Synopsis: Post pandemic era will be giving rise to new world order and create uncertainties. India should use a “Gated Globalisation” framework to handle this change.
The 3rd decade of the 21st century will witness a multipolar world and the rise of this New World Order will be driven by reliability of partners, national interest, and economic factors.
New developments are being witnessed with the development of vaccines. Nations are forging alliances for the vaccine supplies. Trust factor will also dominate these alliances as seen in the doubts raised over vaccines by China and Russia and this factor will not be limited to vaccines only.
Although security interest will continue to drive partnerships, it will not be the sole criterion as seen in the Israel and Arabs relations and BREXIT
What is the gated globalization framework?
Gated globalization advocates selective trade policies with selective trade partners like creating walls with restrictive gates, opened on certain conditions.
The Gated Globalisation framework doesn’t have a place for “Non-alignment” and will be a test of “strategic autonomy” of India. As per the framework, India needs Solid boundaries but building new partnerships (like the Quad) based on trust and common interests is equally important, as necessitated by Doklam and Ladakh clash with China.
- Firstly, India will have to make partnership choices, beyond security, on the basis of trade, capital flows and the movement of labour.
For instance, India has chosen to stay out of RCEP and the UK has left the EU.
- Secondly, technology flows and standards will also define gated communities. The Great Firewall of China has shut out many of the big tech players like Google, Facebook and Netflix.
Instead, China has its Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. The introduction of 5G technology, will deepen the issues of trust.
- Third, the EU-crafted General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a brilliant example of Gated Globalisation. The EU has set the terms of engagement; those who do not obey will be kept out.
The Indian law on data protection that is currently being discussed follows a similar sovereign route.
- Lastly, India and other countries have similar policies where they put restrictions on trade with nations that are unfavourable to their interest and build stronger financial relationships with other countries within their gated communities.
For instance, India has imposed restrictions on trade with China but this does not stop enhanced capital flows from new partners. To prevent the inflow of illegal funds, India has barred capital from poorly-regulated authorities.
- India’s global scattering is now over 30 million and sends more through transfers ($80 billion per year) than foreign capital inflows. The Indian diaspora is now increasingly impacting policy in countries like the US, UK and Australia where it has contributed politicians and technocrats, innovators and influencers, billionaires and cricket captains.
- During these fast-changing post-pandemic realities, India has to be quick in identifying partners whom it can trust and who will help protect and further its national interests.