2017 Session Descriptions
- Addressing (Popular) Discontent at Home and Abroad
- A New Vision for Europe
- Beyond the Middle East Disorder
- Brexit and Its Implications for Europe
- Does the World Want to Be Connected? Part I: The Economy
- Does the World Want to Be Connected? Part II: Ideas, Identities, and Interconnectivity
- End of the West? Responses from Around the Globe
- Europe’s Year of Decisions — Elections in 2017
- Inclusive Innovation: Can the Digital Economy Benefit Everyone?
- Mission Impossible: Controlling the World of Information and Facts
- Oxford-Style Debate: The Internet is a Democratizing Force
- Rebooting Democracy
- Resources and Strategy: The Eastern Mediterranean and Beyond
- The Continuous Struggle: Living with Terrorism
- The Future of American Power in the World
- The Future of Work
- The Next Conflict - Part I: North Korea
- The Next Conflict - Part II: Eastern Europe and the Caucasus
- Transatlantic (In)Security
- Understanding America
- Women in a New Policy World
- You Weighed In: Transatlantic Thought Leader Survey
Addressing (Popular) Discontent at Home and Abroad
Over the last few years, traditional institutions, multi-national corporations, political parties, and their leaders have been confronted by a deepening mistrust and scepticism by citizens. This has called into question the efficacy of the global economic system, the necessity of important postwar institutions like NATO and the European Union, and the values that underpin them. Due to a myriad of real and perceived threats, citizens in both the United States and Europe are supporting leaders that promise to break with the status quo and prioritize the homeland over the global arena. Given our interconnected, global, and digital age, can populist movements realistically deliver on these promises without upending the international system and further eroding trust in government?
- What must change to rebuild trust of citizens in institutions and their leaders?
- How can leaders at all levels of government discuss and demonstrate the tangible benefits of robust engagement on global issues such as trade, climate change, and security?
- What will these movements and newly elected leaders mean for the future of the European Union, transatlantic relations, and a multilateral system that for several decades has brought peace and prosperity to many countries around the world?
A New Vision for Europe
As the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome approaches, the question emerges: Can Europe still be considered a successful haven of peace, democracy, and prosperity, or is the EU a house of cards that is about to collapse? The British vote to leave also breaks the long held assumptions that European integration cannot be undone. The long-drawn-out successive crises of Europe have each revealed the structural weaknesses of the EU construct, yet there still is a dearth of political will and public support to reform the EU. The anniversary of the treaties that founded the European Union provide an opportunity to debate the future of Europe and find solutions to its problems.
- What is needed to fix the ailing continent?
- Are existing ideas ambitious and realistic enough to save Europe?
- Can European leaders deliver a Union that works and that also satisfies its citizens?
Beyond the Middle East Disorder
Six years after the Arab Spring, much the Middle East and North Africa continues to grapple with a reality plagued by transnational instability. The tragic consequences of the Syrian civil war have reverberated across the region, inciting a proxy conflict among regional powers. At the same time, Libya and Yemen have also fallen into failed state status. The contagion of instability is palpable. Zooming out, the post-Arab spring reality exists largely of eroded nation-states and the regional disorder. Many governments have responded by ramping up authoritarian practices, but the nation-state seems irreparably damaged. Moreover, disputes and identities have been reinforced across subnational lines. The most violent form of this reality is embodied in the emergence of the self-proclaimed Islamic State group.
For many in the region, as well as the international community, the first step to creating stability is found in Syria. However, the complexity of the region’s dynamics is also on full-display in the ongoing conflict. Subnational ethnic and religious divides have fueled hatreds and taken nearly a half-million lives, while scores more have been displaced. Regional powers fund factions inside Syria and animosity only grows stronger. A political process that ceases the violence is critical to move the needle the right direction. However, international actors searching for a settlement seldom agree on the approach. And even if consensus is found, it will only be the first step in repairing the pan-regional order. If such a process is not found, we may be witnessing a new normal of a long disorder in the region, which will be exemplified by further protracted violence and instability.
- How do regional actors, and the international community, begin to create stability in a region plagued with political and civil turmoil? Is solving the Syrian conflict the only way to begin this endeavor?
