Interaction with Professor C. Raja Mohan
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The Vivekananda International Foundation organized an interaction with Dr C. Raja Mohan, Director of Institute of South Asia Studies at National University of Singapore on the topic of "Global Dynamics and Challenges to India". Dr Mohan focused his talk on structural drivers that shape and impact international relations and global dynamics. He emphasized that the west was going through a once in a century turmoil. Post the Great Depression and the interwar period, there was emergence of a large number of progressive movements in the United States and elsewhere in the Western world. As a response to the deep internal crisis in capitalism and resultant unemployment, including the emergence of Soviet Union externally as an ideological challenger, compelled western countries to build welfare societies. However, after the Reagan-Thatcher period, the consequent deregulation and decrease in value of labour in economic growth led to concentration of capital and wealth in 1 per cent of the population. This declined the ability of the traditional working class to negotiate with the system.

Rise of Trump, Brexit etc. need to be viewed in this context as they were successful in mobilizing the new discontent. Crisis in western economies, rising inequalities, sudden influx of large number of outsiders, migration of factories, outsourcing labour for production have produced a deep discontent within the Western societies which will bear major consequences for global dynamics. Unlike the Soviet political challenge, it is Chinese Capitalism that is today posing a threat to American Capitalism. Chinese Capitalism is being emulated by the developing countries as they argue it is far more efficient because it can better control labour and deal with dissidents. Also, breakdown of multilateral structures such as the WTO, NATO and trade issues have led to a fight within the western camp. Dr Mohan also asserted the possibility of the Trump administration decreasing US security commitments by way of military retrenchment around the world including Japan and Germany.

He highlighted Climate Change and Data Governance as major issues of international discourse today. He stated that it is the data analytics that gives value to data, implicitly underscoring India must review its stand on data localization. Overall, in conclusion he greatly emphasized the need for India to expedite its reforms so that it can fulfil its economic ambitions and strengthen its national security.

Event Date 
January 13, 2020

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