7 December 2016, Shanghai – Co-founder of the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute, Dr. Vladimir Yakunin, has taken part in the Shanghai Institute for International Studies (SIIS) International Advisory Council’s 2016 Annual Conference.
Each year, the conference draws high-profile speakers and policy makers from across the globe. This year’s event was themed ‘Governance and Diplomacy in the Context of Global Uncertainty’ and attracted high-ranking officials from China’s Foreign Ministry, the New Development Bank, former Ambassadors, scholars and experts.
The discussion focused on globalisation today and its future, the US elections’ impact on international relations, the effects of globalisation, emerging threats in global politics, and the situation in the Middle East.
Vladimir Yakunin’s presentation entitled ‘Globalisation or Regionalisation: Two Sides of One Project’ noted that, over 25 years after Francis Fukuyama declared ‘the end of history’, ideology is once again at the centre of global politics. He stressed that globalisation is a political, as well as economic project, and that it is its political aspects that are currently among the central issues our societies face.
Instead of the apparent contradiction between regionalism and globalisation, Dr. Yakunin depicted them as two aspects of the same project.
Small groups are too weak to resist globalisation, he argued, and despite its benefits – such as increased communication and welfare – the negative consequences such as an erosion of their sense of identity – are felt keenly by certain social groups. It is in this sense, he argued, that fragmentation as an instrument of international policy, serves the broader goals of globalisation.
His analysis touched on the Trump phenomenon, and concluded by stressing the central role dialogue plays both within our communities and between our cultures.