for each Global Innovation Program research theme. The Future of the Global Order research theme is led by Michael C. Horowitz, Richard Perry Professor and director of Perry World House (currently on service leave).
Over the past century, the world has become an increasingly interconnected place. Businesses' supply chains stretch over vast distances; national governments have come together through regional institutions, such as the African Union and NATO; and advances in communications technology have made it possible to quickly and easily build new relationships across national borders. Many experts believed that this shift toward globalization—toward ever-closer links between people, companies, and governments—was inexorable. In recent years, however, this established world order has begun to fracture. Populism and nationalism are in resurgence in many countries, challenging international cooperation on global issues; the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the fragility of lengthy supply chains for essential goods and services; and new technologies could be used to divide rather than unite us. What does the future of globalization look like in this fracturing world?
The Emerging Technologies and Global Politics Project is researching how a new generation of technologies is shaping global affairs, from how economies and societies function to the way that militaries will operate. This interdisciplinary, multi-method effort is led by Director and Richard Perry Professor Michael C. Horowitz and is composed of research teams studying the intersection of emerging technologies and global politics across a variety of different research areas.