- What role will the nation-state play in the Middle East? Is the tendency toward centralizing power bound to inflame subnational identities, thereby fueling further strife? What mechanisms are there to create legitimacy at the national or subnational (federal) level? What role will regional multilateral organizations play in providing a new, legitimate, and stable order in the region?
- What will the role of the United States and Europe be in addressing the region’s problems? And in the era of populist tendencies, how is it in U.S. and European interest to help mitigate instability and create order in the MENA region?
Brexit and Its Implications for Europe
British Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union by the end of March, which will formally begin the negotiation between the EU and the U.K. on the terms of “Brexit.” It now increasingly looks as if the U.K. is heading toward a “hard” Brexit — that is, one in which the U.K. withdraws not only from the EU itself but also from the single market and the customs union. Some fear that, if agreement cannot be reached within the two-year period specified by Article 50, and the period is not extended, the U.K. will be forced to trade with the EU under World Trade Organization rules.
- What relationship between the EU and the U.K. is likely to emerge from the Brexit negotiation? Who has the stronger negotiating position?
- What effect will the withdrawal of the U.K. have on the EU? Will Brexit be a catalyst for further European integration or could it deepen fault lines within the EU and even lead to European disintegration?
- Are both the EU and the U.K. being complacent about the impact that the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States has on them? In particular, given the new uncertainty about the future of NATO and the U.S. security guarantee, can they still afford an acrimonious negotiation about the terms of the trading relationship between them or do they now need to rethink?
Does the World Want to Be Connected? Part I: The Economy
In the wake of the 2008-10 financial crisis, the costs of economic globalization have been a hot-button issue on both sides of the Atlantic. The two most significant political events of 2016, the British vote to leave the European Union and the result of the U.S. presidential election, were preceded by campaigns in which the negative consequences of international economic integration, including through trade agreements, featured heavily. Opposition had been growing in Western Europe to the EU–U.S. Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, contributing to the failure to conclude it during Obama’s term, as well as to the near-rejection of the EU–Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.
This “backlash against globalization” has led many in “developed” countries to question the appropriate degree of international economic integration and the ability of nation states to retain democratic control over economic decision-making processes. But even as wages stagnated in the United States and much of Europe, people throughout the rest of the world benefited enormously, with over a billion lifted out of abject poverty in China, India, Africa, and elsewhere, and hundreds of millions moving into a new global “middle class.” That Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed the importance of the global rules-based trading system in his Davos remarks underscores this new developed/developing divide: those who created the system increasingly doubt it and those who once saw that system as a veiled form of exploitation now wanting to shore it up.
- Has the expansion of global trade and investment over the past 60 years gone “too far”?
- Is the source of the problem that the rules-based system governing trade and investment is somehow “unfair”? Does a trade deficit mean a country is somehow being taken advantage of? Are differences between levels of labor and environmental protection a reason for concerns about unfair trade? How should the system address “unfair” trade practices that might come from either lower or higher levels of protection?
- Would the problem be resolved through better programs to help workers adjust to changes due to trade? Is there any evidence that such programs actually work?
- Can we build a new narrative on the basis that economic integration has demonstrably benefited humanity as a whole as trade and investment have grown the global economy, but that local governments need to do more to help their people adjust to change?
Does the World Want to Be Connected? Part II: Ideas, Identities, and Interconnectivity
The last year has seen a profound reaction against globalization and its effects on society. Deeply embedded within the “taking back control” narrative, the Brexit vote and surprise election of President Donald Trump have shown that the traditional sense of community and identity are eroding. For those described as “liberal internationalists,” that erosion allows for greater individuality, choice, expression of self, and the creation of a global community. For others, it has led to the breakdown of community identities, left people feeling rootless, and — rather than creating a sense of connection — has instead broken down traditional senses of what it means to be a part of a shared society. At a national level, the breakdown between urban and rural, level of education, and generations is profound, leading to deep divides within nations that disrupt politics, communities, and even families.
- How do decision-makers perceive the erosion of traditional concepts of community and identity, and how might this affect their process?
- What does it mean to be part of a shared society, and how has our understanding of community changed in recent years?
