The world today faces a huge contradiction. On the one hand, the data shows that power, especially economic power, is shifting to Asia. On the other hand, the established powers, especially in the trans-Atlantic alliance, refuse to acknowledge that a major transition in world history is happening, as they continue to cling to old privileges like the leadership of the World Bank and the IMF. So, will we witness an Asian century? And, if it comes, what will the shape and texture of such an Asian century be? Will Asian powers try to dominate the world? Or will they work with the existing world order?
Amb. Kishore Mahbubani answered these questions and more when he delivered the 2023 Anthony C. Janetos Memorial Distinguished Lecture, titled “Is the Asian Century Really Coming?” The talk took place on Tuesday, April 11 at the BU School of Law before an audience of more than 100 people.
Watch the full lecture and discussion above or on YouTube.
Kishore Mahbubani has dedicated five decades of his life to public service. In his 33 years as a Singapore diplomat, he served as Singapore’s Ambassador to the UN (1984-1989 and 1998-2004) and as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1994 to 1998. He was also conferred the Public Administration Medal (Gold) by the Singaporean Government in 1998.
Mahbubani has had an equally illustrious career in academia. He is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and served as the Founding Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at NUS from 2004-2017. He has also published nine books. His latest books, Has China Won? and The Asian 21st Century, were released in 2020 and 2022, respectively.
The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future’s annual Distinguished Lecture is named in memory of Prof. Anthony C. Janetos, who served as the Center’s Director from 2013 until his death in 2019. The Janetos Distinguished Lecture celebrates his commitment to public scholarship of interdisciplinary research on globally important issues that contribute to long-term improvements in the human condition.