Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group and author of the book, “The Power of Crisis,” discusses the foreign policy implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and shares his insights on a series of challenges that are poised to reshape the global order over the next decade.
On seizing the opportunity amid global challenges: “It's precisely these global crises that give us the impetus and the opportunity to start reforming and rebuilding institutions that are fit for purpose for the 21st century … We're already seeing that start to happen in the case of Russia and in the case of climate.”
On the repercussions of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: “The big problem here is that we have entered a new cold war with elements of hot war between the West and Russia. And I think that's functionally permanent. So, I don't think we'll be talking about Ukraine so much in a year's time. But I think we're going to be talking about this incredible danger of a Russia that will be facing the same kind of economic damage that Iran has, because it will be made into a pariah for the G7. And yet, unlike Iran, Russia's got 6,000 nuclear warheads. And they've got a big chip on their shoulder in terms of the humiliation, post-Soviet collapse … I think the danger in the next one, two, five, ten years is principally a danger about Russia versus NATO. And how we deal with a Russia that is facing economic collapse, maybe a level of political instability, and a military that is increasingly dysfunctional, not operational. I don't think that's stable at all.”
On the future of China’s economy: “I think China's economy is in far more trouble than ours is, in so many ways … It's the real estate bubble. It's the non-performing loans in the corporate sector. It's six rural banks that are falling apart … I'm not saying that China's going to fall apart economically. But I think it's at least plausible that China's economy, over the next ten years, could fall apart. Now, it's also plausible, that China, which is today at parity with the United States technologically in every meaningful area except semiconductors, could, over the next ten years, dominate the world in core technologies - in AI, in quantum, in other areas. And by the way, if that happens … China will become a dominant influence in big areas of the global economy. But I think that there are very strong arguments to be made on both sides of that coin. And I fundamentally mistrust people who make huge, long-term bets with confidence on one of those two Chinese outcomes. I just think there's no way for us to know that right now.”
On younger generations reshaping the global order: “You look at people under 21 years old, in the world, 90 percent of them are from developing countries. We've never lived in a world like that before. And they're educated. And they're increasingly online. And they're connected. So, what kind of a world are you going to have when 90 percent of your brainpower, your human capital, increasingly, a lot of your entrepreneurs, have the priorities that are being set and the cultural background being set in countries that are fundamentally poor and feel agitated? I mean, we've gone through this in the developed world with this internal populism inside our country saying, ‘We don't trust these elites and this establishment.’ But that's very different when you see that on a global scale. And that's about to happen on a global scale.”
This episode was recorded on July 27, 2022