- What can be done to bridge the growing divides we see within urban and rural communities, and in the level of education?
End of the West? Responses from Around the World
It has become fashionable to assert that the “West” is in a process of slow decline by a number of key measures, from relative economic weight to social, political, and strategic cohesion. In this frame, the West is essentially code for North America and Europe, together with like-minded countries in Asia. Some would assert that the West is surely a broader construct, and is less about geography than it is about values and shared strategic interest. The West’s challengers are easier to identify — Russia, a rising China, perhaps some major actors in the global south whose identities and international postures are fluid. Leaving this aside, there is a broad sense that the traditional Western powers are troubled and increasingly inward looking.
The potential European and U.S. responses to this apparent malaise are no less troubling for the West’s partners. Drift and possible disintegration in the EU could profoundly alter the strategic calculus for Europe’s neighbors and global partners. A protectionist, isolationist , or more likely, unilateralist Unite States would be profoundly troubling for partners who have relied on the U.S. presence and security commitments. Others may see this re-nationalized environment as an opportunity to diversify their foreign policies, to seek reassurance, and economic relationships elsewhere, or to assert their own regional and global ambitions. Decline may have objective measures, but it is also in the eye of the beholder. At a minimum, a more chaotic international system, with shifting norms and power relationships, is surely on the horizon. All are stakeholders in how the West responds.
- Is the perception of Western decline accurate? Is it a meaningful idea when seen from elsewhere?
- How are the narrower ideas of change in Europe and the United States, and declining transatlantic cohesion, seen by neighboring states, and those further afield?
- Who are the potential winners? Who are the likely losers?
- What will global partners do to hedge against the possible “End of the West”?
Europe’s Year of Decisions — Elections in 2017
A year after the disruptive Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom and the surprising outcome of the presidential election in the United States, it is the voters in several major European countries turn to go to the polls in 2017. After the elections in the Netherlands in March, presidential elections take place in France in April and May, followed by German federal elections in September. An early election in Italy is also still a possibility.
These electoral contests, especially in France and Germany, are set to determine not only the composition of new governments in those countries but the future path for the European Union. In both countries EU-critical right-wing parties are playing a key role, but it is in France where a potential win of the Front National, while still unlikely, could upend the European project as we know it. In Germany, the likely entrance of six parties into the new Bundestag will necessitate creative new strategies to build governing coalitions, if another grand coalition between the conservative party and the social democrats is to be avoided.
- What are the prospects for elections in France and Germany? Can the uneasy coalition of conservative and socialist voters fight off a challenge by the Front National in a likely second round of the presidential election in France?
- The threat of domestic elections has paralyzed many European discussions. Is there a new chance to solve Europe’s problems once elections in France and Germany are over?
- What do the recent elections in the Netherlands and the votes in France and Germany mean for the prospect of Brexit negotiations with the United Kingdom?
Inclusive Innovation: Can the Digital Economy Benefit Everyone?
Inequality has been a major topic of transatlantic policy discourse for years. But despite the attention, statistics continue to show a rather dim outlook: The incomes of the top 1 percent in America are 38 times higher than those of the bottom 90 percent, while 9.8 percent of EU citizens are unemployed. Much of that unemployment is concentrated in countries like Greece, Spain, and Italy, whose economic situations have threatened to politically destabilize the Union in its entirety. The digital economy could provide a pathway toward achieving more inclusive and sustainable growth. Embracing technological innovation provides unprecedented opportunities for education, employment, showcasing talents, and making global connections, contributing to higher growth. Here, statistics provide a more optimistic outlook: SMEs that use the web to connect them to global markets experience 22 percent higher revenue growth than those that stay offline. However, despite policy doctrines and investment programs, too few structural changes have been implemented to deliver the type of transformative progress demanded by U.S. and European publics. As a result, political rhetoric increasingly seems to be reacting against the potential of technological progress and the promise of the digital economy, to the detriment of the publics, SMS’s and effective public policy.
- How can we ensure that all citizens are able to unlock the benefits of this new era?
- How do we need to change policy and investment approaches to ensure that people benefit from, recognize, and are better able to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the digital economy?
