On the Pandemic, Development Cooperation and the Europe-Africa relationship

This article addresses the global geopolitical contexts and the development cooperation trends in which the current pandemic unfolds. It also debates its impact on the Europe-Africa relations and emphasizes proposals for changing the rationality of the partnership, making it less dependent on traditional univocal aid flows and more strategic and adapted to the increasingly global world in which we live and relate.

 

Fernando Jorge Cardoso is the head of the Strategic and Development Studies department of the Institute Marquês de Valle Flor - IMVF, executive director of the Lisbon Club and member of the Centre for International Studies of ISCTE-IUL

This text is originally published in Portuguese as IMVF Policy Paper 8/2020, April 2020.

 

1. The global geopolitical framework

 

The current pandemic is changing individual and social behaviours. It is the first pandemic of the current wave of globalisation and it impacts on ongoing geopolitical trends, such as the attacking on multilateralism or the retreating of liberal democracy in various geographies. It is too early to predict the pandemic’s consequences not only on public health and demography, but also on the political and economic lives. The near future will tell us which trends it will encourage, populism and isolationism over solidarity and cooperation, or whether both trends will be affected asymmetrically, within the various national and international spheres.

One of the astounding issues that this crisis has revealed was the amateurship and the inaccurate way the World Health Organisation (WHO) acted in the first phases of the epidemic, resisting to declare it a pandemic[i] – and we are speaking about a prestigious organisation that, although formally inaugurated in 1947, has its origins in the wars of the 19th century. But WHO was not alone. Most multilateral and international organisations were also unprepared for this global threat and acted late and inaccurately – from the United Nations Security Council to international groupings as the G7 and the G20 as well. This says a lot about the importance to reform the priorities and agendas of the global institutions’ system.

The national health bodies of most countries were also unready to face the pandemic. One explanation for this unreadiness relies on trends that go far into the 1980s, as the neoliberal pulsion of governments to defund public health and to privatise parts of it. It has also to do with the way health institutions, from pharmaceuticals to laboratories or to prestige hospitals, focused their priorities in the individual diseases of modern life and of wealthier people and neglected the epidemics of the poor. A big interrogation is whether and how the current pandemic will force a change of course – and that depends a lot not only on governments’ policies and political parties’ positions, but also on public opinions and the initiatives and positioning of experts, activists, and the media.

A particularly important issue for Europeans is to assess the likely political and economic consequences of the pandemic in the European Union.

When doing this, one should bear in mind that part of the tensions we are witnessing among European leaders are rooted in factors that precede and go beyond the way of dealing with the pandemic. European integration, including the economic and monetary union, was already at a deadlock due to some strong divisions among governments and within countries.

It is ironic to note that, after the end of the East-West conflict in the early 1990s, and the increasingly inaccurate 1970s North-South way of looking at the world (after all poverty, wealth and inequality exist in all latitudes), the same North-South, East-West cardinal points rhetoric has arisen within the European Union, around political and economic cleavages.

The European North-South divide occurred in the wake of the sovereign debt crisis, between some of the Northern EU contributing countries and Southern countries, which budget deficits had worsened to contain the bankruptcy of banks, following the impact of the 2008 financial crisis. The wealthier countries refusal to guarantee the issue of commonly guaranteed debt led, in the opinion of the debtor countries, to the persistence of high interest rates paid to creditors - including some of the private banks previously saved with public money. A similar situation is happening again, in view of the resistance of some countries, mostly Germany, Netherlands, Austria and Finland, to accept the issuance of European bonds – or similar measures - in order to face budgetary expenses caused by the pandemic within Southern countries, such as Spain, Italy or Portugal, thus pointing to some lack of EU inward solidarity.

The European East-West divide is mainly due to the most recent crisis of refugees and immigrants that flocked to Europe, largely as a result of military interventions in Iraq and the war in Syria, causing the flow of refugees to the EU's eastern borders (with Turkey playing the role of “gate keeper”) and as a consequence of the State collapse in Libya and the use of its coastline by emigrants and refugees to navigate to European soil, mainly via Italy and Greece. As a consequence, East-West cleavages grew in the European Union, between the Visegrad countries and most of the EU western countries, including Germany (given the sheltering and accommodation of around one million, mostly Syrian, refugees).

