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The International Economy

Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
G-20 leaders at the G-20 Summit in Cannes
Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
The International Economy program seeks to analyse and understand some of the key trends that are shaping our international economic environment and the associated consequences for our world and Australia’s place in it.  As the world economy is reshaped by a series of powerful forces, including but not limited to globalisation, the Great Convergence, the demographic transition, and urbanisation, these drivers are redistributing economic power across countries and peoples, challenging global economic governance, helping rewrite the economic rules of the game, and raising critical questions about development and sustainability.  

Getting to grips with the trajectory of today’s international economy requires understanding the forces that are shaping it.  Two of the most important are globalisation and the Great Convergence.  Understanding globalisation involves analysing the cross-border flows of goods, services, capital and people along with the evolving policies and technologies and public attitudes that either facilitate or impede them; understanding the Great Convergence involves tracking the speed, intensity and durability of catch-up growth in the world’s key emerging markets.  

Both forces are having profound implications for the way our global economy works.  The rapid urbanisation and industrialisation of the developing world creates challenges for environmental sustainability and resource security.  Existing mechanisms of global governance like the WTO and the IMF have to deal with new pressures, even as new bodies like the G-20 grapple with old problems of crises and adjustment.  Meanwhile, the rise of new economic powers implies new geo-political and geo-economic alignments.  

Understanding these forces and their consequences is the core objective of the International Economy program.


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