James leads off his presentation with a Game of Thrones reference: “Winter is coming.” He sees the financial crisis as having initiated the dismantling of the post-World War II Bretton Woods consensus of embedded liberalism, in which peace and prosperity were seen as inseparable and globalism was embraced. What’s taking its place is “a vision of extreme realism in political science” that he calls “disembedded unilateralism.” This zero-sum approach—typified by trade wars, border walls, and Brexit—has rendered the dominant center-right and center-left political party dynamic of the last 70 years obsolete. Pointing to Brexit, James observes that it is counterproductive to Labour and Tory alike. James holds out hope, however, that efforts to dismantle globalization may paradoxically lead to its reform and renaissance.
A session from the 2008 Financial Crisis: A Ten-Year Review conference held on 8-9 November 2018 in New York.