The rise of new powers from the Global South is reshaping the global economy and the institutions charged with its governance.The existing international economic order and its governing institutions were created during the era of US hegemony and heavily shaped by US power, and the US has been a key driver of globalization and neoliberal economic restructuring. Contemporary power shifts therefore raise important questions about the agendas being pursued by the new powers and their impact on the governance of economic globalization. In her current project, Kirsten Hopewell analyzes the role and impact of Brazil, India and China at the World Trade Organization (WTO), a core institution in global economic governance. The WTO was intended to be a key pillar in the construction of an international economic architecture to facilitate the spread and deepening of neoliberal globalization. She argues that power shifts have resulted in multilateral disintegration and caused the institutional project of neoliberal globalization to be stillborn at the WTO. Paradoxically, however, this is not because the new developing country powers have rejected the neoliberal paradigm; rather, Hopewell shows that the ideological embrace of global neoliberalism by the new powers has led to its institutional breakdown. The talk will focus specifically on the case of Brazil, as an illustration of why and how the new powers have embraced the rules, norms and principles of the existing economic order.
Kristen Hopewell is an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia. Beginning in January, she will be a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, Germany. She received her PhD from the University of Michigan. Dr. Hopewell’s research and teaching interests are in the areas ofinternational relations, global political economy, and development. Her current research analyzes the rising power of Brazil, India and China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and their impact on the multilateral trading system. This research was supported by a Fulbright Fellowship, the U.S. National Science Foundation, and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She has been a visiting fellow at Beijing University, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Hopewell has longstanding interests in international trade and finance. Prior to entering academia, she worked as a trade official for the Canadian government and as an investment banker for Morgan Stanley.