Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ukraine Crisis: The Ultimate Challenge for Neoliberal Economics

In the early 1990's when Glasnost led to the liberalization of Russia's borders, politics and markets; the dominant neoliberal economic paradigm basked in the glory of virtually undisputed domination around the world. The basic premise of neoliberalism was that opening markets to trade and globalized production would generate a new form of global security because the cold war style of aiming bombs at the enemy would be very complicated if your enemy was a trade partner.

This basic premise is now being challenged in the Ukraine, where Eastern and Western allied troops are going head to head over a dispute about geopolitical alliances with Russia and Europe. They are trade partners, and economically dependent on each other - so it this crisis is a test of the geopolitical commitments both sides have and whether those commitments trump the hardships that will result from a stand-off or worse yet an armed conflict.

This east/west dynamic makes this crisis dangerous for the international governance system because the movements of the eastern and western allied troops in the Ukraine are challenging the fundamental credibility of the UN Security System and our global commitment to international treaties.

It is a dispute that is not just about the Ukraine or Crimea - it is about our commitment to the international judicial, state and security system. I honestly think it's a fools game for any of us to profess to have a magic ball to foretell the future - but I do think it is reasonable for all of us who can see the extended ramifications of this crisis to talk about it, encourage peace and restraint and respect for all human life regardless of religious or political affiliation.

In humanity I trust.

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