Japan Society members and their guests are invited to join us for a conversation with the Society’s chairman, Bill Emmott and Sir Paul Tucker, former deputy governor of the Bank of England and now fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, to discuss themes raised in Sir Paul’s new book Global Discord: Values and Power in a Fractured World Order.
Can the international economic and legal system survive today’s fractured geopolitics? Democracies are facing a drawn-out contest with authoritarian states that is entangling much of public policy with global security issues. In Global Discord, Paul Tucker lays out principles for a sustainable system of international cooperation, showing how democracies can deal with China and other illiberal states without sacrificing their deepest political values. Drawing on three decades as a central banker and regulator, Tucker applies these principles to the international monetary order, including the role of the U.S. dollar, trade and investment regimes, and the financial system.
Combining history, economics, and political and legal philosophy, Tucker offers a new account of international relations. Rejecting intellectual traditions that go back to Hobbes, Kant, and Grotius, and deploying instead ideas from David Hume, Bernard Williams, and modern mechanism-design economists, Tucker describes a new kind of political realism that emphasizes power and interests without sidelining morality. Incentives must be aligned with values if institutions are to endure. The connecting tissue for a system of international cooperation, he writes, should be legitimacy, creating a world of concentric circles in which we cooperate more with those with whom we share the most and whom we fear the least.
Sir Paul Tucker is a research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mossavar Rahmani Center for Business and Government. His previous book, Unelected Power, was published in 2018. For over thirty years until late-2013, Tucker was a central banker at the Bank of England and Bank for International Settlements, where he chaired some of the groups reforming the financial system after the 2007-09 global crisis.
Bill Emmott is an independent writer, lecturer and consultant on international affairs. He is a Fellow of Tokyo College, University of Tokyo’s interdisciplinary research institute, and was a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford in 2017-18. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of The Economist (1993-2006) and has written eight books on Japan, the first of which was The Sun Also Sets: Why Japan Will Not Be Number One (1989).