003 | Hassan Damluji | What globalists should learn from nationalists

Isabelle Roughol
Isabelle Roughol

The great divide between nationalists and globalists is the political story of our times. But are they that far apart? "What would a united world look like other than people feeling, on a global level, something like what they do about their countrymen?" asks Hassan Damluji, deputy director at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and author of "The Responsible Globalist: What Citizens of the World Can Learn from Nationalism."

The nation was in fact one of humanity's most successful idea, he argues. To create a feeling of global citizenship, the same playbook applies.


Transcripts are published for your convenience, but they are automated and not always cleaned up. Please excuses typos and occasional nonsense, and always check the audio before quoting.

[00:00:00] Isabelle Roughol: [00:00:00] Hey, it's Isabelle. Before we get started, can I ask you for a quick favor? It would really mean the world to me if you could find just one person to share this podcast with. Podcasts really thrive on word of mouth. There's already hundreds of you listening in nearly 50 countries. That's amazing. I'd love to get the word out to some more.

[00:00:18] So if you can think of one person who's also a global citizen or who has questions about being a global citizen, please share the podcast with them and let me know what you think, thank you so much.

[00:00:29]  Pulled quote [00:00:33]

[00:00:33] Hassan Damluji: [00:00:33] Over time, there is an opportunity to build a case that we are, as a human race in it together. And once we've won that battle, people won't worry about immigration, but forcing immigration down their throats now because you're okay with it, even if the majority isn't, is not the way to build a global community. It's the way to lead to a showdown.

[00:00:55]Introduction [00:00:55]

[00:00:55]Isabelle Roughol: [00:00:55] If there is a single political story that is [00:01:00] iconic of our times, a pattern repeated in country after country, it is that near showdown between so-called nationalists and globalists. But are they that far apart?

[00:01:10]Hi, I'm Isabelle Roughol. And this is Borderline, a podcast for defined global citizens.

[00:01:16]My guest today could have written the manifesto for this podcast. Globalists, he writes, "are as much prone to the tug of belonging as any nationalist." A global identity, he also writes, can be championed and capture the imagination of the masses. For that, we have a playbook, he says. The nationalists wrote it.

[00:01:36]Hassan Damluji is deputy director at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He's also the author of "The Responsible Globalist: What Citizens of the World Can Learn from Nationalism," a pragmatic yet profoundly hopeful call for building a more united and empathetic world. It was an absolute treat to talk to Hassan for today's episode. We had some technical issues, so you'll hear an occasional snag in the audio , but you'll be used to that if you've been on a [00:02:00] zoom call lately. Let's jump in.

[00:02:03] Hassan Damluji: [00:02:08] It seems like we are kindred spirits, which is great.

[00:02:11] Isabelle Roughol: [00:02:11] Yeah, definitely kindred spirits. I found myself nodding a lot when I was reading your book.

[00:02:15] Hassan Damluji: [00:02:15] Great, I'm so glad .

[00:02:18] Isabelle Roughol: [00:02:18] Yeah, so let's start with it.  Let's start with the premise of it. You say that the globalists should learn from nationalists, that the nation was in fact a very successful idea.  Can you tell me a bit about that and why you start there?

[00:02:32]Hassan Damluji: [00:02:32] It's paradoxical in this world where it's nationalists against globalists to actually make the case that, the nation is a step towards globalism or that the nation is actually the model we should adopt for global cooperation. But when you really step back, I think it's kind of obvious.

[00:02:51] I mean, what would a united world look like other than people feeling, on a global level, something like what they do about their [00:03:00] countrymen? That feeling that I am French, you're French and therefore. although we may be very different and have different accents and support different football teams and we may not like each other, at the end of the day, because I'm French and you're French, my taxes should go towards paying for your healthcare. And we should both have a vote. And if there's more of you than me, then you should choose the government rather than me.  That is the basic premise of the nation.

[00:03:26] And if you believe in a more united world, then that kind of feeling, of being all in it together, is surely what we want.

