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Is the Western Decline Inevitable


It is undeniable that the world has been going through in these very last decades major changes and profound transformations which today are challenging the post-world war II international order.

It is undeniable that the world has been going through in these very last decades major changes and profound transformations which today are challenging the post-world war II international order.

 

The first driver at the basis of these changes has certainly been economic. The reduction of trade restrictions and falling costs of transport and communication, brought along through progressive trade liberalization promoted in the WTO framework by the Uruguay round, first, and the ongoing Doha Round then, has certainly boosted economic integration which has risen rapidly worldwide in these very last decades and which has gradually led to the emerging of new economies (which just back to two decades ago were considered as poor developing countries). Indeed, we are assisting today to the rising of new economies (e.g. not only the BRICS countries, but also Turkey, South Korea, Indonesia, Nigeria etc.) – often referred to as “emerging economies”, in terms of their increase of share in the world GDP, per capita income, or trade – which are challenging the global leadership (especially of the economy) of the “West” (US+Western Europe) and demanding for more recognition and, especially, more leadership within it.The numbers of course are more helpful than words to support these statements. Hence, if we look at how the share in the world GDP has been changing during these past decades (according to an FT study on it), we gather evidence for our thesis.

Between 2012 and 2017 we can assume a continuous reduction in the share of advanced economies. Actually, also according to world’s GDP forecasts for 2013 from the October 2013 IMF World Economic Outlook, major contribution to the world’s GDP in 2013 will come from Asia (especially South – East Asia); Africa and to a less extent from South America. By 2030 Brazil, Russia, India, and China’s combined share of world GDP is expected to match that of the original G7 countries. Moreover, by 2035, the BRICS + Indonesia, Turkey, Mexico, Korea, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria are forecast to rank among the world’s top twenty economies.

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