To compete and thrive in the 21st century, democracies, and the United States in particular, must develop new national security and economic strategies that address the geopolitics of information. In the 20th century, market capitalist democracies geared infrastructure, energy, trade, and even social policy to protect and advance that era’s key source of power—manufacturing. In this century, democracies must better account for information geopolitics across all dimensions of domestic policy and national strategy.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze how China’s new power is reaching Europe, the challenges that it poses, and the European responses to this new reality. This process has to be examined in the context of the current strategic competition between China and the U.S. and its reflection on the transatlantic relationship.
When wielded effectively, U.S. sanctions have weakened targets like Iran and North Korea without impacting the global economy. But against authoritarian heavyweights like Russia and China, this may no longer be the case. America’s policy options are narrowing.
In this episode of Dollar & Sense, David Dollar is joined by Michael Greenwald, a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center who helped design sanctions programs at the U.S. Treasury, to discuss the effectiveness of these tools and why they need to be updated for an era of great power competition.
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
Analysis & Opinions
- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
Washington should adjust its coercive economic strategy to reflect a broader use of tools beyond sanctions. Given the degree of political interference in China’s banking system via formal state ownership and the indirect influence of opaque party committees, penalties imposed against the country’s banks are unlikely to produce a meaningful change in behavior.