The Max Watson Lecture: Demise of doctrine: Policy making in the real world

The Max Watson Lecture: Demise of doctrine: Policy making in the real world

Tuesday, 12 June 2018 - 5:00pm
Venue: 
Nissan Lecture Theatre, St Antony's College, 62 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6JF
Speaker(s): 
Caroline Atkinson (Former Head of Global Policy at Google)
Chair: 
Charles Enoch (St Antony's College, Oxford)
Convenor: 
Charles Enoch (St Antony's College, Oxford)
Series: 
Political Economy of Financial Markets (PEFM)

Abstract: The post-World War 2 economic doctrine that guided the West -- international cooperation in line with a global market system of rules largely defined by United States and its allies -- has been under growing pressure since the turn of this century.  Skepticism in the model was fueled by the global financial crisis triggered in the US and the painfully drawn out Eurocrisis.  But recent political events have delivered a bigger shock to the system. This is most striking from the US. On taking office in January 2017, President Trump rejected the major trans-pacific partnership (TPP) trade agreement that embodied not just trade liberalization but also key norms and rules that govern economic relations in market economies.  Later came the US decision to leave the Paris Climate accord -- which had been fashioned to support cooperative behavior-- and most recently the Iran agreement. In Europe, challenges to the doctrine have come from the Brexit decision and messy aftermath together with weakened mandates for government in Germany, uncertainty in Italy and challenges to Western-style rules in Poland and Hungary.  How can policy making in the world of today best react to these challenges, and what is the role for the much-maligned experts -- in economics and finance -- in maneovring in this political economy?

Caroline Atkinson was head of global policy at Google, where she advised Google’s leadership on policy issues and leads Google’s work with policy makers, government officials, and key political stakeholders. Prior to joining Google, Caroline served as President Barack Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics. As the President’s senior international economic advisor, Caroline supported the President at major international economic summits and coordinated the policymaking process for international economic affairs. During her tenure, she was the US “sherpa” at G7 and G20 summits, and helped to drive global agreement on a diverse set of issues, including global trade, employment, climate change and the response to the Ebola crisis. Before working directly for President Obama, Caroline held senior roles at the International Monetary Fund, the U.S. Treasury Department, and the Bank of England, and worked as a journalist for The Washington Post, The Economist, and The Times. She holds a B.A. in politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) from Oxford.