TOPIC: GEOGRAPHIC COMFORT ZONES GUEST: DR. TAMAS NOVAK, BUDAPEST SCHOOL OF BUSINESS HUNGARY HOST: MR.LON APPLEBY, DURHAM COLLEGE CANADA
“Globalization makes it impossible for modern societies to collapse in isolation, as did Easter Island and the Greenland Norse in the past. Any society in turmoil today no matter how remote can cause trouble for prosperous societies on other continents and is also subject to their influence. For the first time in history, we face the risk of a global decline. But we also are the first to enjoy the opportunity of learning quickly from developments in societies anywhere else in the world today, and from what has unfolded in societies at any time in the past.
– Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
The 1980s to 1990s saw the world being smothered by the globalization reforms, liberalization being the motto and private players the key to economic success. One often hears about how globalization has made everything possible – indeed, it is impossible for the present generation to imagine the lack of a global market redundant with the flow of goods and services from various countries. In such an open society however, one may tend to overlook the widespread effects of globalization on different aspects – social, economic and political – of our daily life.
This is exactly what Dr. Tamas Novak, Professor of Economics & Director of International Relations, Budapest Business School, Hungary attempted to explain during the first global class of our semester held on November 29th, 2017, the topic being ‘Geographic Comfort Zones’. The session was hosted by Mr. Lon Appleby, a charming and cheery professor from the Durham College of Oshawa, Canada. The session was attended to by the students of Durham College Oshawa, Canada, Budapest Business School, Hungary, Seisa University, Japan and our very own Christ University, India. Students from the courses of M.A. International Studies and B.A. (History, Economics, Political Science) and other courses that included International Economics and/or International Relations were privileged to be a part of this enlightening conversation. An option to listen in live and ask questions was also provided. Rev. Fr. Jose CC and our professors, Dr. Venugopal Menon and Dr. Anurag Tripathi were present too, to provide their never-failing guidance and encouragement. Ms. Madhumati Deshpande, our beloved patron, was in charge of this entire show.
Dr. Novak initially presented his viewpoint on the global economy, accompanied by the key players in the influencing of said economy, at both the state and international level. He also presented his opinions on the future of the international arena with the rise of unexpected, yet powerful players (like China). This brief introduction was followed by the intriguing questions and discussions involved in by the students. Queries ranging from the political instability that mostly followed globalization, the negativity of forced liberalization on regions belonging to any monetary unions and the rise of China on the global stage by involving in various types of investments and projects were projected, through which a lively discussion ensued. The increasing influence of China on the global scenario and India’s wariness surprised the audience of the session – the European countries seemed very receptive of China’s role and believed it to be of a purely business nature, a fact that Indians found difficult to adhere to.
The session ended on a cheerful note; Mr. Lon Appleby applauded the participating universities and their enthusiasm, he took careful note of the well-deserving caution that India felt towards China’s global movements, declared himself amused by the fact that US has cropped up a minimum number of times into the discussion, clearly indicating the global power of China and reminded the audience that the reverting of power and influence to countries like China and India in the global scenarios need not be accepted through feelings of surprise and concern – India and China had long been players in the scenario and we the oldest members of the game; it was only right that history showcased the reversal of footprints.
Ms. Madhumati Deshpande cheerfully stated then that she sincerely hoped the phrase ‘India and China’ and not just ‘China’ would continue to be in use.
It was an educative and enlightening session, in all respects.