Caution Notice

SESSION I

THE POST PANDEMIC EMERGING GLOBAL LANDSCAPE

The 2010s ushered in unprecedented changes in the world thereby engendering the emergence of a new global landscape. The financial crisis, which began towards the end of the last decade, brought with it widespread economic downturns and subsequent internat ional recession which resulted in austerity measures , inflation, job cuts and rise in unemployment in developed as well as developing countries. The Eurozone crisis unleashed a wave of Euroscepticism across countries of the European Union- the result was a significant rise in vote share for Eurosceptic parties. As a fallout from this phenomenon, several European countries witnessed the ascendance of populist discourse, right-wing ideology and identity politics. A combination of these factors proved to be important triggers for Britain's decision to leave the European Union (EU), popularly referred to as "Brexit".

The Arab Spring uprisings, which swept through much of West Asia and North Africa (WANA) from 2011 onwards, were a response to oppressive regimes, crony capitalism, rampant corruption, economic mismanagement and poor standards of living. The wave of unrestled to regime change in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, civil conflicts in Libya, Yemen and Syria, and the emergence of a new transnational extremist movement, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), that for a while even set up a proto-state that straddled parts of Iraq and Syria. These contentions have claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, destroyed normal civic life, have rendered millions of people homeless, and created severe humanitarian crises. These lethal conflicts offer no prospect of a resolution, largely due to the active involvement of regional and extra-regional powers in backing one side or the other with arms, training and political support.

While the US under the disruptive Donald Trump administration managed to hold a position of importance in the global geo-political and geoeconomic spheres, it became increasingly inward looking with its "America First" policy. China, on the other hand, has launched ambitious initiatives like the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and has under taken military reforms ; it has also sought to assert its presence in the South China Sea and the broader Indo-Pacific region, while expanding its footprints in Central Asia, Africa and West Asia, with BRI being complemented by the Digital Silk Road and the Health Silk Road projects. Not surprisingly, the emergence of China as a major world power has exacerbated its competition with the US in diver seareas -- the trade war, particularly during the Trump presidency, is a case in point.

Russia's sphere of influence also grew significantly in the last decade. From the annexation of Crimea to being an active role player in the Syrian civil war, Russia has emerged as a significant player on the global scenario. Furthermore, China has cultivated closer economic ties as well as security and defence cooperation with Russia, setting up a formidable coalition that is intent on replacing the US-led global order with a multipolar set up that would see several other role-players seeking to influence decision-making on matters of global significance.

Besides big-power competitions, other issues of international importance have also emerged on the global landscape. Climate change, for instance, made its impact felt in the last decade through floods in many parts of the world, fires in the Amazon forest and in Australia, typhoons and tsunamis in the US and Japan, respectively, and the widespread melting of glaciers that have caused concerns relating to rising ocean levels that could threaten coastal domiciles across the world. Again, the impact of changes in economic, social and political life wrought by technological developments over the previous two decades have been significantly accelerated by the pandemic. Thus, the post -pandemic world will see a massive expansion in the use of digital technology in communications , health, logistics, manufacture, trade, etc. Propelled by artificial intelligence and robotics, the coming years will see extraordinary strides in frontier areas such as robotic surgery, gene editing, cloning, artificial intelligence and social media.

Tellingly, the Covid-19 pandemic has made the international community realize that spread of such disease, which can take numerous lives in a relatively short period of time, is a serious threat not only to global public health but also to global security. Thi s phenomenon has reinforced the need to have a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of security – traditional and non-traditional.

It is against this background, which offers both opportunities as well as challenges, that India will have to navigate to shape its place and role in the emerging global order.

AGENDA

DAY I
THURSDAY 29 APRIL 2021 | 02:00 PM - 03:15 PM
  • The Post Pandemic Emerging Global Landscape
  • Security Scenario
  • Economic Scenario
  • Assertions Of Identity And Emergence Of Populist Politics

CHAIR

Amb. (Retd.) Deepa Wadhwa

Amb. (Retd.) Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa has been a distinguished career diplomat who joined the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in 1979 and retired in December 2015. She has served as Ambassador of India to Japan (2012-2015), Qatar (2009-2012) and Sweden (2005-2009). She was concurrently accredited as Ambassador to Latvia (from Stockholm), and Republic of the Marshall Islands (from Tokyo). During her career, she has also held other significant assignments in Geneva, Hong Kong, China, The Netherlands, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Ministry of External Affairs.

Amb. (Retd.) Deepa Wadhwa is the Chairperson of the India-Japan Friendship Forum, Member Governing Council of the Institute of Chinese Studies and is on the Governing Council of the Asian Confluence based in Shillong.

SPEAKERS

Dr. C. Raja Mohan

Dr. C. Raja Mohan is the Director of the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, and contributing editor on foreign affairs for 'The Indian Express'. Previously, he was the founding Director of Carnegie India. He has also been a Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi and Senior Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi.

Amb. (Retd.) Talmiz Ahmad

Amb. (Retd.) Talmiz Ahmad is the former Indian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Oman and the UAE. After retirement from Foreign Service, he is now a fulltime academic and writes extensively on political Islam, the politics and economics of West Asia, Eurasia and the Indian Ocean, and energy security issues. He holds the Ram Sathe Chair for International Studies at the Symbiosis International University, Pune.

Dr. Sundeep Waslekar

Dr. Sundeep Waslekar is President of Strategic Foresight Group. His work has been discussed in the United Nations Security Council, World Bank, European Parliament, Indian Parliament, UK House of Commons, House of Lords, World Economic Forum at Davos, among other institutions. He is currently a Senior Research Fellow of the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflicts at Oxford University. He is the author of a best seller in Marathi, Eka Dishecha Shodh, which has had 23 editions.