[00:03:34]Some people have  felt that nationalism means by definition hating foreigners. Whereas actually we've always disliked people that we'd never met before or from the other tribe or somewhere over there. So that's not what nationalism brought along. That's just the inherent fear of the other that humans have. What nationalism did is to say, we are all a nation together. [00:04:00] This isn't just the land of Louis the 14th or the emperor or the English King or whatever. But actually this is a land, this is  a state that belongs to us all. And that somehow although it's not perfectly true, somehow we should be equal. ?

[00:04:15] So actually the nation was a very beautiful thing. which never in its earliest creation or in the different iterations of thinking about what it might be, it never was limited to, it has to be a language group, or it has to be people of the same religion, or it has to be people this side of, of that mountain range, Switzerland is a nation with many languages. India is a nation with many languages and man, religions. The Arab nation was spread across seas and mountain ranges...  So people have always dreamed big about what a nation could be and it's human frailty and the fear of the other that we've always had that has held us back. The problem  isn't the nation. So I [00:05:00] think that very, very truthfully the nation was a, a concept that brought us further towards better collaboration as a world rather than took us away from it.

[00:05:09] But also there's that element of how actually are we going to bring people together?

[00:05:14]David Miliband, when I discussed my book with him, said to me, "yeah, I can't endorse this because I think that nationalism is bad and patriotism is good." And that's become a very common thing where people will say, "yeah, yeah. Nationalism is the word we use for everything bad. And we use the word patriotism for something that's good."

[00:05:34]Isabelle Roughol: [00:05:34] That was a famous Macron speech that said exactly that.

[00:05:37]Hassan Damluji: [00:05:37] Yeah, it's become very common but they both ultimately come down to similar things.

[00:05:42] What is the difference between patriotism and nationalism in its root? Patria is just the homeland. It has no link in its origin to the political system you have, or your belief about belonging. Nationalism is not loyalty to the land, it's [00:06:00] loyalty to the nation. And the nation is that group of people to whom you belong. So actually there's something interesting and positive about nationalism as a word in its origin. It's come to mean everything bad. I would propose that if you want to win over people who do feel that nationalism is something they believe in, telling them they have to reject that word and adopt a new word is unnecessary and unhelpful. We don't need to tell everyone to adopt a new word called patriotism. We can just convince them that there's nothing about nationalism that needs to be evil, or that needs to be wrong.

[00:06:37] Isabelle Roughol: [00:06:37] And speaking of words, there's actually a couple of words that strike me in the book. One is "globalist", which you use, even though it's kind of become poison to the debate, and I'm curious why you're using it. And then the other one is "Western," which you seem to dislike profoundly.

[00:06:55] Hassan Damluji: [00:06:55] Yeah.  I'm intentionally taking on the poisoning of [00:07:00] terminology. I'm taking on the idea that the nation -- this beautiful concept of us all being in it together -- is actually inherently evil because it inherently pits us against each other. And I'm also taking on the idea that globalism should be a word that means evil people in a smoky room plotting  to increase inequality or undermine democracy.

[00:07:25] No doubt there are people under the flag of nationalism who have killed or abused others. No doubt there are smoky rooms where people are being cynical about how they can make money and not being very thoughtful about the poor, but there's nothing inherent about the nationalist project that means you have to be mean, and there's nothing inherent about the globalist project that means you have to be a reckless capitalist.

[00:07:50] So why, why do we need to reject the word globalism and invent a new one? Why don't we just resurrect this word from the frankly [00:08:00] unreasonable charge to which it's been ascribed?

[00:08:03] Isabelle Roughol: [00:08:03] Yeah, that's fair. For the anecdote, I wrote a column that then became this podcast, and it was originally titled "The last globalist" . It was very much the spirit of it, but it was just like waving a red cape in front of a bull in terms of the, the comments that, that you might get.   You're brave to have held onto that word.

[00:08:20] Hassan Damluji: [00:08:20] You could say brave, you could say cynical. I mean, it's good to have a debate, right? You want to say something that's interesting. I think it's not just the terminology, but also the arguments I would find more interesting, but actually let's wave that red flag in front of the bull because we need to discuss these things . So I think there's some value in, calling out some of the implications of this even if that means, upsetting people, because they have certain assumptions  which are untrue.

