On the 17th of July, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) had been classified a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), in a statement many considered long overdue. The declaration was intended to raise global awareness on the second-worst Ebola outbreak in history among world governments and to energise a coordinated international response to contain the spread of the highly fatal disease. The current DRC outbreak, which surfaced in August 2018, infected more than 2500 people in the DRC with 1650 confirmed deaths. The declaration highlights growing worldwide concerns about aid agencies’ inability to bring the Ebola virus under control whilst operating in conflict-ravaged regions of north-eastern DRC, 11 months after the initial outbreak.
Donald Trump has triumphantly claimed his tariffs are the primary cause for China’s slowest GDP growth in three decades. Unconvinced, we asked the Center for China and Globalisation for their views.
China’s softening economy came at the back of a tumultuous trade war with Washington, where its exports suffered heavily due to tariffs from the US. In turn, this affected the GDP numbers for China which recorded a year-on-year growth of 6.2 percent, its lowest since records began. Impulsive as ever, President Trump immediately tweeted that China’s ailing GDP is a result of the effectiveness of the US’s tariffs.
But many are unconvinced the dip in China’s economic numbers can be largely credited to President Trump’s trade war. For that, the Warwick Economics Summit reached out to the Center for China and Globalisation (CCG), a leading Chinese non-governmental think-tank based in Beijing, for their thoughts on the factors that led to China’s faltering performance.
The European Union (EU) is not one without flaws, that much is accepted. The high cost of an EU membership, overcrowding in developed countries due to immigration, or a single currency that restricts independent monetary policy in poorer member states, are just some of the problems the EU face. But amidst these issues, it is easy to overlook the most remarkable and arguably the most important achievement by the EU – its ability to achieve peace.
In partnership with the European Neighbourhood Council (ENC) and the Warwick Economics Summit (WES), ENC urges everyone to continue championing EU’s shared value of democracy, rule of law and justice in this era of unprecedented challenges. We explore their thoughts on the drivers of peace, as well as on EU-Turkey Relations and the steps needed to move forward.
On June 13th, a Japanese tanker was attacked off the Gulf of Oman, provoking accusations by the US of Iranian culpability. Numerous conflicting reports have cast doubt on the US’s accusations and ignited uncertainty of how Europe should best respond to prevent the situation escalating further.
WES had the exclusive privilege of receiving comment on the matter from the European Neighbourhood Council (ENC), an independent think-tank focused on European, Central Asian, and Middle Eastern regional policy.
In recent years, the rapid-emergence of parties associated with Populism on the Right and Left of the political spectrum has been a growing trend, represented by a number of shock election-outcomes in countries including Brazil, India, the Philippines, and the UK. WES has the chance to interview Prof. Chris Anderson, a Research Associate at the Centre of Comparative Advantage in the Global Economy and Director of the PPE program at the University of Warwick, about the underlying causes of Populism and his views on the future of reactionary outcomes.
We began the interview by discussing a recent research paper co-authored by Professor Anderson titled: ‘Crisis of Confidence? The Dynamics of Economic Opinions during the Great Recession”. In the paper, Prof. Anderson discussed how real economic variables and political structures of nations affected the perception of crises leading to different voting behaviour. In Prof. Anderson’s analysis of the extent of influence economic outcomes had on the recent surge towards populism, we asked this question: were the populist outcomes a direct consequence of the Global Recession or instead symptomatic of a permanent move away from established policy?
A politician seen not advocating for fiscal conservatism is to flirt dangerously close with the label of being fiscally irresponsible. For decades now, policymakers in the US kept a tight rein on public finances to ensure the public debt ratio stays low, while the central bank routinely seeks to contain economic booms and busts. Exercising fiscal discipline has always been synonymous with good governance, or so we thought.
In spite of criticism over excessive bureaucracy, the EU has undeniably taken the lead over the US in new regulation of big-tech; these ideas will significantly impact the future activities of Silicon Valley’s largest firms. Europe is an increasingly important source of technology revenue; Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft each reported a quarter of annual revenue from the continent in 2018. As the world’s largest single economic bloc, the standards of the EU are often copied as benchmarks for the developing world; hence European policy could have a knock-on effect on attitudes to big-tech globally. European economic power is matched with tough restrictions on lobbying and unification of legal standards across multiple jurisdictions, helping the region take an objective and long-term perspective towards significant technology regulation. Continue reading “The New European Tech Doctrine Part II: How Aggressive European Policy is reshaping the future of big-tech”
On March 30th, the European Union’s Competition Chief Margrethe Vestager ordered the tech-conglomerate Google to pay a $1.7 billion fine for ‘abusing its position in online search advertising’. The European Commission reported that Google had aimed to shield itself from competitive pressure; the firm had imposed restrictive exclusivity clauses in AdSense contracts, blocking its rivals from placing ads on 3rd Party websites. The penalty was the third in a series of billion-dollar antitrust violations delivered by Europe to Google since 2018, and indicative of a wider-trend of European regulation against rapidly-growing technology companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon.
With the spotlight constantly held on the biggest players in the American sphere it can be easy to overlook smaller South American nations with significant regional influence such as the state of Chile. This year the Warwick Economics Summit had the honour to welcome Professor Andrés Velasco, who has served as Finance Minister of Chile, and is today the Dean of LSE’s ‘School of Public Policy’. In his speech to our delegates, Prof. Velasco tackled complex issues like economic and political populism and identity politics in today’s world. I had the privilege to interview Professor Velasco and gain his insights on pressing issues, on behalf of the Summit.