Furthermore, there was the referendum that resulted in the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, which complex implementation process is still under negotiation. This may have side effects already visible on Northern Ireland, given the recent surpassing of the number of Catholics in relation to Protestants, which points to the possible holding of a referendum on independence or continuity in the United Kingdom - or of joining the Republic of Ireland[ii].

More globally, the pandemic is preceded by the inauguration of a new policy in the United States which is hostile to the EU. This isolationist policy carried out in a not very sui generis way with the slogan “America First”, is clearly against multilateralism and has put American (private) economic interests ahead of humanitarian or even geopolitical considerations. Political changes in the US have, moreover, given breath to a set of nationalist leaders and authoritarian regimes in several countries, such as Brazil, Turkey, Egypt, or the Philippines.

Paradoxically, and despite the initial secretive way the Chinese authorities tried to hide the virus existence and expansion, it is now helping the Chinese regime to be at the forefront of international solidarity in relation to the pandemic. Taking advantage of the disastrous way the US Administration is (not) acting internationally (and at home), China is very much active, supported by its enormous industrial and technological capacity[iii]. Its strategy is strengthened by the existence of an entangled web of supply chains, created along the last decades, which makes it impractical to cut the industrial and commercial relationship that has been meanwhile established with the US (mostly with American multinationals) and with other developed, emerging and undeveloped economies as well.

 

2. Development cooperation and the Sustainable Development Goals

 

For people and organisations that work in international and development cooperation, it is essential to look at the foreseeable scenarios and dynamics that were already underway before the pandemic outbreak. The next paragraphs will focus mainly in the EU and in the Africa-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) framework.

Let's start with the obvious. The development cooperation sector (sometimes referred to as “industry”) has long been established on both Parties. In Europe, it is composed by officials from the European Commission (mainly, but not only, of DEVCO), Member States cooperation agencies, and national and European Non-Governmental Development Organizations (NGDOs). In aid recipient countries, the sector entails various domains of governance and public bodies, civil society institutions, notably NGDOs, non-state media and members of the private sector. In these circumstances, it is natural that political support for development cooperation, mainly for the maintenance of  financial flows, is greater on the side of the recipient countries - regardless of recurring expressions of displeasure about the nature or the targeting of aid.

In any case, it is the interests and the strength of this group of people and entities on both sides of the scene that has kept development cooperation alive, despite the lack of interest or even the hostility of several European political forces, some of them installed in a number of governments.

Development cooperation is, obviously, in addition to a set of interests, a humanist idea, sometimes promoted as a set of “values”, which has been pursued over time and with the support from public opinion. But it is also an industry, insofar as it supports institutions, public and private, national and international, often working in networks, that employ hundreds of thousands of people and that provides diversified support to several million. Moreover, this dual nature of interests-values provides development cooperation with the strength and  political influence to resist its extinction - particularly to resist to the end of funds allocated in budgets financed by taxpayers' money in donor countries.

Cooperation has undergone some significant evolution in recent years, with the support of private foundations for specific solidarity causes (e.g. The Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation, but also others). Furthermore, in the thinking of the European Commission itself, the concerns towards “policy coherence”, expressed at the beginning of this century[iv], have been replaced in the current five-year period by the concern to create financing lines for the private sector of the beneficiary countries and the attempts to “blending”, that is, creating “synergies” with private capital, with the aim of attracting it to the cooperation sphere. This is still a move without significant success - moreover, public financial support for the private sector is going mostly to companies from donor countries.

It is also interesting to note some returning to infrastructure and capacity building projects; and this is also a response to the overwhelming aid from China. Since the past decade, it has revealed enormous financial and construction capabilities, and relaunched the support for  infrastructural investment which the EU (and other donors) had left aside, with the exception of some support for local, small or medium-sized projects. Despite the rhetoric about a Chinese “threat” (invoked by recipient countries’ officials and analysts, often for tactical reasons), European action in recent years has been dominated by concerns of its own, related to migration movements, namely  the refugee crisis and the humanitarian disasters in the Mediterranean, leading to mostly security responses and the creation or reorientation of cooperation funds to try to contain these flows of people. This also explains some of the rationale for launching projects to support local youth employment as well as the creation of better living conditions in countries from where emigrants are flowing, particularly countries above the Ecuador, aiming at discouraging migration.

Another reason that is influencing and modifying the way of looking at development cooperation is the increasing visibility of pockets of poverty and deindustrialisation in rich countries, matched in recipient countries by a notorious growth of “nouveaux-riches”, predatory elites and governments not so much committed to correcting inequalities or fighting poverty.

