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    Geopolitical and environmental implications of the Ukraine conflict

    Smith, Keith (2022) Geopolitical and environmental implications of the Ukraine conflict. UNSPECIFIED. CIMR, Birkbeck, University of London, London, UK.

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    This paper explores the implications of the Ukraine war for geopolitical organisation and the development of environmentally sustainable technologies. It argues that the Ukraine conflict is likely to be an epochal war, a protracted struggle over political and economic structures, marking some kind of divide between eras. The outcomes of such wars are often radically uncertain, with consequences completely unexpected by those who initiate them. The direct military struggle in the Ukraine may be lengthy or a solution may be negotiated. But the economic war of embargoes, confiscations and boycotts will probably continue indefinitely, and will have the effect of reconfiguring the world system. Neither Russia nor China are likely to succumb to the sanctions, because they have well-educated populations, comprehensive natural resource bases, and large agricultural and industrial sectors. This suggests that there will be a new geopolitical structure based on strong partition between two great power blocs, with competition for influence among other economies and polities. But this geopolitical division is occurring within a geophysical crisis of environmental degradation and climate change. Against the geophysical background, the biggest global problem is the breakdown of multilateral collaboration needed to find workable energy technology solutions. Current emissions targets are dead and the collective action framework associated with the UN climate process is probably dead. Longer-term solutions, such as the cooperative development of new energy technologies, are impossible to envisage at the moment. Even so, it is highly likely that the uncertain dynamics of economic war and geophysical crisis will provide radical challenges to the new geopolitical order. The key innovation policy challenge for the future is to find and build, within this reconfigured but turbulent geopolitical structure, a new basis for multilateral technological collaboration.


    Item Type: Monograph (UNSPECIFIED)
    Additional Information: CIMR Research Working Paper Series no.62, ISSN: 2052-062X
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Research Centres and Institutes: Innovation Management Research, Birkbeck Centre for
    Depositing User: Helen Lawton Smith
    Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2022 15:57
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:19


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