In November 2021, the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) joined King’s College London (KCL) to host a virtual conference as part of KCL’s Project for Peaceful Competition. It brought together an intellectually and geographically diverse group of experts to discuss the geoeconomics of new digital technologies and the prospects for governance of the technologies in a multi-polar world.

This essay series collects the papers prepared for discussion at the conference, along with related videos. An introduction summarizes the principal analytical conclusions emerging from the conference, together with the main policy recommendations put forward by participants.

Setting the Scene

Managing Rivalry in the Digital Era through Peaceful Competition
Rohinton P. Medhora and Oliver Letwin

Keynote Address
Kevin Rudd

States and Markets

Technological Revolutions and the Role of the State in the Governance of Digital Technologies
Caetano Penna

Platform Governance in a Time of Divide: Navigating the Paradox of Global Tech and Local Constraints
Ronaldo Lemos and Christian Perrone

The Path Dependency of Infrastructure: A Commonly Neglected Aspect of Platform Governance
Heidi Tworek

Platform Governance through an Economic Lens
Vikram Sinha

Trade and Data Flows

E-commerce Governance: Back to Geneva?
Henry Gao

Regulating the Digital Economy: Reflections on the Trade and Innovation Nexus
Douglas Lippoldt

Unfree Flow with No Trust: The Implications of Geoeconomics and Geopolitics for Data and Digital Trade
Dan Ciuriak

Semiconductor Supply Chain Regulation in the Service of Geopolitics: Implementation Hurdles and Collateral Damage
Dieter Ernst

Implications for Global Arrangements

Global Digital Governance: The Role of Major Economies, Institutions and Agreements
Ashkay Mathur

Global Governance of Data and Digital Technologies: A Framework for Peaceful Cooperation
Robert Fay

Toward a Digital Bretton Woods?
John Zysman

The Future of Global Relationships

China’s Three Key Macroeconomic Risks
Mark Kruger

Big Tech vs. Red Tech: The Diminishing of Democracy in the Digital Age
Samir Saran and Shashank Mattoo

Existential Gap: Digital/AI Acceleration and the Missing Global Governance Capacity
Yves Tiberghien, Danielle Luo and Panthea Pourmalek

About the Authors

Rohinton P. Medhora is a CIGI distinguished fellow.

Sir Oliver Letwin is a visiting professor, King’s College London Policy Institute, and chair of the Project for Peaceful Competition.

The Honourable Kevin Rudd AC joined CIGI’s Board of Directors in 2020. He served as Australia’s twenty-sixth prime minister (2007–2010, 2013) and as foreign minister (2010–2012).

Dan Ciuriak is a senior fellow at CIGI, where he is exploring the interface between Canada’s domestic innovation and international trade and investment. He is the director and principal of Ciuriak Consulting, Inc.

Dieter Ernst is a senior fellow at CIGI, where he contributes expertise on unresolved challenges for the global governance of trade, intellectual property and innovation.

Robert (Bob) Fay is the managing director of digital economy at CIGI. The research under his direction assesses and provides policy recommendations for the complex global governance issues arising from digital technologies.

Henry Gao is a CIGI senior fellow and a law professor at Singapore Management University.

Melissa Hathaway is president of Hathaway Global Strategies LLC and a member of CIGI’s Board of Directors.

Mark Kruger is the opinion editor at Yicai Global, and a senior fellow at CIGI, the Yicai Institute and the University of Alberta’s China Institute.

Ronaldo Lemos is director of the Institute for Technology and Society of Rio de Janeiro.

Douglas Lippoldt is a CIGI senior fellow and an international trade economist based in Claremont, California.

Danielle Luo is a senior analyst, international public affairs at CPP Investments.

Akshay Mathur is a CIGI senior fellow and an expert in economic diplomacy with a focus on global economic governance.

Shashank Mattoo is a research assistant at the Observer Research Foundation.

Caetano Penna is a senior research fellow at the Centre for Global Challenges, Utrecht University and adjunct professor in industrial and technology economics, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Christian Perrone is a public policy consultant and head of the Rights and Technology and GovTech teams at ITS Rio.

Panthea Pourmalek is a master of public policy and global affairs student at the University of British Columbia.

Samir Saran is the president of the Observer Research Foundation and the curator of the Raisina Dialogue.

Vikram Sinha is head, data governance at IDFC Institute.

Yves Tiberghien is professor of political science and director emeritus of the Institute of Asian Research, University of British Columbia

Heidi Tworek is a CIGI senior fellow and an expert on platform governance, the history of media technologies, and health communications. She is a Canada Research Chair, associate professor of history and public policy, and director of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver campus.

John Zysman is professor emeritus, University of California, Berkeley.