The Foreign Policy Association, the leading non-partisan foreign policy think-tank in the United States, if not the world, recently asked 28 policy makers and experts to offer opinions on America’s place in the world today. These essay length opinion pieces have now been collected into a unique publication and is available to purchase..
A long time ago in Bombay (now Mumbai), India, the Jesuit order that ran St. Xavier’s High School (my alma mater) had my class memorize some lines by the 19th century British poet Lord Alfred Tennyson—“The old order changeth yielding place to new… lest one good custom should corrupt the world.”
Little did I know then that a half century later I would start this new blog with those very lines. They seem to appropriately describe the geopolitical and economic transition that is engulfing our world. That’s what this blog will be about, at least at the start, that transition.
The fact that the transition is occurring shouldn’t be a surprise. History demonstrates that global power transitions are the normal state of affairs. In the last 500 years, the Dutch-led world order of the 15th century that was underwritten by the guilder gave way during the 17th century to a British-led world order underwritten by sterling, which changed to a dollar-fueled American-led order in the 20th century, which, in turn, seems now to be morphing into a renminbi-underwritten Chinese-led order, or perhaps a dual renminbi/dollar, or renminbi/dollar/euro-led order in the 21st.