The last two years have witnessed significant global developments that brought geopolitics back to center stage and exacerbated global divisions. The CSIS 2024 Global Forecast—A World Dividing—offers insights from dozens of our scholars on the most urgent questions in the year ahead around security, technology, geoeconomics, alliances, and regional influence.
This second installment of A World Dividing examines the rapidly shifting contours of global economic and technology competition. Experts from across CSIS offer their policy solutions to strengthen U.S. competitiveness on trade, manufacturing, and energy and climate security—issues that will define U.S. economic security in the twenty-first century.
This volume follows the first installment of A World Dividing, which explores the myriad issues facing U.S.-China competition in 2024. The issues examined in the next two installments are also of equal importance, with insights on what comes next for the conflict s in Europe and the Middle East and the defining factors in the battle for influence in the Global South.
We invite you to explore the diverse perspectives below to deepen your thinking on these questions.
Read Part I of the 2024 Global Forecast: The China Challenge here. Stay tuned in the coming days for the next installments, featuring expert insights on the ongoing conflicts in Europe and the Middle East and the battle for influence in the Global South.
"Ultimately, nuclear-armed countries will be cautious in their use of force in any competition, which means that power does not come from the barrel of a gun, no matter how technologically advanced that gun may be, but from the persuasiveness of a nation's ideas."
"A profound shift in trade, technology, and security policy is underway. This has resulted in an increasingly technology-driven economic security policy that has reshaped strategic competition and infused geopolitical risk into commercial considerations."
"Getting trade policy right has always been complicated. . . . It appears the United States is once again at an inflection point where a growing number of experts are calling for major change."
A new era of geoeconomic and tech competition is underway. Leveraging trade tools to assure the nation’s competitiveness on the global stage will be critical to U.S. foreign policy in the twenty-first century. Policymakers will need to carefully balance today’s new geopolitical reality with domestic pressures to further prosperity and assure security.
"The future competitiveness and security of the United States depends on doubling down on a strategy that supports a strong domestic innovation system that is also internationally connected and resilient."
As the world runs ever more on chips, the industry that makes them is under unprecedented technological, logistical, and geopolitical pressure. Securing the future of this industry is essential for U.S. economic prosperity and national security.
"China is at the heart of a key challenge for the United States in the energy transition. Faster deployment of renewable energy based on Chinese technology could cede long-term advantages to a key geopolitical competitor."
On climate and energy matters, there is more competition than cooperation between the United States and China. But to achieve a cleaner and more secure energy future, a hybrid approach is best.
Craig Cohen is executive vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a bipartisan think tank in Washington, D.C. In this role, he serves as deputy to the president and CEO, responsible for overseeing and helping to achieve all aspects of the Center’s strategic, programmatic, operational, outreach, fundraising, and financial goals, including recruitment of new program directors to CSIS. Previously, Mr. Cohen served as vice president for research and programs, deputy chief of staff, and fellow in the International Security Program. He has served as editor of two anthologies of CSIS work, Global Forecast 2012 and Global Forecast 2011, as well as director of a project sponsored by the National Intelligence Council that produced the report Capacity and Resolve on foreign assessments of U.S. power. Mr. Cohen codirected the CSIS Commission on Smart Power in 2007 and authored A Perilous Course: U.S. Strategy and Assistance to Pakistan (CSIS, 2007). Mr. Cohen served as an adjunct professor at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School in 2006. Prior to joining CSIS, he worked with the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations in Rwanda, Azerbaijan, Malawi, and the former Yugoslavia. He received a master’s degree from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and an undergraduate degree from Duke University.
Alex Kisling is vice president of communications at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where he works alongside the chief communications officer to direct the Center’s press, digital and social media, and other external engagement efforts. He also oversees the Center’s broadcasting and publications functions. Kisling was previously the director of strategic communications at the Atlantic Council, where he served as the organization’s spokesman, oversaw the Council’s media relations portfolio, and managed comprehensive communications planning for the Council’s programs and experts. He worked for nearly a decade at the leading public affairs firms Kivvit and Public Strategies Washington conceptualizing and managing high-profile strategic communications and public policy advocacy campaigns that shaped policymaker opinion in Washington and across the United States. He began his career on Capitol Hill as an aide to Congressman Steve Driehaus (OH). Kisling lives with his wife and two children in Washington, D.C., and is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. He earned his bachelor's degree from Trinity College (CT).
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Cover: Wafer is seen at SEMICON 2023 in Taipei, Taiwan on September 6, 2023. | Walid Berrazeg/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Factory Worker: A worker is producing photovoltaic modules for export at a workshop of a new energy company in the Sihong Economic Development Zone in Suqian, Jiangsu Province, China, on January 23, 2024. | Costfoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Conclusion: A container ship stands among containers in Wilhelmshaven port on July 16, 2022 in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. | David Hecker/Getty Images