Event Report

Economic Security: Weaponizing the World Economy

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The Japan Institute of International Affairs hosted a webinar titled "Economic Security: Weaponizing the World Economy " on April 25, 2024, inviting Professor Abraham L. Newman from Georgetown University as the guest speaker. The webinar was moderated by Professor Keisuke Iida from the Graduate Schools for Law and Politics at the University of Tokyo, who is the head of the JIIA's Study Group on Economic Security. The commentator was Dr. Satoshi Inomata, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).

Professor Newman, based on his book co-authored with Professor Henry Farrell titled "Underground Empire: How America Weaponized the World Economy" (the Japanese translation published by Nikkei BP, March 2024), explained that the global networks rapidly connecting the world through trade, finance, and information are actually dominated by a small number of states and large corporations, and that these actors have advanced the 'weaponization of interdependence' by exploiting their central position in global politics. He also discussed the impact of America's economic security policies on policies in other regions such as Europe, and the challenges faced by companies like TSMC and Microsoft in navigating complex geopolitical tensions. In addition, Prof. Newman pointed out the risks of unintended consequences from the 'weaponization of interdependence' and emphasized the importance of balancing economic benefits with geopolitical control and the need to carefully manage economic security policies by building appropriate institutions.

Following the lecture, Dr. Inomata introduced a new risk indicator for assessing the vulnerability of global supply chains based on the International Input-Output Table, and discussed how to evaluate global economic networks and geopolitical risks from an economic analysis perspective. The audience posed many questions, leading to a lively discussion.

The video of this webinar can be watched here.