Jeffrey Sachs Speaks on Globalization in Santiago Center Webinar

August 18, 2020

The wildfire spread of Covid-19 is not the end of globalization but rather a case of it, and fortunately, the positive side of globalization is more powerful than the negative, Jeffrey Sachs, Director of Columbia University’s Center for Sustainable Development, said during the webinar “The Ages of Globalization,” hosted by the Santiago Center in conjunction with Fundación Chilena del Pacífico.

During the event - also presented by Universidad Católica Professor and Chile's former Minister of Finance, Felipe Larraín – Sachs noted that the world has gone through a number of eras, and we are currently in the digital era. “When you look at great transformations, technology is at the core. We’re in a digital world,” he said. “It’s been that way in our current pandemic, it’s been that way in our statecraft, in our geopolitics. If you look at the skirmishes between China and the US recently, they’re about the digital economy, it’s fundamental. Who’s going to control it, who will have the lead in semiconductors, who will control social media?”

And in this era, the balance of world powers is shifting, Sachs added. “The US is desperately trying to prolong the American century, and China is trying to have its place in the sun. This is part of the era, and it means in my view that the American century is over… The US is no longer the dominant country by any means.”

The discussion, moderated by the Santiago Center Director Karen Poniachik, was based upon Sachs’ latest book, “The Ages of Globalization,” which examines world history to shed light on how today’s urgent, global issues require concerted, planet-wide action.