What GMF is Reading
A weekly transatlantic reading list from the desks of GMF experts:
Martin Quencez (Fellow and Deputy Director, Paris Office)
The Atlantic: The Pandemic’s Geopolitical Aftershocks are Coming
A global health crisis is ongoing, and its economic implications have already hit millions. But according to this piece by The Atlantic’s Tom McTague, the actual “second wave,” may be of geopolitical nature—with serious instability adding to the stress transatlantic capitals are currently under. For strategic planners, complexity increases exponentially as crises multiply, and the number of credible scenarios may appear overwhelming. The coronavirus has significantly limited the financial and logistical margins of manoeuvre for the transatlantic powers: when they ask themselves “what can we afford to do?” political leaders may find that they have very few options to deal with a new geopolitical shock.
Berlin Policy Journal: Europe’s Sovereignty Conundrum
Sovereignty has become a very fashionable concept in European politics, and the pandemic may further increase this trend. Yet, sovereignty has different meanings in the European context, and it is often unclear what proponents of a strong EU truly envision when they call for a “sovereign Europe.” This article is a great read to think about the role of Europe in the “great power competition,” and the potential contradictions between the EU project itself and the quest for sovereignty.
Astrid Ziebarth (Senior Migration Fellow and Head of Strategy, Europe Program – Berlin)
Center for Global Development: Migrant Remittances Will Plummet. Here Is What That Means for Global Development
I liked Michael’s blog post as he highlights an important coronavirus ripple effect: the expected downturn of remittances, money migrants send back home to their families, and what this means for the recipients and the overall development of those countries that rely heavily on them. Interestingly, we saw quite a jump in remittances from Mexico to the U.S. in March but this might only be a short term effect and owing to the weak peso.
Online Course: Elements of AI
I just finished the online course “Elements of AI” which the Finnish government designed originally for its citizens to become more AI-ready and have an advantage in AI. It is available for anyone free of charge. It takes about six weeks and I really enjoyed it, even the occasional math. It was really useful to “demystify” AI especially as we are preparing for a project on emerging technologies and impacts on migration management.
Ian Lesser (Vice President and Executive Director, Brussels)
There are some very striking findings from the Koerber foundation’s Berlin Pulse survey, which was recently published—especially when it comes to German and U.S. attitudes toward international affairs in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Interestingly: German respondents were almost evenly split over whether having close relations with China or the U.S. is more important for Germany (37 percent believe China is more important, 37 percent said the U.S. was). Meanwhile, the split for American respondents was almost even, too (44 percent of American respondents believe having close relations with China is more important for U.S. foreign policy, while 43 percent said close relations with Germany take precedence).
On a very different front, the Harvard Belknap series on the history of private life has a great volume on the Medieval period touching on the social consequences of the Black Death.
The views expressed in GMF publications and commentary are the views of the author alone.