- Given the current political environment on both sides of the Atlantic, how can a transatlantic conversation around innovation for inclusive growth benefit leaders in both public policy and the private sector?
Mission Impossible: Controlling the World of Information and Facts
It seems in the last decade that the world has started spinning faster than ever before in history. Political events are covered around the clock and people demand quick and short information, which plays into the hands of populists. Technological developments, particularly in the cyber sphere, have changed our communication and approach toward knowledge and information. It often results in the circulation of fake news and alternative facts. Social media outlets are developing into one of the battlefields between truth and lies.
Information increasingly shapes military tactics as well. Russia is allegedly one of the most experienced and interlaced players when it comes to cyber-attacks targeting domestic and transnational institutions. International stakeholders accuse each other of puppeteering troll armies, waging online disinformation campaigns, and growing cyber infiltration.
- What impact does information warfare have on international security and national military strategies?
- What concrete steps could be taken on international, national, and personal levels to confront fake news?
- How could investigative journalism be advanced globally?
Oxford-Style Debate: The Internet is a Democratizing Force
The positive and negative impacts that the internet has on democracy has been a subject of debate since its creation. On the one hand, the exposure to new information, conflicting viewpoints, and alternative dialogues seems set to increase the scope of our worldview and mutual understanding. The Internet's capacity to provide transparency and novel modes of democratic engagement — whether through direct e-democracy or online petitions and grassroots movements — speaks to its possibilities as an essential tool to the expansion of democratic societies.
However, the prevalence of “fake news,” and politically motivated hacking and propaganda cause a basic questioning of truth and falsehood. Our tendency to migrate toward information we agree with has been made far worse due to the opportunities afforded by the Internet. The disappearance of society's editors now means that everyone needs to have sophisticated scope to filter through and make sense of vast swathes of information. In authoritarian and non-authoritarian countries alike, the fear that the freeing potential of the internet would be outweighed by the propensity for control has come to pass, albeit to varying degrees.
In this debate, we will explore the Internet’s relationship with democratic participation with a focus on recent developments in the established democracies of the West surrounding political elections in Europe and North America. By assembling technologists, online activists, prominent thinkers, and influential policymakers, we will introduce the various nuances of this debate to our influential conference audience. Fitting with our theme “End of Complacency” we will use the Oxford Style debate format to measure the influence of our panelists’ arguments and encourage our audience to think critically about the future of the Internet.
Disenchantment with liberal representative democracy as a form of political organization is growing across most advanced democracies, as underscored by the surge in populism across the both sides of the Atlantic (and beyond). This trend seems to be challenging the Winston Churchill consensus that “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all others.” Complacency about the state of democracy prevented foresight of U.S. election results and their impact on the stability of international order. Is democracy at risk? If so, what can be done to revive it? Understanding the causes behind this shift away from liberal democracy is as important as finding new ways to fix it.
- Is this the end of representative democracy?
- Are other forms of democracy, such as illiberal democracy, taking over?
- Or can representative liberal democracy be saved through innovative forms of citizen participation?
Resources and Strategy: The Eastern Mediterranean and Beyond
New offshore oil and gas resources in the Eastern Mediterranean hold great promise for regional states, and could make a significant contribution to energy security in Europe and beyond. At the same time, open-ended conflicts in Syria and Libya, and highly unstable conditions elsewhere in the Levant –and in Turkey – raise serious questions about strategic risk and the ability to develop the region’s resources. Under more favorable political and security conditions, it would be easier to develop the pipelines and other infrastructure to allow Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, and others to exploit these resources efficiently. Political stability would also allow for cooperation on environmental security and the physical security of offshore facilities. In these and in many other ways, regional geo-economics, and geopolitics are intimately linked.
The strategic equation in the Eastern Mediterranean is affected by developments across a wider space, including the Black Sea, the Gulf, North Africa, and points south. And developments across this space are driving European and American stakes in the region. Challenges emanating from the south, including migration, terrorism, the foreign fighter phenomenon, and spillovers of political violence – and energy security – are compelling greater attention to the Eastern Mediterranean in EU and NATO strategy. Russia has returned as a significant actor, and over time, China too is likely to acquire a greater stake. Washington increasingly sees engagement in counter-terrorism as a test of relevance for security partnerships, and much of this will play out in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Levant. Shifting diplomatic and security relationships among key states are also shaping the outlook for cooperation on energy and economic development more generally.