[00:08:48] Isabelle Roughol: [00:08:48] So how do we dream bigger  and make  that sentiment of nation be something that encompasses  the whole of humanity? Like how do we get people to feel a sense of belonging [00:09:00] to a global nation?

[00:09:01]Hassan Damluji: [00:09:01] Yeah,  it's a great question and I think part of what my book is trying to say is that that is the question. How can we inculcate more of a feeling of belonging at a global level amongst people? Because unless we have that, you won't get political leaders doing the right thing and you won't have international coordination mechanisms be successful.

[00:09:24]The reason why the UN is strained is not because it was designed badly, it's because countries are at loggerheads. And the reason they are at loggerheads is because their people, at a basic level, don't have the kind of trust, that would say to their presidents. "don't be at loggerheads  this is crazy."  They're not getting that message. So what we need to do is create that feeling that then translates into politicians having an incentive to collaborate, then everything else  will come next.

[00:09:53] So how do you do it? I think, I think there's three types of things you have to do.

[00:09:58] One is [00:10:00] how we talk about ourselves. And  you mentioned my dislike of the word West or Western. If you believe that we should collaborate as a world, if you believe that at the end, all people are equal, then it's very unhelpful to divide the world into an us and a them. Especially when that us is incredibly poorly defined and has no real meaning.

[00:10:24]There is no meaning of the word Western, when you really dig it down other than my kind of people. Or if you're not Western those kinds of people, it's just an us and them word.  And that is not how you bring people together. So that's one important part of it.

[00:10:41] But I think there's all sorts of ways that we need to talk about ourselves and talk about what we're about , that can bring us together as a world.

[00:10:50] The entire world, every country and state that's a member of the United Nations, 193 countries signed on, what's called [00:11:00] the  global goals, otherwise known as the sustainable development goals, in 2015. And that's the first time in history that every single country has come together and agreed on a single plan, a single set of goals for the world. So that is where the consensus lies. And that includes amazing things like gender equality.

[00:11:19]You may not think that every country  would sign up to gender equality or climate change, but they did. And so there's an enormous amount that we do agree on that we can focus on. And if individual people are against gender equality, I guarantee you, their government signed up to it. And so that's the place to start and get a consensus. So the way we talk about ourselves is incredibly important.

[00:11:43] The second set of things you need to do is be clear to people who may be threatened by a united world or by  globalization, that really important things aren't going to change.

[00:11:59] People [00:12:00] see globalization as a revolution or almost a war that is going to sweep away everything they hold dear. If you are a less wealthy, less skilled person in a richer country, the most valuable thing you possess is your passport, and your vote. And the idea that we're going to have completely open borders and equal treatment by my government of all people, whether they're a citizen or not, is a great threat to a lot of people.

[00:12:29] So we need to be clear that the nation state is here to stay. You keep your passport. You can actually continue to vote and have a government that can choose to reduce immigration if you feel the pace of change is too fast.  So explaining to people and being clear that certain things are staying the same, that's number two.

[00:12:47] And then the third thing is the things we really do need to work on to change right now. And there's something around tax. The tax system in the world is one that  engenders inequality. lack of faith in the [00:13:00] global system and anger at the global system that we have.

[00:13:04] And the other is the global political system , not to end the nation state and dissolve all borders, but just to strengthen the decisions that we do make as a world . So it was a big question and a long answer, but those are the three things that we need to get right: how we talk about ourselves, what we keep the same, but also what we do work now to change.

[00:13:24]Isabelle Roughol: [00:13:24] And you touched on that  and you talk about it at length in the book, I think  probably the biggest failing so far of the globalist movement has been in dismissing the people that are hurt at home and, and the way we talk about people that might've voted for Brexit or Trump.

[00:13:41]You talk about the thing that probably would be the hardest for people like me to swallow, which is "let go of immigration, for now at least, as an issue." Can you talk to me a bit  about that and why that is?

