The London Conference 2017
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Plenary Session Three: The Liberal Economic Order: Will the Centre Hold?

Tuesday 24 October, 1005 – 1115

Deepening economic integration has been synonymous with the spread of a liberal world order, including increasing political and regulatory support for the rule of law and increased transparency. But will this always be the case? Liberal societies are straining under populist criticisms that this model rewards only a small group of political and economic elites, and are becoming less outward-looking as a result, while liberal voices in more illiberal societies are finding themselves increasingly under strain. In this more contested space China has begun to use its increasing global economic clout to promote a more statist approach to economic development through the Belt and Road Initiative, with the support of new development organizations like the AIIB and NDB. While the Chinese have remained champions of globalization, and assiduously conformed to international standards so far, will their increasing economic power soon require the global economic system to conform to standards the West is currently uncomfortable with?

What will the strengthening of politically illiberal economies mean for the already precarious position of liberal norms and standards? Will this ultimately undermine the era of greater international economic integration, or herald a less liberal form? What possible reforms might liberal democratic societies might attempt to regain their place as the model for the world to follow?



Speaker information is forthcoming.