Pre-publication version (in French) of a column published in the Newspaper “Les Echos” on October 3, 2018, under the title “L’économie mondiale doit retrouver sa boussole” (The World Economy Must Find its Compass Again). The most important challenge today is not about conjoncture or threats to the short-term growth outlook. It is, rather, the structural weakening of the multilateral order that had underpinned international economic relations for the last half-century. The relevant slogan today is “it’s politics, stupid”. More than ever, “high politics” is needed to support and advance the values of endangered enlightenment.
Change is heralded everywhere: in the global political and strategic environment and the transformation of the global and regional balance of power, in the institutional structure, in the regional and global alliances, in goods and services, in the nature of labor, etc. It is therefore fascinating to take the unusual route of asking what does not change, what is “permanent”, and to ask whether there are strongholds on which to base our thinking about the future. This is obviously a huge subject, one that should mobilize the best philosophers …
Contribution to an opinion piece “In my view” in the Development Cooperation Report 2016. The Sustainable Development Goals as Business Opportunities of the OECD (chapter 4, “Measuring private finance mobilized for sustainable development“).
The increasing scarcity of public budgets has naturally led to heightened expectations about private financing for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As such, this is quite a challenge: public and private objectives do not coincide naturally and private firms are not philanthropic, even though some individuals within them may be.
Re-defining ODA should not be seen as an arcane and primarily technical subject. It addresses the fundamentals of aid effectiveness as well as the role that governments can be expected to play. In our increasingly complex societies, public action, both national and international, should be mainly thought of in terms of incentivizing and coordinating behaviors. However, most aid “architecture” and practice is based on donors actually financing visible outputs, whether goods or services. At a time when the notion of “shared value” prompts us to revisit the concept of public-private partnerships, modernizing the definition of ODA can herald a sea-change in development effectiveness.
Interview for Terragreen Online Magazine, July 2010.
Over the past decades, sustainable development challenges have loomed larger and larger on policy-makers’ agenda worldwide. In particular, the recent crises (food, fuel, finances, and so on) have exposed many symptoms of unsustainable development such as poor people’s vulnerabilities, an unsolved energy supply equation, and the gap between the dynamics of unfettered finance and the requirements of a stable economy. Yet, in spite of a rising consciousness about the urgency of such challenges, actual action has usually been perceived as being slow to materialize. This raises the crucial question of how individual and collective actions can emerge in a globalized world, and of how to move from a comfortable position of prescription (“we must do so and so”) to a more courageous and riskier course of implementation.