Friday, February 28, 2020
12:00pm – 1:30pm
Leung Conference Room,#110, Stephen Robert '62 Hall, 280 Brook Street
Professor Ilene Grabel will discuss the emerging disjunctures in global financial governance for the US-led liberal international order in the “post-embedded liberal era.” The decades that followed WII featured the dominance of embedded liberal ideas, which inter alia entailed both a unipolar global financial governance architecture organized around the US-led Bretton Woods institutions and consensus around the view that the financial sector should be subordinated to social and real sector objectives. The neoliberalism that followed the collapse of the embedded liberal era reinforced existing US-led unipolarity while dispensing with the latter as a “barbarous relic.” Cracks in the unipolar global financial governance architecture and the neoliberal consensus began to emerge after the East Asian financial crisis of 1997-98, and spread during the crisis of 2008. The crises had contradictory effects on global financial governance and neoliberalism, deepening fissures in the US-led regime while also reinforcing the central role of the US. Today the US’ willingness and ability to use the global financial governance architecture to project a neoliberal international order is uncertain owing to the self-inflicted wounds associated with a chaotic, nationalist turn in US politics and the combined impulses toward deglobalization and reglobalization playing out beyond the US. At the root of some of today’s unfolding tensions are the dislocations, resentments, and failures associated with efforts to create a coherent internationally integrated system under the banner of US-led neoliberalism, something that underscores Polanyi’s prescience. These contradictory tensions are unfolding at a time of heightening financial fragility. In combination these developments are apt to induce substantive changes in global financial governance in the years ahead. These changes are likely to point in the direction of an uneasy pluripolar global financial governance architecture featuring a reconstructed embedded liberalism with Chinese and other non-American characteristics alongside rudderless US-led institutions.