[00:13:54]Hassan Damluji: [00:13:54] No one is a bigger fan of immigration than me. Both of my parents,  one of them [00:14:00] was the child of immigrants. The other was an immigrant himself. Most of my close friends are from diaspora background and I wouldn't begrudge anybody the right to move country in order to seek a better life. I think immigration is good for the immigrant and it's good  for the society in most cases.

[00:14:23]But what I acknowledge, that I think many people who are of a similar persuasion to me seem to be very forgetful of, is that I am one person with one vote. And I have the right to try and convince others to vote the same way as me. But what I do not have the right to do is to look at a democratic process and say, "well, sure, but most of my countrymen are just racist and therefore I ignore that democratic process."

[00:14:53] All I want to   get across is something really basic, [00:15:00] which is that as we try and build a better world, we do not forget the importance of the democracies that we live in now.

[00:15:08] And if like me, you disagree with people who vote for reductions in immigration, you just have to live with it in the same way that they live with it when we win elections.

[00:15:20]There are all sorts of ways that the elites can gang up and ignore democratic votes  and I think it's really important that when people feel so strongly as they do about issues of immigration, that we bear in mind the consequences, and actually avoid undermining them in that way. And Brexit is the consequence of a long period where those concerns weren't listened to. I think there was a time when you could have kept Britain in the EU by doing more to listen to people's complaints. And there was the idea that actually what we do is we just find ways to ignore them and eventually it becomes an unstoppable force.

[00:15:59]So I'm [00:16:00] not saying that immigration should be forgotten about as an issue that we care about. I'm saying that we should be more optimistic that we will win the arguments in the long term. The reason we'll win the arguments in the long term is that over time, people  do become less racist when they're exposed to other countries. Over time, there is an opportunity to build a case that we are as a human race in it together.

[00:16:26] And once we've won that battle, people won't worry about immigration, but forcing immigration down their throats now because you're okay with it, even if the majority isn't, is not the way to build a global community . It's the way to lead to a showdown, which we may not win. And if we do win, we don't want to showdown. We want to win the argument, not the war.

[00:16:49]Isabelle Roughol: [00:16:49] So speaking of, um of global community and of these ideas advancing, I was struck  in the past few weeks that the [00:17:00] black lives matter movement has spread across the globe in a way that we hadn't seen before. And before that it was #MeToo.  And I wonder, are those the seedlings of a global conscience or is it just American culture spreading further? How do you think about that?

[00:17:17]Hassan Damluji: [00:17:17] It's a great point.  Despite all of the challenges to global cooperation and all of the hate and mistrust and the wars, there is amazing evidence that the world is starting to become more like a community of trust, more like a nation, more like a group of people that sees itself as a single evolving story. And the #MeToo movement was an amazing example of that. My friends and colleagues in China told me it was the first ever time that a social movement had crossed the great firewall of China as they call it to become really embedded in [00:18:00] Chinese social media, but also politics and dialogue and society. even though it started in America. The #MeToo movement was truly a global, social movement -- is, remains a global social movement.

[00:18:13] And, again coming from America -- and it's no accident because they have a powerful voice --  the Black Lives Matter is another one where you've got simultaneous demonstrations around the world. all stemming from a single. African-American being killed by the police. People are seeing the relevance, even though it wasn't their police force necessarily who killed someone in that incident, they see the relevance of this issue in their community and it's become a global issue.

[00:18:43] And the other, of course, is climate change where some of the great global action is not coming out of America, especially because the American government is not very good on climate change, but it's Greta Thurnberg. And it's the Europeans.

[00:18:56] Now will we increasingly see a world where some of these global [00:19:00] movements don't come from North America or Europe? Probably we will. And hopefully we will.

[00:19:06]You asked whether this is just an extension of American culture. No, I don't think it's just an American culture taking over the world, but the truth is that in this  nation in waiting that the world is, as in all nations, some voices are louder than others. As any nation comes together, there are power dynamics. Some people have a louder voice than others and that's inevitable.

