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April 15, 2011

Global Powers

The question of how to organise international relations in an increasingly globalised world is hugely complex. Over the next few weeks we’ll be exploring “Global Powers” on the Knowledge Centre and taking a look at global governance, democracy, international politics and economics. As all eyes turn to Buckingham Palace and Westminster on the 29th April, we will also be taking a look at the Royal family and the global influence of the British Monarchy.

On a recent visit to Warwick, Pranab Bardhan, Professor of Economics at Berkeley, gave two lectures looking at the emerging markets where he sets out the globalisation trilemma. He explains that the difference between nations increases the cost of global trade but one-size-fits-all institutional design is a troublesome alternative as countries resist the constraints of imposed norms.

Global governance where we have integrated markets governed at an international level seems to be emerging as the third, and preferable, option but this still requires managing the tensions of both transactional trading costs and restraining sovereignty. So how will this play out? Who will decide where the remit of global governance should end? How will nations come together and decide how the world should organise itself?

Professor Philip G. Cerny (Emeritus Professor of Politics and Global Affairs at the University of Manchester and Rutgers University) and Professor Jan Aart Scholte of Warwick got together before the most recent RIPE debate to discuss whether international relations, given the newly globalised context, should now be studied in the same way as domestic politics, where political decision making is understood as a hugely complex process in which individuals actions have impact and importance. Professor Jan Aart Scholte tells us more about his work in this area, asking “Why do we need a Global Democracy?”.

We go to Professor Stuart Croft to hear about how the integration of nations has proved successful in the case of the European Union, linking into the newly established GR:EEN project looking at where Europe stands in the emerging global order. And for those who are enthused by when the world comes together, we bring you news from Warwick's first China Forum and a host of podcast recordings from this year’s One World Week.

Moving on to look at difference, Professor Barry Eichengreen tells us about his work on the rise and fall of the American Dollar, arguing that the benefits the United States derives from the prominence of their currency provides them with an exorbitant privilege. And given the pressing importance of the political developments in the Middle East, Dr Nicola Pratt has agreed to be this theme's expert - we look forward to receiving your questions when the Ask the Expert page opens for submissions.

In addition, Dr Sascha Becker of CAGE, presents the findings from a working paper on the Hapsburgs empire highlighting how trust in institutions can persist as a long-run effect over generations. With all this and the Royal Wedding wedged in the middle, it is amazing that there is still more! Dr Justin Greaves welcomes us into the lecture theatre to get an insight into his teaching on pressure groups and how they are adapting. We also have an extract from The Sarkozy Phenomenon by Prof Nick Hewlett, Department of French Studies, that looks at the controversial and intriguing President and his role in global politics. 

The Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton takes place on Friday 29th April, and we’ve spoken to Prof Rebecca Probert of Warwick School of Law who tells us about “The Rights and Wrongs of Royal Marriage”. We’ve also asked our international alumni to tell us how the Royal Wedding is being reported in their various countries. What, if anything, do other nations find fascinating about a British monarch's marriage?  The peculiarities of antiquated British culture no doubt provoke intrigue for some and Warwick alumnus, Sarah Haywood, wedding dress designer and speaker at the forthcoming Alumni Knowledge Exchange Day gives us a rundown of etiquette expected of Royal guests. We will also be discussing “Why Kate?” with PhD researcher Samantha Lyle who will be discussing class, gender and education and how Kate found her Prince, all in a live chat on the site. 

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