Reshaping the global order by Pascal Lamy

That the world is in the midst of a global ‘polycrisis’ or ‘permacrisis’ has rightly and
unfortunately become conventional wisdom. The evidence is everywhere, from the Russian
invasion of Ukraine to global warming, from the Covid pandemic to a looming debt overhang
in developing countries, from the return of infl ation to the rise of autocracies, from the increase
in poverty and inequalities to the loss of biodiversity. The main international institutions in
charge such as the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the World Trade Organization
(WTO), the International Labor Organization (ILO), the World Bank and the World Health
Organization (WHO) are paralysed or weakened. Wide governance gaps are also appearing
in areas that are of great importance for the future like space, cyber or the Ocean. In short,
the previous international order, insuffi cient as it may have been, is broken and history tells
us that such moments in the past have all too often preceded major confl icts, suffering and
horrors – the perspective of which had progressively faded away since the end of the second
world war nearly 80 years ago. Antonio Gramsci coined his famous sentence in 1930: “The
old is dying and the new struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters”. Shaping or
re-shaping a global order of some sort has always been part of a progressive agenda for
many reasons, the main one being that we trust the capacities of humans to cooperate and
to harness their impulse to violence with solidarity in order to improve humankind – which
we believe is possible. Internationalism is part and parcel of the progressive movement and
cannot remain just wishful thinking. This short chapter on a formidably complex matter will
try to analyse the main causes of the current situation and to propose some avenues forward,
including for the EU at a time when its international posture is seriously challenged.

Link to the pdf