About the Kühne Center for Sustainable Globalisation
The Kühne Foundation has supported the Kühne Center for Sustainable Globalisation since 2018. It is a research center based on a long-term cooperation between the Kühne Foundation and the University of Zurich. It aims to establish itself as a thought leader on economic issues surrounding globalisation – by conducting relevant research and making its insights available to a broad audience.
At the core of the center is the Kühne Foundation's Professorship for International Trade. It is currently held by Professor Ralph Ossa who is a leading expert on trade policy. His research spans a broad range of questions with an emphasis on the economics of trade wars and trade talks. In addition, the center is home to a number of affiliated researchers.
The World Trading System at a Turning Point
International trade has always generated a great deal of controversy, particularly in advanced economies. This controversial nature of trade is not particularly surprising, given that it is one of the key drivers of change in modern economies. It affects which industries expand and contract, which firms succeed and fail, and which employment opportunities appear and disappear and therefore directly changes the lives of many people. However, this continued controversy has now turned into extreme hostility, which threatens the established world trading system. This is most obvious in the United States, which has radically changed its trade policy stance and now engages in a full-scale trade war with China. But it is also apparent in Europe, where hundreds of thousands of citizens demonstrate against new trade agreements, even if they are with close allies such as Canada.
Informing the debate on Globalisation
The Kühne Center for Sustainable Globalisation is of the opinion that this globalization backlash is more than a return of old-fashioned protectionism and requires fresh thinking if it is to be overcome. To achieve a truly sustainable globalisation, it is necessary to carefully evaluate the current world trading system and identify what works and what needs to be improved.
For example, whatever one thinks of radical trade policies in the United States, it is reasonable to ask if the World Trade Organisation is able to effectively prevent abuses by large non-market economies. And whatever one thinks of the massive protests against the CETA agreement between the European Union and Canada, it is reasonable to ask whether private investors should get the right to directly sue democratic governments. These are the kinds of topics addressed by Kühne Center for Sustainable Globalisation, with the aim of making globalisation work again.