The Rise of Geo-Economics: From a military to an economic battlefield

Has the military battlefield transitioned to an economic one? 


Douglas Rediker, Executive Chairman, International Capital Strategies

Mark Leonard, Director, ECFR

Chaired by

Hans Kundnani, Head of geo-economics programme, ECFR

Before the global financial crisis, geopolitics mainly played out locally, but today the biggest conflicts are between the world’s greatest powers. Ukraine is at the epicenter of a crisis of European order where the Russian Federation and the West are using financial markets, energy and the control of the internet to advance their respective causes. In Asia, the competition between a rising China and its neighbours has spawned naval disputes, the use of sanctions and restrictions on access to natural resources. In the Middle East, the rise of ISIS is playing into a wider sectarian conflict led by Iran and Saudi Arabia. In every region of the world, new powers and restive populations are rising, and an increasingly introverted America is recalibrating its role in a scattershot manner that leaves allies guessing.

During this discussion, Douglas Rediker and Mark Leonard considered how the world is witnessing the rise of geo-economics and where the military battlefield has transitioned to an economic one. With the erosion of global norms and standards and the ensuing shift towards a multipolar, regionalized power dynamic, who are the biggest winners and losers in this new world?

Douglas Rediker is the Executive Chairman of International Capital Strategies and a Visiting Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. He isa former member on the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund representing the United States. Prior to that he was the co-founder and director of the Global Strategic Finance Initiative at the New America Foundation. 

Mark Leonard is co-founder and Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations. He is the co-author of ‘Geo-economics: Seven Challenges to Globalization’ published in January 2015. He writes a syndicated column on global affairs for Reuters and is Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on geo-economics.

Hans Kundnani is the Head of the newly established geo-economics programme at ECFR.