It is true that this is a global phenomenon, closely linked to the model of deregulation that began in the 1980s and, more recently, to the multiplication of companies and billionaires of the digital age, fuelled by the exponential velocity of money circulation and its use for creating… more money, originating a huge “cloud” of digital capital, that is not causing inflation because it is not being mostly applied in the production of goods and services[v]. There is some consensus among economists about the responsibility of the current economic model in creating low-cost (including qualified) jobs to many millions of people, and in allowing the fuelling of money to a bunch of multimillionaires and firms in various latitudes, that no longer have to face borders to move capital. This is a phenomenon that, over time, have influenced the framing of legal systems[vi], thus allowing tax exemptions and the creation of tax havens for the richer, which multiply throughout the world, including in European territory.

In a way, the approval of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 is, at the institutional level, an expression of how globalisation has changed real contexts and the way these real contexts are changing cooperation rules. Contrary to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), approved at the beginning of the century, therefore yet captured by the North-South paradigm, the SDGs broke with this view and looked for the world in a more integrated and global way, that is, there are poor and rich everywhere and aid and solidarity must occur in all latitudes.

Furthermore, as demonstrated by the approval in the same year of the climate agenda in Paris, the planet, meaning, the sustainability of natural resources and of the environment that supports life, has definitely become one of the central aspects of governmental (and cooperation) policies, which also turned out to be relevant for missions and objectives of a growing number of companies, investors and creditors.

Regardless of the feasibility and the number of objectives (which more than doubled - from 8 MDGs to 17 SDGs), the important fact is that its approval points out towards a new direction, meaning a global, not a North-South one. Besides, a well-rooted paradigm in the traditional economic thinking - to consider public goods as “externalities” -, is being strongly questioned as climate change gained the hearts and minds of the world population, particularly the youth.

It should be said, for the sake of realism, that this global and intrinsic aspect of the SDGs has not yet been fully perceived by cooperation agents and agencies that, in many cases, continue to do business as usual, as if nothing of important had changed. However, this new reality is changing not only the core of political and economic policies but also the behaviour of people and thus of social life. Notwithstanding the tendency for institutional times to lag behind real times - hence the absence or slowness of change in strategies and “modus operandi” of cooperation agencies and their financing bodies - institutions will eventually have to face reality and comply with the new paradigm expressed in the SDGs.

Let us now move on to the pandemic and the likely effects it may have on development cooperation.

First, it is worth mentioning a very much significative feature: the pandemic is global, affecting the rich and the poor and all age groups. Furthermore, unless a cure or a vaccine is discovered in due time, it will likely continue to expand and, given the extremely high rate of contagion of the virus, it is expected to hit with a particular violence urban centres of populous countries with vast informal sectors, such as some African countries (where the rate of urbanisation has skyrocketed in the last 30 years, averaging now over 60%). Besides, other waves of infection may occur, mostly on those geographies where the rate of contagion has not induced immunisation.

As for the economy, regardless of the amount of money that central banks and governments inject into the economy, the question is, as time goes by, the possible depletion of supply, transport and marketing capacities, since such operations not being virtual, depend on the availability of manpower in conditions to work.

This is already one of the more interesting debates on governmental and economic, business  levels, in anticipation of another likely global crisis: how to guarantee the existence of excess storage (the so called redundancies)[vii], to avert the shortage of goods, knowing that this will force a change of route in the business practices and a growth in production and distribution costs – and, therefore, in consumer prices. However, the other foreseeable alternative, vocalised by Donald Trump, which is to reallocate industries back home – means to contradict the huge web of supply chains created in the world economy and in the operation of firms that act globally - and autarky is a worst policy, compared to redundancy. The huge industrial production of China (or, by the same token, of Japan, South Korea or of Germany) is dependent upon the supply of commodities and components produced in other countries – and those that produce for the global markets have to buy from the global markets. Of course, there is a third hypothesis: hope that the pandemic fades quickly, wait and do nothing. However, the question remains: what if there is another global crisis of the same kind?

Another impact of the pandemic is in individual and societal behaviour. The question for our next future is: will we have more multilateralism or more isolationism; will we have more authoritarianism or more freedom and democracy?

One of the elements of this debate that has been mentioned by several analysts, many of them philosophers[viii], points to different ways of dealing with the pandemic in collectivist and individualist societies. Even more: in collectivist and individualist societies with access to digital and supervisory means like never before in any past crisis, global or local.

