Sessions 3 and 4 of GEB course

Sessions 3 and 4 today had been very interactive. The session focused on the linkages between political systems, economic systems and ideology which have its own time, place and demographic dimensions capable of bringing Geopolitical changes. The discussions went on to discuss the comparison between the ideology of India and China and its Geopolitical implications.

It was argued that contribution and gains of RISE OF EAST are more in favor of China. By 2015 poverty levels are to reach a healthy 5% in China while in India it is likely to be around 22%. However political ideology of China is far behind India and is capable to undoing of these fast gains of China in next few decades. It was argued that Chinese growth has its negative side wherein common Chinese are victims of state coercion wherein for example, they are unable to express their anguish over forcible acquisition of their land in China as against India where judiciary can reverse any wrongly acquired land by the State Governments. While such judicial orders can slow the growth of development in India it may be easy to complete developmental projects in China due to forcible actuions of the government. However slow the growth in India it is more natural and has popular public support and therefore more sustainable. This makes the geopolitical environment more stable in India. It is expected that the fruits of developments in India are more sustainable.

Therefore this session discussed how Geopolitical environment on a regional level may be affected by the political, economic and ideological systems. The sessions successfully tried to infuse a sense of understanding of the play of national powers on the world stage. This play of soft or hard power on the world stage further shape the geopolitical environment which has its complex dynamics which must be well understood by a successful international marketer in order to take multinational strategic decisions.

In this line of thinking some very interesting arguments emerged from the students which are as follows:

1. India has one of world’s strongest soft powers (political say).

2. Many countries find it important to have smooth relations with India for their on geopolitical situations. For example in spite of the fact that India has a leaning towards Iran, both Israel and US can not afford to be on the wrong side with India, partly due to soft power of India and realization that India has sovereign right to be friendly with nations which has potential to safeguard India’s future energy requirements.

3. India’s leaning towards Iran is not just confined to energy security but also aims at bringing US on negotiating terms in the wake of growing military aid to Pakistan, which is being used against India.

4. While South Sudan, the newest nation of the world has world backing, there are places which are still fighting to be free and self governing. Perhaps the geopolitical fortunes of such nations are not as promising as has happened to South Sudan.

5. Purple Revolution of the Middle East, if it spreads to China, can be a short term disadvantage for China in economic terms but it has the potential to bring lots of Geopolitical gains for the world’s most populous country.

It was very interesting to note above points as these came straight from the discussions among students in the Class. Student seemed to perform impressively in these sessions that in just 4 sessions their understanding of world politics got more mature and interesting. Now the challenge is to take this understanding to higher levels so that Geopolitical understanding of the students has the potential to being mush desired global outlook among students and be prepared to be successful futuristic managers.

In the next session students are expected to read a caselet in order to discuss the same in the class and go into the depths of the unanswered issues discussed in the geopolitically charged caselet.

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Sessions 1 and 2 in the GEB course

Session 1 and 2 of the GEB course was an interactive session with the most interested students who took great interest in understanding what Geopolitics is all about. It seemed that it was the first time they came across this term and the concept of Geopolitical Environment.

It took one example of Soscolo, a place in Italy which has developed into a centre of excellence in the manufacturing of the world’s best ceramic tiles in last 700 years to explain the concept. While Soscolo accounts for 20% of the world production of Ceramic tiles and around 50% of the world export of the commodity, it is interesting to note that most of its hegemony on the product developed after World War II when most of Europe was devastated in the war. The rebuilding efforts of the aftermath of the war created tremendous demand for the ceramic tiles from Soscolo since it was one of the most suitable places to source this material due to its location, availability of skilled labor for this product and technology availability there. Manufacturers in Soscolo took advantage of this opportunity and refined the technology to make it more efficient requiring less labor. At the same time production capacities increased. Related industry developed and today we have the world’s most excellent centre for this product.

Above example of Soscolo of Italy demonstrate how three dimensions of Geopolitics can create a centre of excellence in business. These 3 dimensions are – Time Dimension, Place Dimensions and Demographics Dimension. These entire 3 dimensions were in Soscolo’s favor at the time of rebuilding of Europe. Due to this TRIAD effect, all the demand for ceramic tiles went to this place which was strategically located.

In the subsequent sessions students will understand how these 3 dimensions play an important role in creating Geopolitical advantage for businesses in particular places of the world at particular times of history of the world.

Political and Economic Environment is also a result of these three dimensional forces of Geopolitics. The change in the political and economic systems of the world can also be explained from this 3 dimensional Geopolitical Model of important forces which forces the subjects and political leaders to take decisions in favor of changing geopolitical weather of the nations and cultures around the world. One example of this change explained to the students related to increasing democratization of political systems of the world. Notable examples given were of Nicaragua, Chile, Eastern Europe and more recently the Gulf Region where purple revolution is taking place on the medium of Face book led campaigns in favor of democracy and more powers to the common people. Scores of countries are likely to affect by these changes which may drastically change the political and economic models of countries which are still not ready to accept these Geopolitical Change of Global weather. It was argues in the class that China may not remain unaffected by these Geopolitical changes and may see eruption of popular sentiments in favor of more power to its subjects and right to choose the people who must govern Chinese economy and its people. These changes may be seen in not so distance future.

Discussions in the class with the students brought above important points to the new Geopolitical understanding and helped understand the concepts in most simple manner. Students seemed satisfied with their new understanding of Geopolitical Changes which must be understood well by globetrotting business executives to help themselves take difficult business decisions.

In subsequent sessions, attempt will be made for the students to discuss on the next level of Geopolitical understanding through small case lets and news analysis. Students are expected to have read important global news while doing this course in order to raise their points during class room discussions. Attempt will also be made in the discussions to link several happenings in the world to Geopolitical models. These models will be discussed in detail to enhance the theoretical underpinning of the students.