1. amzn.to/2MILMpM Today's the launch date for The Uses And Abuses of Weaponized Interdependence, which @dandrezner @ANewman_forward and I have co-edited. This is, for better or worse, a timely book - the issues that we all talk about are core problems in global politics
2. bloomberg.com/news/articles/… Take this @business piece by @NickWadhams that came out yesterday - it describes how the US-China rivalry is focused on fights over technology more than traditional military confrontation.
3. Wadham's piece is based on conversations with U.S. sources, who emphasize China's threat. The people he talked to describe "a sense that China has essentially forced the U.S. to start breaking off elements of business and technology relations in a pattern known as decoupling."
4. More generally, they suggest that China has "shown a willingness to use the size of its market and its economic might as a weapon to make other nations fall into line." All that is right - China has ruthlessly weaponized market access to punish states such as China and Norway.
5. But it is only one part of the story. The United States has done much the same thing on a much larger scale. Rather than just denying businesses or countries access to its internal market, it has denied them access to the machineries that allow global markets to work.
6. This is the story of U.S. secondary sanctions which squeezed Iran out of the global financial system. It is also the story of what the U.S. has done to Huawei - starting by denying it access to U.S. sourced semiconductors and other supplies, but escalating by denying access
7. to semiconductors and other products made with U.S. intellectual property, or using U.S. chip design software, while putting relentless pressure on non-U.S. companies to cut ties with Huawei, so that it can't find the semiconductors it needs anywhere.
8. Put differently - China has ruthlessly used the tools that it has (a big market) to coerce others, while the U.S. has deployed a much more extensive set of financial and economic tools to coerce China and other rivals and adversaries.
9. In order to prevent Huawei from building out a global network that could then offer China new opportunities for pressure and control, the U.S. has deployed the vast network resources at its own disposal to cut Huawei off from global suppliers.
10. This is the kind of battle we discuss in the book. We explain how China weaponizes its national market, but the U.S. weaponizes the interdependent system that the global economy depends upon, and how the two strategies have different reach and different implications.
11. This presents a key set of policy challenges for the U.S. As Dan says in the Post today - washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/0… - the U.S. used to think that it could use these tools unilaterally. Now it has to worry about how China - and even its allies in the U.S. - may respond
11. and what kinds of vulnerabilities they might exploit in retaliation. Furthermore, the U.S. - and everyone else - have to worry that they live in a world economy where everything is linked through networks and everything depends on everything else, but no-one has good maps.
12. This can mean that actions have unexpected consequences. U.S. measures led Huawei and other companies to hoard semiconductors - this is reportedly one of the reasons why there is a global shortage, seriously hurting the U.S. car industry and other businesses that need chips.
13. And we don't have any good understanding of how far these kinds of actions can be pushed. What are the mutual vulnerabilities? At what point might businesses - and countries - abandon global networks that have become sources of risk and uncertainty?
14. Might these regulatory pressures lead actors to move to alternative decentralized networks? That's an argument that @VitalikButerin , the inventor of Ethereum ,has been making for a long time - but is suddenly relevant in new ways -
15. These are the kinds of questions that Dan, Abe and I and the other contributors to the book raise - and the answers to those questions are going to reshape economic and security policy over the next decades.
16. We're happy to have helped get the ball rolling - we are looking forward to seeing what others make of the book (which has plenty of lively disagreements in it, and will surely, we hope provoke many more, as all of us try to figure out the world we're tumbling into). Finis.
(allies in the "E.U." that should be ...)

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More from @henryfarrell

10 Jan
1. Short thread - on the various claims we're seeing from Republican politicians over the last few days that the Democratic push for accountability is "divisive." Damn right it's divisive - that is what it has to be.
2. It is intended to enforce a clear division between those who accept and are committed to democracy and those who are willing to turn to violence when the vote doesn't turn out the way that they want it to.
3. One of the basic implications of Adam Przeworski's theoretic work is that democracy is made out of mutually reinforcing expectations, and those expectations are fragile. If some actors think they would be better off defecting from the democratic bargain, they will.
Read 11 tweets
23 Nov 20
1. Today, @schneierblog and I have a piece in the New York Times, on how Trump's enablers are damaging democracy - nytimes.com/2020/11/23/opi… (read it together with nytimes.com/2020/11/23/opi… by @rickhasen - both published on the same day and cover different aspects of same problem).
2. What our piece does is the following. First, to argue that democracy is an information system, where the most crucial information that needs to be protected is the scaffolding of beliefs that democracy needs to work.
3. Second, that like other more traditional information systems (think computer servers) the key vulnerabilities are much more easily exploited by insiders (U.S. politicians) than outsiders (Russian trolling efforts). And that explains why U.S. democracy is in trouble.
Read 12 tweets
7 Nov 20
1. washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/… My @monkeycageblog take on the plausible story behind the decision of the NYT/networks all to jump at once after days of waiting. Brief summary below.
2. The role of major newspapers and networks in the U.S. "saying" that the presidential election has been won is weird, and as far as I know highly unusual internationally. It obviously isn't a law - but it has become a collective norm/expectation.
3. While I don't know of any research on this (but IANA Americanist), my presumption is that this is a contingent byproduct of a decentralized vote counting system, where there isn't any immediate official decision as to what has happened overall.
Read 14 tweets
31 Jul 20
1. (thread) reuters.com/article/us-chi… This story talks about a report suggesting that China should move away from the SWIFT financial network to reduce its vulnerabilities to US penalties and surveillance. It's _just_ a report. Still, as @RichardMNephew says, "Watch this space."
2. The background to this is the way in which the US has weaponized global economic networks such as SWIFT (which is lynchpin of world financial system) against adversaries, as @ANewman_forward and I describe in our work on #WeaponizedInterdependence mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.116….
3. Systems such as SWIFT used to be disregarded in the same ways as the plumbing of a building is disregarded - so long as it works, who cares? Now, however, the plumbing is becoming political as networks are weaponized. China's problem is that it can't readily retaliate in kind.
Read 20 tweets
28 Jul 20
1. Thread on my and @ANewman_forward piece at Lawfare lawfareblog.com/schrems-ii-off…, which in turn builds on our recent book amzn.to/2UVnyI6 . Short version - the Schrems II decision taking down Privacy Shield transfers etc. doesn't mean what US commentators think it means.
2. US security people have reacted to the decision with disappointment, derision or anger (a strong sense of 'there go those crazy ECJ judges again' pervading the debate). They find the notion that international surveillance should be subjected to judicial scrutiny weird.
3. But this, we say, fundamentally misunderstands how surveillance has changed in a world of fast communications networks and interdependence. It's not just targeted and expensive pursuit of high value targets - instead it involves bulk collection of data on entire populations.
Read 13 tweets
6 Jul 20
1. @annawiener has a great new article on Section 230 in the New Yorker this morning. IR scholars tend not to pay much attention to domestic laws like 230. In a new piece (forthcoming in @IntOrgJournal) @ANewman_forward and I argue that's a mistake
2. A next to-final draft is here - dropbox.com/s/tvyxmwqvwwjf…. Our argument is straightforward - that rules like 230, which effectively delegate the regulation of user-generated content to platform companies - were the foundation of the global communications order.
3. They not only underpinned the business models of companies like Facebook, but seemed like a win-win for the US model of liberalism, spreading US values (open communication) at the same time as they promoted the economic interests of US companies.
Read 20 tweets

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