Should global democracy be a prerequisite for economic globalization?

Question: Should global democracy be a prerequisite for economic globalization?

Shashi Tharoor: I’m not sure what the question means by “global democracy”. Because if it means global institutions should be run democratically, well we don’t have global democracy. In the U.N. for example, five countries have a veto. In the World Bank or the IMF, the U.S. has a preponderant voice. Global institutions are run in varying degrees of equality, and we don’t have global democracy in the sense of one man-one vote, or one person-one vote across the planet; which would give Chinese and Indians a heck of an advantage, but we don’t have that. So I don’t think that it can be a pre . . . prerequisite. I think economic realities are, to some degree, independent of the political connections that give you democracy. We have a sort of economic democracy because you can move money across the world with the press of a button. And . . . and . . . and that’s something which has actually affected human beings’ lives in many parts of the world. But we don’t have global democracy. I don’t think we’re likely to have global democracy in the political sense; but I think economic transformations will go on anyway. And it’s going to be a very interesting few decades ahead. And we hope to be able to see . . . to see how the institutions of the globe adjust to and take account of the economic transformations that we can all see happening.

Recorded on: 9/18/07

 

Tharoor disputes the wording of the question and states that economic realities are independent of the political connections.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

This is the best (and simplest) world map of religions

Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.

(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
Strange Maps
  • At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
  • See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
  • There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
Keep reading Show less

Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

Videos
  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.