Agreed. What's more, liberalization 'at the margin' has also provided Asian countries with a sort of testing ground for new policies; it's certainly the case of China and its Special Economic Zones.
I think though that a danger, particularly in Africa, lies with the complacency of oil producing countries. You have a country like Gabon, where oil exports account for 80% of all exports. in Gabon something like 60% of the population works in agriculture, yet the country imports incredibly high proportions of its food. But plans for boosting the all but absent manufacturing sector and diversifying the economy have only come about in the last 3 or so years.
What's more, growth in these oil exporting African countries is rather good if one looks only at the numbers. Shortly put there is little incentive to strive for the type of structural change prof. Rodrik talks about. It remains of course to be seen how things will change!
1) The first objective you lay out sounds nice in theory; countries coming together to cooperate to face current and emerging global problems. But it is not so clear whose resilience is being targeted. When companies in France lay off workers and then have the remainder sign agreements to work longer hours for less pay in exchange for five years of supposedly guaranteed jobs, it is not the worker who is gaining in resilience. For the World Economic Forum to dabble in the 'social' is great, but not if it is to further skew current imbalances among economic actors for the sake of a nebulous economic recover.
2) The social responsibility of corporations (when it takes the name CSR) has in a lot of cases been a mixed blessing for developing economies and for the international development/aid agenda. Despite some very successful examples, it has meant in some cases less accountability, less transparency and less sustainable change. These need to be addressed not as a caveat, not as a secondary thought, but as part of the main agenda. CSR is going on, and will be taking place even without Davos. Davos' role may be more effective if it comes down to more than simply promoting CSR and offering different successful stories and models. Davos could contribute to the growing interest in CSR by nuancing the concept, by showing people the candid failures as well as successes.
Well, now that things are already underway I have no choice but to sit and watch...
"The bigger picture" is a scary concept. You are also implying that giving the United States carte blanche to bomb another country is a viable policy to deter Pakistan from going back to it's "old ways".
For countries that wish to remain civilized, there is no real choice here; the ends simply do not justify the means.
The first half of this is textbook rationalization: you paint a terrifying picture of what will happen if Japan does not 'stand strong' against Chinese claims on those islands, but at no point is the issue of legitimacy raised. At no point do you say why Japan's claim to that territory is more legitimate than China's. And in doing that you're telling your reader that in the end, it's not really important, that it should go to Japan because China is too strong and threatening a power in the region. That is not reason, it is rationalization.
Worse still, in the second half of this text you reverse your previous logic by arguing for strengthened military alliances with Europe and the US for Japan.
What you are saying to a European or American ruler is essentially: "Scared of the Chinese? Well, then pick our side in this standoff!"
There are many problems with our society, one of which is the proliferation of and ease of access to guns.
You say "Guns are not the problem, people are the problem".
I'll say "People are the problem, and they have guns"
While the mental health question is paramount, and while you can't avoid dealing with questions of social integration, the school system, the media, 'cultures of violence', etc., focusing onlyhese is dancing around the all too clear reality: if that kid did not have a gun, he would not have shot anyone.