[00:19:31] But what is good is if we can try and counteract that, we try as much as possible to bring in diverse voices. And that's also happening because  America's proportion of the global GDP is falling over time although it's still the richest country in the world. It's already happening that it's not only European and North American voices  that are shaping global discourse.

[00:19:53] So yes, we should worry at the dominance of certain parts of the world. But what we shouldn't do is see this as [00:20:00] inherently a bad thing.  it's a good thing that we're starting to talk about the same things, because then we can start to solve the same problems. And just to give you a silly example. We all, communicate these days in emojis, some of us even more than we communicate in English or, or our own language and emojis come from Japan.

[00:20:18] And that's just one of many, many examples you can give, but it's not entirely an American culture that is starting to spread.

[00:20:25] Isabelle Roughol: [00:20:25] And there's K-pop fans as well which are an interesting global community these days.

[00:20:31] Hassan Damluji: [00:20:31] Of course, and more and more you're seeing that,  pieces of culture from all over the world that are contributing to this  mainstream global culture. We should encourage that and not tell everybody that their culture has to get back in its box and that no white person should wear a kimono or or, or eat hummus or, or whatever it is problematic as, as those things are. Because all cultural exchange is [00:21:00] inescapably parts of power dynamics and those power dynamics are problematic. But putting everyone back in their boxes isn't the solution. The solution is  undercutting those power dynamics themselves, but in a context where we are culturally sharing, not one in which we all stick to  some pure version of our ethnicity.

[00:21:19] Isabelle Roughol: [00:21:19] Yes. You have a couple pages  on cultural appropriation, which I think are just brilliant. And if I, if I can offer a suggestion, they should be a pullout essay that you publish somewhere. I think it's, it's really interesting.

[00:21:31] Hassan Damluji: [00:21:31] That's kind of you to say, I mean, it's a difficult issue because people are very passionate about this issue. And of course there's a lot of truth behind the concerns that people have about cultural appropriation in the sense that it is unfair that Elvis Presley made, and his white music managers made vastly more money than all of the black musicians who had paved the way for his music to [00:22:00] become popular.

[00:22:01]It is unfair that, so much of the profits of culture go to people who weren't necessarily the originators of it, but we can undo that without, taking away this idea that in this global culture that's emerging, it shouldn't all be English. It shouldn't all be American. It should actually be a project of sharing.

[00:22:21] Isabelle Roughol: [00:22:21] Yeah. I want to talk about, before we finish ,about some of the concrete solutions that you offer,  which you mentioned, before: which is the tax system and the reformed, global governance. Maybe start, start with the tax system. You have a very concrete proposal.

[00:22:37]Hassan Damluji: [00:22:37] Taxes can sound boring or inconsequential or a side issue, but actually, it's fundamental to the way that communities and states and economic systems function. Any community needs to think about how it tackles inequality and how it does joint projects together. You can't do any of that without tax.

[00:22:59]The [00:23:00] world -- if it's a nation in waiting, which is, I suppose, the grand thesis -- then from a tax point of view, it's like pre-revolution France. One of the great causes of the French revolution was the fact that the nobles didn't pay tax. And it was one of the reasons that Britain didn't have a revolution at that time when France did, despite the same ideas bubbling up in both countries.

[00:23:24] There was such a feeling of unfairness about the system in France, that it tipped over into destruction of the Ancien Régime. That's the system we have now globally. The global nobility, the people who are accused of being globalists in the kind of negative phrase,  they aren't paying as much tax as you and I. And that is a problem that we've got to change.

[00:23:47] The way we have to tackle this problem is through global cooperation, because if you are very wealthy, your assets -- and equally, if you are a multinational [00:24:00] company, your profits -- are a global resource. They are earned globally and they can be parked anywhere in the world. And so individual states saying "I'm going to put my taxes up, I'm going to put my taxes down," can frankly just be ignored. unless we collaborate together to say, "no, there's going to be nowhere you can hide this money."

