“The demolition of Rodrik’s trilemma”, Andrés Ortega (Elcano, Spain)

In his book The Globalization Paradox, published in 2011, the Harvard Professor Dani Rodrik formulated his famous trilemma: it is impossible to attain economic hyperglobalisation, national sovereignty and democracy simultaneously, because only two of these things can be achieved at any one time.

The sides of the triangle must be chosen (and it is a choice that comes with consequences: global governance, a golden straightjacket or the Bretton Woods compromise, also known as the liberal order). But at a time of emergence from a lengthy crisis and a change of the world order, the three vertices – and therefore the sides – are all fracturing at once, or at least being subjected to tensions they may or may not be able to withstand, certainly in Europe but also further afield: globalisation, which was already stalling and more so now with the trade war unleashed by Trump; national sovereignty, with the territorial tensions in a range of states and the new nationalisms; and democracy, with reverses to the rule of law in various places, the crisis of systems and the rise of populist movements. A choice can no longer be made between …

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