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The Irrelevant Seven

At a time when the emergence of large, densely populated economic powerhouses like Brazil, China, India, and Indonesia is challenging Western dominance, many believe that the current international system is due for an upgrade. But what will replace bodies like the G-7?

BERLIN – The latest G-7 summit, in the beautiful Alpine setting of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany, has come and gone. No longer the G-8, owing to Russia’s suspension, the forum is again composed exclusively of traditional Western powers. At a time when the emergence of large, densely populated economic powerhouses like Brazil, China, India, and Indonesia is challenging Western dominance, many believe that the current international system is due for an overhaul.

In fact, a new world order is almost certain to emerge – and very soon. The shape it takes will be determined by two key phenomena: globalization and digitization.

Globalization is enabling economies that are not yet fully industrialized to reap the benefits of industrialization and become integrated into global markets – a trend that has redefined the global division of labor and transformed value chains. The revolution in digital communication technology has underpinned this shift.

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