The Semi-periphery and US Unilateralism

Post ImageThe first session this morning was on the topic of semi-periphery and US Unilateralism. Janine Brodie talked about North America as a community, Ray Broomhill gave an excellent overview of Australia in the era of Neoliberal Globalism, and Teresa Gutiérrez-Haces talked about the failure of the multilateral system. Again, visit the speakers page to learn more about them. Here are some notes I took, first on Ms. Brodie’s talk:

  • The current agenda for deeper integration consists of: reinventing the border, maximizing regulatory efficiency, establishing a North American energy strategy, a security alliance, and the creation of new institutions.
  • Much of the current agenda for deeper integration has come from the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE).
  • The EU has served as an example for deeper integration. The next step after trade integration is political integration.
  • An argument against this is that Americans and Canadians are becoming and more and more different in terms of their values. I question that argument though, because it’s not like all of the countries in the EU have the exact same values either.
  • D’Aquino has said that the level of integration this far achieved is irreversible!
  • Popular culture of fear – just look at the new shows on TV this fall.

From Mr. Broomhill’s presentation:

  • Australia has historically been quite vulnerable to global fluctations, and this is still the case.
  • Since Howard became Prime Minister in 1996, there has been a more aggresive neoliberal agenda.
  • While Australia is still dependent on foreign capital for investment, it has become more indirect than in the past.
  • Australia’s foreign debt has grown, but the debt is now more private than public.
  • Globalization presents a challenge, but it should not be an excuse for government’s mistakes and failures.

I didn’t get nearly as much from the last talk:

  • The US employs a strategy of divide and conquer.
  • They have moved away from multilateral negotiations in favor of bilateral ones in which they can impose their economic, political, and military objectives.
  • It was pointed out that unilateralism is nothing new, but that replacing multilateralism with bilateralism is.

Read: Globalism Conference

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