“Is Global Stability A Pipe Dream?” Watch Yanis Varoufakis debate John Bolton at the Ηolberg 2020 Debate

08/12/2020 by

While the catastrophic pandemic is pushing hundreds of millions into economic destitution, our world is being subjected to an escalating climate emergency and a New Cold War between the West and China, not to mention ominous tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Caucasus, Libya etc. In the midst of all this instability, is Global Stability a pipe dream?

John Bolton (veteran diplomat who served under Presidents Reagan, Bush Sr & Jr and Trump) say ‘yes’ and thinks that the only remedy is a United States ready and willing to take on China and other states he deems a threat to the West.

Yanis Varoufakis (former Greek finance minister, DiEM25 co-founder and currently Leader of MeRA25) thinks that this very Western interventionism is part of the problem (citing the catastrophic invasion of Iraq), not the solution – and that Global Stability requires a New Bretton Woods type- agreement involving primarily the United States, the European Union and China.

The debate was moderated by Oslo University’s  Scott Gates.


John Bolton_George Skidmore
Amb. John Bolton. Photo: Gage Skidmore (CC 3.0)

John Bolton

John Bolton is an American attorney, diplomat, Republican consultant and political commentator who served as the 25th United States Ambassador to the United Nations from 2005 to 2006 and as the 27th United States National Security Advisor from 2018 to 2019. He has also served in various positions in the US Administration under Presidents George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. Amb. Bolton is the author of three books: Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad (2007); How Barack Obama Is Endangering Our National Sovereignty (2010); and The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir (2020), where he describes his time as National Security Advisor for U.S. President Donald Trump from April 2018 to September 2019.

Yanis Varoufakis_
Yanis Varoufakis. Photo: Private 

Yanis Varoufakis

Yanis Varoufakis is a member of Greece’s Parliament and parliamentary leader of MeRA25, the Greek political party belonging to DiEM25 – Europe’s first transnational pan-European movement. Previously he served as Greece’s Finance Minister during the first six months of 2015, as a member of Syriza, and he led negotiations with Greece’s creditors during the government-debt crisis. Varoufakis has taught economics at the universities of East Anglia, Cambridge, Sydney, Glasgow, Texas and Athens where he still holds a Chair in Political Economy and Economic Theory. He also holds several honorary professorships. He is the author of a number of best-selling books, including Adults in the Room: My Battle With Europe’s Deep Establishment (2017); Talking to My Daughter About the Economy: A brief history of capitalism (2017), And the Weak Suffer What They Must? Europe, Austerity and the Threat to Global Stability (2016). His latest book is Another Now: Dispatches from an Alternative Present (2020).

Scott Gates_UiO
Scott Gates. Photo: University of Oslo

Moderator: Scott Gates

Scott Gates is an American political scientist and economist based in Norway. He is currently Professor of Political Science at the University of Oslo (UiO), as well as Guest Researcher at UiO’s Department of Economics. Gates is also Research Professor at Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), and he is Editor of the Journal of Peace Research, and of the International Area Studies Review. From 2002 to 2013, Gates was director of PRIO’s Centre for the Study of Civil War. Gates has previously worked at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and Michigan State University (MSU).

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