- Will the chaotic conditions in the Eastern Mediterranean and adjacent regions prove durable?
- Can the prevailing crises and political tensions be managed or contained, and to what extent can joint energy and infrastructure projects provide an incentive?
- How significant are the region’s oil and gas resources, and can they be exploited effectively in the absence of strategic stability?
- What can regional and transatlantic partners do to improve the outlook – or to hedge against continued insecurity?
The Continuous Struggle: Living with Terrorism
In the last two years the self-proclaimed Islamic State group has lost over 60 percent of their held territory in Iraq and about 30 percent in Syria, a contraction that made the group lose its radical control and become less attractive to foreign terrorist fighters (FTF). We are now facing an opposite phenomenon, a reverse flow of FTF, who leave the terrorist group to return to their homelands or join terrorist cells in third countries. According to recent estimates, up to 30,000 foreigners joined ISIS or other terrorist groups in the region. Around 5,000 left from Europe. Of those, 30 percent are now thought to have returned, posing great risks to the security of the European countries if their intent is to continue the cycle of radicalization and carry out terrorist attacks at home. In light of these developments, countries are trying to put together effective mechanisms that include rehabilitation and disengagement measures. This trend is unfolding as we speak and little is known about how successful our policies are in coping with these returns.
- Who is in charge of the rehabilitative process of FTFs? What does this process look like and what are the first tangible results?
- What are the measures that would ensure policies for prevention, disengagement, and reintegration are effective?
- What should be the communication of transatlantic governments toward their populations regarding the return of foreign fighters? What are the preferred formats of cooperation for transatlantic partners to counter radicalization within the transatlantic realm?
The Future of American Power in the World
In the face of several global challenges, the demand on U.S. power has only increased. And as pressing geopolitical crises have spread, the global distribution of power has grown increasingly complex. In many ways, the United States remains the sole global power equipped to tackle many of these challenges, either through political leadership or concrete capabilities. However, the United States must also balance competing priorities in various global theaters, as well as its own domestic realities.
In times of restrictive budgets and multiplying threats, it is clear that the United States must look to capable allies and partners to manage global challenges. There has long been long-held, bipartisan position regarding the critical role that the United States plays in global stability by supporting the post-World War II architecture, as well as the need for capable partners in such an endeavor. However, in the wake of two wars, a global financial crisis, and a heated election, there is some doubt among global actors regarding the future role of American Power in the world.
- What will U.S. power in the world look like over the coming years? Where will the strategic foreign policy priorities be?
- What role will allies, partners, and friends have in U.S. foreign policy? What role will American leadership within alliances and coalitions be? What role will alliance structures, such as NATO, have?
- How will the United States relate to the international system it has helped create and led since 1945? As the geopolitical landscape shifts, how will the United States see its position and allies to help address the challenges that accompany this change?
The Future of Work
Developments in digitalization, automation, and artificial intelligence are transforming our societies in countless ways. Technological advances have disrupted societies and economies throughout history, but this time the impacts are multifaceted and spread across practically every sector. All of these technological advances have an incalculable impact on the world of work. While we still struggle to address the societal changes caused by automation, the rapidly growing impacts of digitalization and artificial intelligence on the future of work gather momentum. Self-driving cars are already being tested and artificial intelligence systems are just starting to replace some middle-class office jobs. In such a context, the question of how to educate and train a workforce that can thrive beyond the next decade is critical. Yet, no one can credibly determine the needs of employers in twenty years, which is approximately the time when a person entering our education system today would graduate from university. How can we prepare ourselves and the next generation for the imminent revolution in the world of work?
- How can we educate and train a workforce to be prepared for an uncertain and rapidly transforming economy?
- What are the skills that will be needed, and who is responsible for deciding this?
- Is it possible to keep current employment levels in light of developments in artificial intelligence?
- Is it possible to balance demographic needs for economic growth and declining employment needs?