[00:24:20]It was very famous in France that Macron removed the wealth tax and maybe, he had an argument in the current environment, which is to say if only France has a wealth tax, it's pointless because all the wealth will just leave, but it was a great tragedy. Because what you really want, rather than France feeling bullied into removing its wealth tax, is that we have a coordinated global wealth tax that says all countries must have at least some tax on wealth, because if they don't, it will flee.

[00:24:51] And the other element is that all countries must coordinate to ensure that multinational companies' profits are  fairly distributed [00:25:00] across the countries in which they're earned. So that then in any country, Britain, France, Japan, any country, the wealthy from my country are going to pay tax to me because there's no point putting it somewhere else, they would just pay taxes somewhere else. And the companies are gonna pay me tax based on the profits they're making  in my jurisdiction.

[00:25:20] We've got to close that loophole otherwise. the unfairness that people experience and accuse globalism of being that unfairness, when really it's just a tax issue,  will build and build. And we saw through the Panama papers, how these ideas of anger about the elite and what they do with their wealth is another -- it's like me too, it's like the climate change -- it's a global issue that people are coming together around. And that's a good thing. but if it's not then taken into action, like any of these things, it will bubble over into anger.

[00:25:53]Isabelle Roughol: [00:25:53] And then you mentioned global governance, reforming the United nations, which seems like a [00:26:00] thing that we've talked about for as long as the United nations has existed. Perhaps even harder to accomplish  then a globalized tax system.

[00:26:08]Hassan Damluji: [00:26:08] We cannot stand here as global citizens and say, it's fine that there are five permanent members of the security council who hold essentially all of the power over decisions on war and peace. We cannot stand here and say that it's okay that  there's so much opportunity for unfairness in how countries deal with each other. We have to continue to make the case that the fairer world we're pushing for has to be one with a fairer system.

[00:26:39] Now, although it's difficult, the changes you need to make in the international political system are remarkably little. When I talk in my book about building a global nation, people get very scared because they think I'm talking about building a global state like France or like Britain  at a global level, and of course that's not true. A nation is simply a group of people that believe they belong [00:27:00] together and should be governed in that own interest by people who represent them.

[00:27:03] A global nation does not have to have a single municipality that governs everything in your life, but it does need to have, at the global level, a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence. That is the one criteria that defines a state. And we have already a UN security council that in theory has a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence.

[00:27:29] The problem is it doesn't have a monopoly because wars go ahead without it. And it's not legitimate because no one thinks that five countries should be able to choose the fate of the world. So all we have to do is reform the way that the United Nations votes on legitimate violence and when violence is illegitimate. And if we can do that by allowing every country to vote so that it's fair, but also with a population, but also a GDP- weighting to recognize real politik -- so that [00:28:00] America would have an outsized vote as it needs to in recognition of its extra power -- then what you would have is a system of really debating, which wars should be allowed, which are violations, that people could over time buy into. It would take a long, long time to get this done, but if we don't call for it, then it'll take forever and it still won't happen

[00:28:22] Isabelle Roughol: [00:28:22] What is the timeline on all this? I think we're  about the same generation mid thirties. Do, do we see this in our lifetime?

[00:28:30]Hassan Damluji: [00:28:30] One of the reasons that I think it's really important to think about the way of creating a unified world or a more united world, like a nation, the project to build a global nation, is that when you think about it like a nation, you suddenly have all of these examples of how nations have succeeded and failed.  We can look at how long it takes to build a nation as a kind of guide.

[00:28:54] And the answer is it takes about a hundred years. It takes about a hundred years from the first campaigners to [00:29:00] say, "We want Italy to be unified as a single nation and not divided into eight separate States" to create the Italy that we know today. It's a hundred years to go from Germans completely divided, but some of them starting to have this idea that they should be united, in the late 18th century, to creating the Germany that we know today.

[00:29:20] And it's taken a hundred years to create the India that we know today, still imperfect because it's such a vast project and yet a nation all the same. So I think we can expect it to be a hundred year project. Maybe  you and I will live long enough to see it, but even if we don't... If it hadn't been for the people in the late 1700s trying to unify Italy, it wouldn't have happened a hundred years later.

