Categories
Foreign policy

Top Ten Foreign Policy Trends in 2019

Image courtesy of European External Action Service/Flickr. (CC BY-NC 2.0)

This article was originally published by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) on 3 January 2019.

Top ten trends that will occupy European foreign policymakers in 2019

It’s a new year and thus a new opportunity to predict the big events and trends that will shake the world in 2019. We want to get this in early, so you have time to forget what we said by the end of the year.

However, lest you think that we have completely forgotten the recently deceased 2018, we have responded to the demands of the intellectual harpies our trusted ECFR colleagues and graded ourselves on last year’s predictions. With our usual combination of feigned humility and self-delusion, we eked out a score of 7.5 out of 10.

Categories
Security Defense

A New Beginning for European Defence

Image courtesy of European Parliament/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

It is time to move past institutional integration and develop practical European security capabilities.

Europe is facing multiple security challenges. Russia aims to undermine the European security order and has shown its willingness to violate other countries’ sovereignty and increase its nuclear power. The Middle East and North Africa are on fire, homegrown terrorism threatens the streets of Europe, and cyber and information warfare are on the rise.

Categories
International Relations Security

The Era of Mutual Assured Disruption

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This article was published by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) on 16 February 2017.

The five forces that are ‘liquidising’ global security.

As the liberal order frays and geopolitical competition returns it is natural that people turn to Henry Kissinger.  No one has a more finely-grained understanding of power politics, and his treatise on World Order sits on the bed side tables of many global leaders (even if few have actually read it).

But Kissinger’s ideas of order represent an impossible aspiration in the world of ISIS and fake news. They are designed for a slower world and powerful states, rather than our age of permanent uncertainty, rapid change and disruption.

Many traditional concepts – even well-tested ones – have been overtaken by events. Deterrence, alliances, even diplomacy seem out of fashion; old certainties are gone. Kissinger’s order was based on two pillars: legitimacy and balance of power. The defining moment of his world view was the Peace of Westphalia. He laments the disappearance of the split between domestic and foreign policy. But, in spite of the return of power politics, the world is not Kissingerian any more.

Categories
Politics

The Coming Brexit Tragedy

So we drank the kool-aid...
Courtesy of duncan c/Flickr. CC BY-NC 2.0

This article was published by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) on 3 January 2017.

With both sides ignoring the decline of the liberal world order, the Brexit process is set to result in tragedy for both the UK and EU.

This past year changed everything, except how governments think. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the pre-negotiations for Brexit. With both sides ignoring the far-reaching implications of Donald Trump’s election as US president – namely, the decline of the liberal world order – the process seems set to produce a tragedy for the United Kingdom and the European Union alike.

Judging by the behavior of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s diplomats, one might believe that Brexit is the only real uncertainty nowadays. Indeed, they seem convinced that their only imperative – beyond protecting the unity of the Conservative Party, of course – is to secure as many benefits for the UK as possible.