A Conversation on Permacrisis: Charting a New Path for Politics and the Global Economy

Former UK PM Gordon Brown, Nobel Laureate Michael Spence, and Mohamed El-Erian of Queens’ College Cambridge discuss the challenges and solutions in navigating the post-pandemic world.

As the world grapples with the far-reaching consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become increasingly evident that a new approach is needed to address the interconnected challenges we face. In their groundbreaking book, “Permacrisis,” former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Nobel Laureate Michael Spence, and Mohamed El-Erian of Queens’ College Cambridge present a thought-provoking analysis of the global economy and propose a comprehensive roadmap for a sustainable future.

The Post-Pandemic Landscape: An Unprecedented Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities and fragilities of our global systems. The authors highlight the need to confront the permacrisis, a term they coined to describe the convergence of multiple crises including low growth, higher inflation, increasing nationalism, climate catastrophes, and poor policy responses. They argue that these challenges cannot be tackled in isolation and require a holistic approach.

Rethinking Politics and Governance

According to Gordon Brown, the pandemic has laid bare the inadequacy of existing political structures and governance systems. He emphasizes the urgent need for international cooperation and multilateralism to address global challenges effectively. Brown calls for a new social contract that prioritizes the well-being of all citizens, promotes inclusivity, and ensures fair distribution of resources.

Building a Resilient Global Economy

Michael Spence argues that the post-pandemic recovery should focus on building a more resilient and sustainable global economy. He emphasizes the importance of investing in infrastructure, technology, and human capital to drive long-term growth. Spence also highlights the need for a coordinated approach to address income inequality and ensure that the benefits of economic progress are shared equitably.

Navigating the Climate Crisis

Mohamed El-Erian stresses the urgency of addressing the climate crisis as an integral part of the permacrisis. He calls for a fundamental shift in economic policies towards sustainable practices and green investments. El-Erian emphasizes the role of governments, businesses, and individuals in adopting environmentally conscious strategies to mitigate the impact of climate change and ensure a livable future for all.

Overcoming Nationalism and Fragmentation

The authors acknowledge the rise of nationalism and fragmentation as significant obstacles in addressing the permacrisis. They argue that cooperation and collaboration are essential to overcome these challenges. Brown emphasizes the need for global leadership and the revitalization of international institutions to foster dialogue and find common ground.


In their book “Permacrisis,” Gordon Brown, Michael Spence, and Mohamed El-Erian offer a compelling vision for navigating the complex challenges of the post-pandemic world. They call for a paradigm shift in politics, governance, and the global economy, emphasizing the importance of international cooperation, sustainable practices, and inclusive growth. As we emerge from the depths of the pandemic, their insights provide a roadmap for building a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable future. It is now up to policymakers, businesses, and individuals to heed their call and shape a world that is better prepared to confront the permacrisis head-on.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *