FIIA FORUM 2020: Towards a Geoeconomic World Order: The Emerging Tech and Trade Wars

Live Stream · 30.09.2020 16:00 - 18:00

You can watch the recording of the event below.

The international system is moving rapidly towards a geoeconomic world order, characterized by the broad use of economic tools to achieve strategic and security goals. Economic interdependencies are being weaponized for power-political ends, feeding a geoeconomic chain reaction with states applying broader trade controls, investment screening and data localization measures out of concern for their economic autonomy. The coronavirus pandemic has heightened these concerns. While the precise contours of this emerging geoeconomic order are far from clear, it is thus catalyzing an increased convergence between security and economic thinking, putting pressure on the laws and institutions that govern the international economy.

The FIIA Forum discussed these new geoeconomic developments. How does geoeconomics manifest itself in the strategies and relations between actors such as China, the European Union, Russia and the United States? What are the consequences for the future of global economic governance? How should states and businesses adapt to this new order? What is the future for the international trade regime and financial system? Can the geoeconomic chain reaction somehow be managed?

Thomas Wright, Director, Center on the United States and Europe, Brookings Institution
Victor do Prado, Director, Council and Trade Negotiations Committee, World Trade Organization (WTO)

Carla Norrlof, Visiting Research Professor, FIIA
Mikael Wigell, Programme Director, FIIA

Chair: Mika Aaltola, Director, FIIA

Read FIIA Working Paper published 30 September: The emergence of strategic capitalism: Geoeconomics, corporate statecraft and the repurposing of the global economy


Thomas Wright

Director, Center on the United States and Europe, Brookings Institution

Thomas Wright is the Director of the Center on the United States and Europe and a Senior Fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution. He is also a contributing writer for The Atlantic and a nonresident fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. Dr Wright works on great power competition, Brexit and the future of the EU, economic interdependence, Donald Trump’s worldview, and US foreign policy. Dr Wright has a doctorate from Georgetown University. He is coauthoring a book on the international response to COVID-19, which will be published by St Martin’s Press in 2021.

Victor do Prado

Director, Council and Trade Negotiations Committee, World Trade Organization (WTO)

Victor do Prado is the Director of the Council and Trade Negotiations Committee at the WTO, where he assists the preparations for WTO Ministerial Conferences and oversees the work of the General Council and the Dispute Settlement Body. Mr do Prado previously served as deputy Chief of Staff to Director-General Pascal Lamy (2005-2012). He is a former Brazilian diplomat. He holds a Degree in Law from the University of São Paulo and a master’s degree in international Relations from the Brazilian Diplomatic Academy.

Carla Norrlof

Visiting Research Professor, FIIA

Carla Norrlof is Visiting Research Professor at FIIA, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto, Senior Fellow of Massey College and a Research Associate of the Graduate Institute of International Studies (Geneva). She researches International Relations (IR) and International Political Economy (IPE) with a special focus on great powers and liberal international order. Norrlof’s most recent work is “Raison de l’Hegemonie: The Costs & Benefits of Hegemony” with William C.Wohlforth (Security Studies) and “The Global Monetary Order and the Liberal Order Debate” with others (International Studies Perspectives).

Mikael Wigell

Programme Director, FIIA

Mikael Wigell is Programme Director of the Global Security research programme at FIIA and Adjunct Professor at Tampere University. He has held Visiting Fellowships at Oxford University and the Torcuato di Tella University, Buenos Aires, as well as a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Academy of Finland. He earned his PhD from the London School of Economics and he is a former president of the Finnish International Studies Association. His latest book is the edited volume Geo-economics and Power Politics in the 21st Century (Routledge 2018).


Mika Aaltola

Director, FIIA

Mika Aaltola is the Director of FIIA. Dr Aaltola is also a professor of International Relations at Tallinn University, Estonia, and holds the rank of docent at Tampere University. He has been a visiting fellow at Cambridge University, Sciences Po (CERI), and Johns Hopkins as well as a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota. His areas of expertise include the US global role, dynamics of power politics, and Finnish foreign policy. His latest published monograph is Democratic Vulnerability and Autocratic Meddling - The “Thucydidean Brink” in Regressive Geopolitical Competition (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2021).