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Zero-Sum World

The end of the Cold War gave rise to globalization, uniting the world’s major players in a single economic system and creating an unprecedentedly cohesive global order for two decades. The force of globalization as the great unifier was shattered by the global economic crisis in 2008, which, Gideon Rachman argues, replaced the “win-win logic of globalization” with a new ethos of geopolitical rivalry. Increasing protectionism has arisen from the ashes of an economic system formerly predicated upon open engagement. The emergence of zero-sum logic, according to which one country’s gain signifies another’s loss, is demonstrated by rising tensions between the United States and China and by present instability throughout the Eurozone. How will the decline of American hegemony and the ascent of emerging economies including China and India affect free trade, political liberalization, immigration, and the environment, among other issues? What can be done to reverse the course of a zero-sum future?

Gideon Rachman is the chief foreign affairs columnist at the Financial Times. Prior to joining the Financial Times in 2006, he spent fifteen years at The Economist. While there, he served variously as a foreign correspondent in Brussels, Washington, and Bangkok, and later as the business section editor. He began his journalistic career with BBC World Service in 1984. In 1987, Rachman was a visiting fellow and Fulbright scholar at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He received his B.A. from Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge University. Rachman is the author of Zero-Sum Future: American Power in an Age of Anxiety.

Recorded Thursday, February 10, 2011 at the Palmer House Hilton.

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