Interestingly, some of the analysts point to the ease with which the population not only from China, but from democratic Asian countries such as Japan, Singapore, Taiwan or South Korea accepts methods of digital supervision. We are speaking not only about cameras and drones, but also about personal devices that allow an internet connection and facilitate the management of individual behaviours in the face of the pandemic – e.g. timely information via cell phones about the proximity of possible infected people. This acceptance seems evident, despite the less visible but very real aspect of the digital supervision which allows governments (and companies) to collect a huge amount of data, not only to know personal behaviours and be able to influence them, but also to monitor biological rhythms and, eventually, measure reactions and personal moods in the face of certain events.

This greater easiness, in the so-called collectivist societies, to accept the exchange of a greater good, health, for a lesser good, privacy, is opposite to the difficulty in more individualist societies, as in most of the Western world, to accept the supervision of one's private life. This is not only a philosophical issue; it has clear political and economic implications and raises issues of ethics, regulation and legal norms[ix]. Despite the debate, it is quite probable that these supervisory instruments are already used, also if not mostly in the Western world, with greater or lesser secrecy by governmental agencies, private groups and commercial entities, acting against the law or in permissive or grey areas of the law[x].

With regard to the implications on development cooperation, this pandemic is boosting an already existing perception that we live in a world also constituted by virtual borders, that cannot be controlled by police, the army, or physical walls. This means that emergency issues, mainly health and sanitation, will be much higher in the range of priorities for governments, donors and recipients, as well as for citizens in general. Cooperation institutions which already work in this fields have comparative advantages; those who do not work may seek partnerships with those who have the skills or, if they can, they may equip themselves with the appropriate capabilities. It will accentuate what was already happening and which was already mentioned: security issues will increase in importance, the control of real borders will be tightened, and funds will continue to be redirected for those economic activities with a potential to avert huge emigration flows.

Besides, cooperation will tend to cover various latitudes, from the developed, emerging or developing world. The change of name of the European Commissioner for Development to Commissioner for International Partnerships is already an indication of this trend in cooperation - which does not mean that the work of institutions and their processes will change as quickly as the names that embrace them. Anyway, the rationale of partnership implies not only the participation of all parties, but also their contribution to concretise objectives and interests and to defend and promote common causes and objectives.

 

3. Europe-Africa relations and the next Summit

 

Finally, a particular case, named by the current European Commission as an international priority: Africa.

Before addressing this aspect, it is worth recalling some actions that were in progress, some of them being finalised, due to the impact they have on EU-Africa relations. One of these actions is the next and, if it comes to fruition, the last EU-ACP Agreement.

The ACP group was created in 1975 with the signature of the 1st Lomé Convention - and since then, the work of its Secretariat and of the other institutions depend mostly on European funding to subsist. All the semantics created over time about “partnership between equals”, which supports the substitution of donor-recipient wording by partners, or about the “empowerment” of projects (by recipients of aid) and similar rhetoric, cannot hide the simple fact that there is a party that pays and another party that receives.

The proposal that is on the table is of a generic agreement with three specific components by geographic area - Africa, Caribbean, Pacific.

The approval of this format still has problems to be addressed.

One of the problems has to do with the very approval of the EC and the EU Member States budgets for cooperation, given the reluctance of some of the richer countries to augment their contributions in order to bypass the loss of revenue caused by the UK's withdrawal from the Union. The outcome of this process will certainly affect the financial volume of the next Agreement - if it comes into existence.

Another problem has to do with the African Union's resistance to accept that relations with EU go through the ACP Secretariat, as it does not represent the Africa. Therefore, the political, economic, peace, climate change and other global issues should flow directly between the EU and the AU Commissions with an appropriate financial instrument for that.

Forty-five years after the formation of the ACP group, which made all the sense at that moment in time, this construction has turned obsolete nowadays. This does not mean that a last Agreement will not be approved. As expressed by some players on both sides, is better to approve a non-perfect agreement than to open a new negotiation process, with unpredictable results.

Bearing this in mind, let us return to the issues of the European Union-Africa relationship, whose first summit of heads of state and government dates from the beginning of this century in Cairo; the next summit, under an African Union-European Union configuration, is scheduled for September 2020 in Brussels - should the current pandemic allow it.

