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BTI Transformation Insights

7 October 2019

Analysis and research on governance, political regimes and economic policies from the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index (BTI).


New Walls

Militarizing Borders in Europe

The fall of the Berlin Wall sparked hopes of a new, borderless and peaceful global society. Many developments since then fostered this dream, ranging from European integration and digital knowledge sharing to the rise of low- and middle-income countries into the ranks of leading world economies. 30 years later, we have witnessed not only the construction of new physical barriers, but also new divides like digital censorship, social media taxes, and protectionist trade policies. By barring goods, ideas and aspirations from spreading freely across countries, “new borders” contribute to unequal access to public goods, regional disintegration, disinformation, and disrespect for human rights. We ought to get to know them better – in our mini-series “New walls”.

Episode 1: What has become of the hope for freedom, thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall? Instead of disappearing, more and more hard border fortifications arise. read more



Curse or Blessing for Developing Economies?

Digital technologies are becoming increasingly important for the economic prosperity and international competitiveness of individual economies. On the one hand, for developing countries they represent a potential source with which can increase material prosperity and combat poverty. On the other hand, there is the danger that some of these countries will be technologically left behind and will no longer be competitive at international level. read more


Bertelsmann Foundation North America

How To Fix Democracy

Since its origins, democracy has been a work in progress. Today, many question its resilience. The Bertelsmann Foundation and Humanity in Action have teamed up with Andrew Keen, author of "How to Fix the Future," to launch this video and podcast series exploring practical responses to the threats facing democracies around the world. read more

Global Economic Dynamics

End of Labor or Golden Age of Workers?

Although the global process of automation and digitalization poses a serious challenge to current and future policymaking, there is a poor understanding of the impact on the economy. With their work The Race between Man and Machine: Implications of Technology for Growth, Factor Shares, and Employment, Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo study the ambiguous relationship between automation, labor, and economic growth. read more

Europe and Asia

The West has long had its own "Silk Road"

China is propagating its "Belt & Road Initiative" as a development initiative for the Eurasian continent, thereby pursuing geopolitical ambitions. Yet Europe need not feel small in light of China’s efforts. As a comparison of Western and Chinese financial flows reveals: The West is investing just as much in countries of the so-called "Silk Road" and is the better partner for many countries. read more


Sino-Russian Relations

A Marriage of Convenience

In times of conflict with the United States, China and Russia significantly step up ties in the defense sphere. Is a Sino-Russian alliance threatening the liberal world order? read more


In Our next Newsletter

New Walls in Cyberspace and Trade

As the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall is approaching, we will continue our series of articles on "New Walls" with a particular focus on internet censorship in China and Africa as well as the reintroduction of trade barriers around the globe.


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We are looking forward to your questions and suggestions:


Yannik John

Project Manager

Sustainable Social Market Economies


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