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Does alcohol help bring the world together?

On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer takes a look at the yin and the yang of alcohol's role in high-level diplomacy and society at large. Alcohol can bring people together just as easily as it can tear them apart. From a 1995 Clinton/Yeltsin Summit where a drunk Yeltsin almost derailed Bosnian peace talks, to Obama's Beer Summit and the recent G7 Summit, booze plays a part in how world leaders interact. Globally, alcohol consumption has been steadily increasing, by over 70 percent between 1990 and 2017, according to one report. . Low and middle-income nations like Vietnam, India, and China are a driving force behind that trend, with drinking in Southeast Asia rising by over 34 percent between 2010 and 2017. And yet, amidst this global booze boom, the world has only grown more and more divided.

Watch the episode: The (political) power of alcohol

Joe Biden's presidency: biggest surprises, successes and mistakes so far

What surprised Jane Harman, former US Congresswoman (D-CA), most about Joe Biden's presidency? "Number one, he's much more hands-on as a leader than I fully understood. It's coming out now how he runs his meetings and what he does. But number two, and I love this, he's really enjoying the job." Harman, a nine-term member of Congress who served for decades on the major security committees in the House of Representatives, notes that Biden's stint as Vice President was no guarantee of how he would perform. "I think sitting behind that desk, and having the buck stop with him is very different. And I think he fills out the job very well."

In an interview with Ian Bremmer, Harman says Biden has a dimension that none of his four predecessors had, because of his experience in Congress and in foreign policy. She also shares her perspective on Biden's biggest successes as well as some mistakes he's made.

Biden’s foreign policy approach: “Take the foreign out of foreign policy”

Jane Harman, who served nine terms as a US Democratic Congresswoman from California, explains that the Biden administration's approach is "to take the foreign out of foreign policy." Biden's foreign policy strategy starts with restoring alliances, promoting democracy, and making the world safer, prioritizing issues that connect what the US does abroad to concerns at home, says Harman. That means finding a solution to the pandemic both in the US and globally; addressing terrorism abroad and domestically; and climate, which Harman notes, "is a huge part of our security at home and security in the world. Think about it. Half the refugees in the world are climate refugees. They're not terrorism refugees."

Harman, author of the new book, "Insanity Defense: Why Our Failure to Confront Hard National Security Problems Make Us Less Safe," spoke in an interview with Ian Bremmer.

Takeaways from President Biden’s first G7 summit

If the US is really back, as President Biden keeps saying, what is it back to do? That was one of the biggest questions at the G7 summit in the United Kingdom last weekend, the first stop on the first trip abroad of Biden's presidency. The G7 tackled the world's biggest problem by pledging to donate 1 billion doses of the vaccine to COVAX, with 500 million of those coming from the United States. Taxes, climate change, China, and Russia were on the agenda, too. Biden's trip went better than Trump's last big outing, to be sure. Ian Bremmer recaps this year's historic G7 meeting.

Watch the GZERO World episode: Has Biden convinced the G7 "America is back"?

A short history of the G7

President Biden's first G7 Summit as America's President also marks the first time those world leaders have gathered in person since the start of the COVID pandemic. Want to know a little more about the group, and why it exists in the first place? You came to the right place. We're called GZERO, after all!

The G7 actually began as the G6, when the leaders of France, West Germany, the USA, Japan, the UK and Italy met in a Chateau outside of Paris to squabble their way out of an oil shock and financial crisis. They had so much fun they agreed to do it every year. They even let Canada join the party in 1976, making it the G7.

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Is China too confident?

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody, Ian Bremmer here. Happy Monday. Have your Quick Take to start off the week. I want to talk a little bit about China and the backlash to China. We all know that China has been the top international focus of the Biden administration, considered to be the top national security threat, adversary, competitor of the United States. On top of the fact that there's large bipartisan agreement about that, on top of the fact that President Biden doesn't want to be seen in any way as potentially weak on China, to be vulnerable to the Republicans if he were to do so.

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European allies welcome back a US that is engaged and “loves Europe”: Ivo Daalder

At the G7, President Biden brought American engagement with the world back to levels that used to be the norm. The United States playing an indispensable role in leading the world was never questioned until Donald Trump became president. The question now becomes how long is America back for, asks former US ambassador to NATO, Ivo Daalder, who also raises the point: "Is the kind of way the United States has engaged the world still the appropriate way for dealing with the challenge we have?" Daalder speaks with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World about Biden's first presidential trip to Europe and the reception he received from European leaders.

Watch the GZERO World episode: Has Biden convinced the G7 "America is back"?

European allies see Biden's visit as a strong beginning

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Europe:

After Biden's first visit, do his European allies feel that America is back?

I think they do. Wasn't particularly surprising, we've heard that message before. But now it was, sort of more concrete issues. I'm not certain there was, sort of major, major, major progress. But there was the beginning of a dialogue on trade and technology issues with Europe, clearly on security issues with NATO, and quite a number of other issues with G7, and general satisfaction with the outcome of the meeting with Putin. So, altogether good.

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