Toward a new world

Dunya Executive - - COMMENTARY - Taner BERKSOY Columnist

Putting aside exaggerations and fictions, it is clear the world is moving toward a new order. When we look at the current signs, we may say that the new world will improve politically, socially and economically. But you have to be prudent when making such an assessment. It’s still difficult to understand where current dynamics will lead but we may at least define a pattern for the short term by looking at the changing scenes.

The threads of this pattern will be defined by three major accelerations in the short run, in my opinion. Policy will detach from democracy and became more authoritarian; it will become less reconciliatory and more conflictual. Therefore, social order will become more polarizing and disruptive.

There will be two major negative developments in economy. National economies are becoming isolated and protectionism will become more widespread. Radically new technologies, on the other hand, are also dictating a new economic order. In this regard, different product components, consumption patterns and trade relations will form a new network in the new order.

To be able to define the resulting structure as a “new world” it has to be a settled order with definite features. We’re not there yet. And it’s not clear when we’ll be there. Therefore, it’s better to define this unstable world as a middle phase which will be defined by rapid changes.

The new order in policies will feature democracies losing power and authoritarian policies growing stronger. There are already very strong signs regarding such a political shift. In such a climate, it will be difficult to sustain a balance of social relations. There are many examples of polarizing and conflicting social movements on a global scale.

But the most significant clues regarding the changing world dynamic is economy. The change in social structures has led to a strong change in economic policies. The first step for this change is the deviation from the open economy and free trade environment. It’s becoming clearer every day that there will be an outright “trade war.” The basic variable that signals a new world in the economic environment is the strong change in technology. In other words, it wouldn’t be wrong to call technological transformation the decisive element for the new world order.

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