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The crisis is not permanent

A book that sets out the journey to a more balanced world has been published in Italy

You need good manuals to stay on course and be aware of the path you are taking. That guidance never changes. And it applies to everyone – even, naturally, to those of us whose role it is to make decisions that affect the masses. One such manual to read and re-read is Permacrisis. A Plan to Fix a Fractured World, a book written by Gordon Brown, Mohamed A. El-Erian and Michael Spence that reflects on how to structure resilient growth models, better approaches to economic management and sound international governance.

Written a few months ago, the book sets out the elements that comprise the crisis and possible solutions to overcome them. The list is straightforward. The conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East; the tensions between the United States and China; inflation has reached levels not seen in decades and energy prices have forced some households to choose between gas and food; increasingly frequent natural disasters and global warming, caused by climate change; and artificial intelligence that threatens to revolutionise the labour market to an extent not seen since the first industrial revolution. These are the reasons, as well as many others, behind the crisis in our society – and they seem insurmountable. The authors contend, however, that, although the prefix “perma” would seem to suggest otherwise, the current crisis should not be considered permanent.

Of course, exiting the crisis, which in many ways appears unresolvable, will be a long journey, but there is a route we can take. The demonstration of this is provided by Brown, El-Ertian and Spence, and is illustrated over the course of around 250 pages, strictly divided into three parts, that should be read carefully. Firstly, it addresses what the word “growth” means – in terms of favourable and unfavourable conditions, sustainability and productivity – to state how the so-called growth equation must be changed. The authors then address the issue of economic management, discussing here too the pros and cons, the positive and negative aspects and steps to improve it. Growth and the economy must then be included in a global order that should be reviewed by reinvigorating international institutions and a “light” form of globalisation.

This book by Brown, El-Ertian and Spence is a good read to be approached with an open mind, a positive outlook, and trust in humanity and its works. It is a book to be reasoned over and discussed. Of course, nothing is taken for granted, but everything is assumed to be possible. Summarising the path we need to undertake, the three write: “The world is changing before our eyes. And we have a duty to grasp the significance of the changes taking place: firstly, the transition from a unipolar to a multipolar world; secondly, the transition from hyper-globalisation to light globalisation; thirdly, the transition from a neoliberal era in which economics dictated political decisions to a neo-nationalist one, in which politics and national security dictate economic conditions. The world is changing, but what this change will look like is up to us.”

Permacrisis. A Plan to Fix a Fractured World

Gordon Brown, Mohamed A. El-Erian and Michael Spence

Egea, 2024

A book that sets out the journey to a more balanced world has been published in Italy

You need good manuals to stay on course and be aware of the path you are taking. That guidance never changes. And it applies to everyone – even, naturally, to those of us whose role it is to make decisions that affect the masses. One such manual to read and re-read is Permacrisis. A Plan to Fix a Fractured World, a book written by Gordon Brown, Mohamed A. El-Erian and Michael Spence that reflects on how to structure resilient growth models, better approaches to economic management and sound international governance.

Written a few months ago, the book sets out the elements that comprise the crisis and possible solutions to overcome them. The list is straightforward. The conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East; the tensions between the United States and China; inflation has reached levels not seen in decades and energy prices have forced some households to choose between gas and food; increasingly frequent natural disasters and global warming, caused by climate change; and artificial intelligence that threatens to revolutionise the labour market to an extent not seen since the first industrial revolution. These are the reasons, as well as many others, behind the crisis in our society – and they seem insurmountable. The authors contend, however, that, although the prefix “perma” would seem to suggest otherwise, the current crisis should not be considered permanent.

Of course, exiting the crisis, which in many ways appears unresolvable, will be a long journey, but there is a route we can take. The demonstration of this is provided by Brown, El-Ertian and Spence, and is illustrated over the course of around 250 pages, strictly divided into three parts, that should be read carefully. Firstly, it addresses what the word “growth” means – in terms of favourable and unfavourable conditions, sustainability and productivity – to state how the so-called growth equation must be changed. The authors then address the issue of economic management, discussing here too the pros and cons, the positive and negative aspects and steps to improve it. Growth and the economy must then be included in a global order that should be reviewed by reinvigorating international institutions and a “light” form of globalisation.

This book by Brown, El-Ertian and Spence is a good read to be approached with an open mind, a positive outlook, and trust in humanity and its works. It is a book to be reasoned over and discussed. Of course, nothing is taken for granted, but everything is assumed to be possible. Summarising the path we need to undertake, the three write: “The world is changing before our eyes. And we have a duty to grasp the significance of the changes taking place: firstly, the transition from a unipolar to a multipolar world; secondly, the transition from hyper-globalisation to light globalisation; thirdly, the transition from a neoliberal era in which economics dictated political decisions to a neo-nationalist one, in which politics and national security dictate economic conditions. The world is changing, but what this change will look like is up to us.”

Permacrisis. A Plan to Fix a Fractured World

Gordon Brown, Mohamed A. El-Erian and Michael Spence

Egea, 2024