In 2007, at the second Summit, in Lisbon, a Joint Africa-Europe Strategy (JAES) was approved. The JAES document and the Declaration of Chiefs of State and Government stated that the strategy aimed at defining common goals and interests and that both Parties should defend and promote joint actions in the international arena. Apparently, countries and organisations on both continents seemed to have realised the importance of taking a leap forward and put an end to a relationship based on a donor-recipient mindset. However, soon after the first Action Plan for the operationalisation of this Strategy was approved, business as usual took the stage: lists of themes and projects to be financed by the European Union, actions to be implemented in Africa – in other words, aid. True that some diplomatic consultation on global issues has been tried out and done by the partners, despite problems and contradictions, but this has been a marginal part of the relationship.

However, it should be noted the symbolism attributed to the recent visit of the new European Commission president to the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa. It is also not for lack of issues that Germany defined Africa as a priority for the respective presidency of the European Union in the second half of 2020 (not all EU countries were happy with that) - a priority also signalled by Portugal for the following semester. A strategic partnership with Africa is interesting for the European Union, whose geopolitical relevance has been shaken not only by the isolationist position of the US, but also by the nationalist drives of various European political forces and leaders. In short and to be really strategic, the terms of the alliance have to be adapted to common interests and not subject to the current aid mindset.

As for Africa, despite fragile domestic markets (and, consequently, a lack of internationally tradable products), the recurrent priority given to regional and continental union and integration - the last step of which was the initiative to set up the African Continental Free Trade Area[xi] -, is a factor that matches and brings together the positionings of the European Union and the African Union, notwithstanding the evident differences in economic and institutional realities.

Despite the political and symbolic signs mentioned, until the  breakout of the pandemic the preparation of the current agenda for the next summit continued to follow the usual way, adding little novelty or change. True that the Summit Agenda has a strong African influence, especially with regard to the issues to be financed. This is typical of the way the Cotonou Agreement and its predecessor have functioned. However, the rules of financial management have always remained in the hands of the European Commission and the Member States’ cooperation agencies – one should say this is logical, after all it is their money. The problem (and the illusion) is that both sides persist in calling partnership or joint strategy to what is actually aid.

But why not take advantage of this moment in which humanity (re)discovers the vulnerability of borders to the circulation of a virus, by acting substantively in two dimensions: (i) giving  a substantial meaning to aid, without problems of designating it as such; and, (ii) conferring a more geopolitical and economic significance to the Europe-Africa relationship, overcoming the recurrent practice of dependence.

First, let’s look at aid. The current reality forces a concentration of attention and action in the pandemic, which will dominate the agenda for the next future and, therefore, for the next summit. Humanitarian aid and Development Cooperation have never been more important than they are now. Given the urgency of action, which cannot wait for the summit to take place, the fuelling of aid in all its forms, not only to combat and mitigate the impact of the disease but also to help African countries to manage its economic and social effects, seems to be clear. Unless a cure or a vaccine is discovered (and inoculated) in a timely manner, this one or a next wave of pandemic might impact overwhelmingly on all African countries and, particularly, on those areas with huge concentrations of people in urban centres, where many city dwellers are dependent on informal activity and impelled to go out to the streets in order to survive.

In Africa, the public health effects of the pandemic are occurring in parallel with the economic ones, which were immediately felt as governments declared confinement and other emergency measures[xii]. The overwhelming impact in African exports of the decrease in demand for raw materials is felt everywhere and, on the other side, the contradictory impact of the sharp fall in oil prices (inevitable as long as the current downturn in global economic activity lasts), which affects positively African oil importing countries and negatively African oil exporting countries, some of which with huge population – Nigeria being the more evident example (besides, the country is located in a region with a strong presence of radical jihadism).

The speed of economic impacts and the likely acceleration of the pandemic in Africa[xiii], calls for a global response, which the European Union should foster - after all, it would be an effective way of giving real substance to the so-called special relationship with Africa. And let's be clear, we are talking about aid - primarily humanitarian aid, but also development aid. This means coordinating actions not only with the other OECD countries[xiv] (including the US, despite the isolationist mood of its current leadership) and with the United Nations, but also with other influential bodies such as large foundations and multinationals. Some kind of coordination should definitely be tried with China, the more important individual partner in Africa. Thus, the EU should strongly promote and/or support an international aid campaign and a solidarity fund towards Africa. A move like this would give substance to the stance that the virus and its consequences are a global threat that can only be eradicated with global and coordinated actions[xv].