[00:29:45] So it's important enough as a project and it's important enough that we start now that we shouldn't be put off by the long timeline. And along the journey, we'll make many victories that will be in and of themselves [00:30:00] valuable. So if we can just do this tax reform in the next five to 10 years, that will be a huge contribution whether or not we make it all the way to the century-long project to create a more united world.

[00:30:12]  Isabelle Roughol: [00:30:13] And to conclude, you wrote the book last year, and obviously a lot has happened since. The pandemic could have been that time that  we all get together against a common enemy. And that really hasn't happened. We  failed to share knowledge. We stole masks from one another on the tarmac of airports. How does all that change how you think about what you've written, if at all?

[00:30:36]Hassan Damluji: [00:30:36] So I would fundamentally disagree with an analysis that says the coronavirus pandemic, today certainly in late June 2020, has demonstrated that the world can't act together. I think that is a very overly pessimistic  reading. If we had gone into this crisis with political leaders who were [00:31:00] more aligned with each other, if we had gone into this crisis with more international goodwill, it would have been a better thing, we would have achieved much more.  Has it been a perfect example of international cooperation? No.

[00:31:15] I think political leadership is the thing that I really call out as being sorely lacking in today's world. But of course that can change,  political leaders change. But when you look at this idea of the world coming together in feeling part of a single project, the coronavirus pandemic has really, I think, moved us on positively in that direction and demonstrated the extent to which we're already there.

[00:31:43] There's a lot of polling that says that people want more global cooperation. They understand that the coronavirus is something that crosses borders and we can only tackle together.

[00:31:55] Have we seen action as well? Yes, we have. We've seen an amazing amount of [00:32:00] action, both at the private sector level, in terms of multinational companies collaborating with all sorts of different countries, setting up labs, tests, manufacturing capacity for vaccines and others across the world. And also in terms of countries actually acting together. Just a couple of weeks ago, 8.8 billion dollars  was committed by wealthier countries, purely to vaccinate the poorest children in the world in the middle of a pandemic.

[00:32:29] So despite facing the worst economic crisis in generations -- and certainly the only coordinated, global economic crisis of this level, at least since the 1930s -- countries came forward and gave an unprecedentedly generous set of donations to vaccinate the world's poorest children.

[00:32:50]So actually sometimes  we're led  by what we most fear and the news tells us about the things that give us examples of what we most fear, but there's a [00:33:00] huge amount of global collaboration going on. And I feel confident that this will be one of the memories of people that are alive for 50 years to come that  they will look back on as an example of how important it is that next time, we're collaborating even better. And why next time we need to do a much better job of encouraging our political leaders to show the kind of leadership  that would put us in a much stronger position.

[00:33:26] Isabelle Roughol: [00:33:26] I think that's, that's a good place to end on, on this optimistic note. Thank you so much. This was really, really interesting.

[00:33:32] Hassan Damluji: [00:33:32] Great. Thanks, Isabelle. Really great talking to you.

[00:33:35] Isabelle Roughol: [00:33:35] Great talking to you.   The book is "The Responsible Globalist" published by Penguin Allen Lane in the UK and hopefully someday soon in other languages. The paperback comes out this October. I want to thank Hassan Damluji again for coming on the podcast and this great conversation. Next week, we'll travel, with the mind at least if not [00:34:00] physically yet. We'll explore the possibility of taking our careers on the road with us and becoming digital nomads.

[00:34:07] Thanks so much for listening. Please again, share this podcast with someone you think might like it. Go to borderlinepod.com to subscribe to the newsletter, find the podcast on all the platforms and get more from Borderline. Thanks so much for listening. I'll talk to you next week.

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Isabelle Roughol Twitter

Journalist, podcaster, media consultant. Telling stories & building better newsrooms. Writes The Lede. Ex- LinkedIn News, Le Figaro, The Cambodia Daily. 🎓 Mizzou '08, Birkbeck '25.