V&P Breakfast Briefing “The Great Convergence: Asia, the West and the Logic of One World”

Vriens & Partners Breakfast Briefing, “The Great Convergence: Asia, the West and the Logic of One World” was held on 4 Sept 2013. Prof Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, spoke about his new book “The Great Convergence: Asia, the West and the Logic of One World”. He argued that we are probably living in the most promising era in human history. Absolute poverty is disappearing, the global middle class is booming, wars are waning, and never before have people been more traveled or better educated. Barriers across states and civilizations are being dismantled every day. Prof Mahbubani termed that as the “Good News”.

However, there are also “Bad News” of our era. Several challenges remain: global governance institutions need to reflect the power configurations of today and tomorrow, a task made extremely difficult by major geopolitical fault lines. He argued that it is becoming increasingly clear with each passing year that the Westphalian system is an outdated model for countering our thorniest global issues such as climate change, pandemics and the trafficking of drugs and people.

Yet there is no need to reinvent the wheel. The solution that Prof Mahbubani proposed is to make existing institutions of global governance more effective and representative through pragmatic and innovative reforms. He argued that stronger global leadership will be essential in tackling the looming concerns of the 21st century and the great convergence.

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