Now let’s approach the joint AU-EU strategic relationship. The aforementioned priority given to aid does not imply that the need to reflect on the type of future relationship should be postponed. A signal of change in the nature of the relations could start by establishing a common JAES fund to which all countries of the African Union and the European Union would contribute, with the exercise of the vote following a formula that combines the size of contributions not only with that of the countries’ respective economies, but also with solidary values ​​(in other words, delinking voting power from the size of contributions). It is clear that this fund should not have the nature of a bank, since its job would be about grants and not loans. Other forms could exist, but the objective should be twofold: on the one hand, to break the donor-recipient mindset; on the other hand, to overcome the current univocal dynamics of cooperation, meaning that the fund should also include projects in European soil. An interesting formula to use the funds could be, for example, to attribute the value of African contributions to fund projects on European soil - and vice versa.

An initiative of this type, co-funded, win-win and co-programmed, could be approached in the 2020 Summit, by creating a joint working group to prepare a proposal to approve in the next summit. This would constitute an effective and strategic shift in the AU-EU relationship, by replacing a development aid agenda –  in which one Party gives and the other Party receives - by a partnership agreement, integrating the relationship within the spirit of the Sustainable Development Goals and within the realities of an increasingly globalised and interdependent world.

 

Notes


[i] This gave fuel for Donald Trump to attack another basic pillar of the multilateral system.

[ii] Although more publicised, the split in Scotland would be more complex, given the intricate economic relations with the Kingdom and the amount of budget transfers, the volume of which could not be replaced by aid resulting from a hypothetical entry in the EU.

[iii] The functioning of the Chinese market is analysed in an expressive way by Kai-Fu-Lee, who portrays it as competition between gladiators.

[iv] At multilateral meetings in Paris, Accra and Busan, for example.

[v] This phenomenon is discussed in recent works by several analysts, including Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Collier and Paul Mason.

[vi] The “capital code”, as Katharina Pistor calls them in her book with the same name.

[vii] As discussed by Shanon K. O’Neil, among other analysts.

[viii] Among which the German of Korean origin, Byung-Chul Han.

[ix] Aspects addressed by Shoshana Zuboff, among other analysts.

[x] An interesting analysis that focuses on these types of questions is made by Yuval Noah Harari.

[xi] Initiative led by Paul Kagamé, President of Rwanda, with a special role for Carlos Lopes, former Under Secretary General of the UN and former Executive Director of UNECA.

[xii] It is interesting to notice that, despite the lack of means and the fragility of institutions, there are a number of African States that took very early and decisive measures, so helping to contain the quick spread of the disease.

[xiii] Meaning that contamination will probably occur in great numbers, even if fatalities do not follow the same trend – after all African demographics show a very young population.

[xiv] This issue is discussed by Jorge Moreira da Silva and Susana Moorehead.

[xv] The “Team Europe” and the decision of the EC and the European Council to raise a robust funding for Africa and poor nations to combat COVID, the declaration of the G20 Ministers of Finance calling for a freeze of the debt of the same countries, as well as the recent meeting of 20 EU and African leaders calling for the raising of a substantial fund to help African countries to manage the pandemic are some examples of ongoing actions.

 

References

Byung-Chul Han (2020, March 22): O Corona Vírus e o mundo de amanhã, in El País.

Pistor, Katharina (2019): The Code of Capital, Princeton University Press, Princeton & Oxford.

Carlos Lopes (2019): Africa in Transformation: Economic Development in the Age of Doubt, Palgrave Mc Millan.

Collier, Paul (2019): The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties, Penguin Books, London.

Lee, Kai-Fu (2018): AI Superpowers: China, Siicon Valley and the New World Order, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, Boston.

Mason, Paul (2017): Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future, Farra, Straus and Giroux, NY.

Shanon K. O’Neil (2020, April 1):How to Pandemic-Proof Globalization Redundancy, not reshoring, is the key to supply chain security, Foreign Affairs.

Silva, Jorge Moreira; Moorehead, Susanna (2020, March 25): Aid in the time of COVID 19 - 3 things donors can do now, in devex.com

Stiglitz, Joseph (2019): People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent, Penguin Books, London.

Yuval Noah Harari (2020, March 20): The World after Corona Virus, in Financial Times.

Zuboff, Shoshana (2019): The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Profile Books, London.