The Next Conflict - Part I: North Korea
North Korea is one of the world’s most pressing security threats and among the most heartbreaking of humanitarian crises in human history. Over decades, the situation for the North Korean people has remained dire and the threat posed by the country has become markedly greater, as its missile and nuclear capabilities have advanced. President Barack Obama warned his successor that it would likely be the most urgent problem he would face. Since President Donald Trump has taken office, the regime has conducted a missile test into the sea between South Korea and Japan, and launched four missiles into Japanese territory, striking 200 miles from land. The nuclear-armed country has missiles that can reach U.S. soil, and will soon have the capability to strike the U.S. mainland. The assassination of Kim Jong-Nam, Kim Jung-Un’s oldest brother, and a spate of other high-profile assassinations and disappearances indicates regime fragility. The policy options available range from bad to worse. The risks are extraordinarily high and a number of responses could potentially prove devastating for South Korea, as well as upsetting the delicate geopolitical balance in North East Asia. As a result, the United States, China, and others have pursued varying forms of what has amounted to collective inaction: from cancelling out one another’s strategies to taking a wait-and-see approach.
- Is the threat near breaking point?
- How close are we to a North Korean regime collapse or the launch of a nuclear missile?
- What will it take to prompt a concerted international response? What options are available?
The Next Conflict - Part II: Eastern Europe and the Caucasus
The region to Europe’s east remains vulnerable to both geopolitics and complex transitions to open societies and market economies. Ukraine and Georgia are the frontrunners of this transition, having implemented (some) internal reforms and remaining dedicated to their European path, despite pressures from Russia to change this course. Yet vulnerable to the volatile regional context and uneasy internal dynamics, the two countries succeeded in securing a cooperative relationship with the European Union, a good dynamic with international partners, and a close partnership with NATO. The new transatlantic and European context adds even more complexity to the progress paths of the two countries, and geopolitical trends still unfolding leave many worrying about their future success as much remains to be accomplished in transatlantic partnerships and by the countries themselves. The session will look at both regional and transatlantic contexts and their influence on the path to reforms of the two countries, as well as to the internal processes that affect future progress.
- What internal processes affect the path to reform for Ukraine and Georgia?
- How does the Ukraine and Georgia's relationship with the European Union or NATO benefit their path to reforms?
- What new geopolitical contexts have influenced progress paths of Ukraine and Georgia?
Over the past several years, there has been an acute sense of volatility and insecurity on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2014, Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea shook the very foundations that have governed the European and transatlantic security architecture since the end of the Cold War. Meanwhile, the tragic conflict in Syria and destabilization of the larger Middle East has only added to the sense that legacies of the 20th century are seeping into the 21st century reality.
For Europe, there is an increasingly poignant internal conversation regarding its own self-defense capabilities. It is clear that the United States will remain a critical element of Euroatlantic security. Yet, the extent of and willingness for U.S. engagement is facing its greatest uncertainty since the end of World War II. Compounding this challenging reality, political instability and disunity has emerged in Europe and across the Atlantic. All the while, Russia’s actions in Europe’s East and to Europe’s South have created several realities on the ground, often in direct conflict with European and transatlantic aims and interests.
- How have the transatlantic partners been complacent in addressing security issues in the 21st century? How can the transatlantic actors create greater levels of unity and confidence in an era of such significant uncertainty?
- What will be the key mechanisms and institutions for addressing the current and future security challenges to transatlantic partners? Particularly in Europe, what space is there to bring creative ideas, such as the Framework Nations Concept, to full implementation? Despite certain centrifugal forces, can the European Union take a greater place in Euroatlantic security and defense?
- What is the role for Russia in the Euroatlantic security calculus? Is there space for confidence building with Russia for the transatlantic partners? Absent the roll-back of aggressions in Ukraine and the full-implementation of Minsk II, is there any chance for cooperation, and should there be? What can be expected from Moscow to alleviate the real concerns of the transatlantic partners? How can Russia’s relationship with much of Europe and the United States be moved beyond the distrust that currently dominates the discourse?
The election of Donald Trump sent shockwaves across the Atlantic. Despite the fact that almost no one expected it, Trump not only took the presidency, but also enjoys a Republican majority in Congress and at the level of state governments that has not been seen in almost a century. At the same time, the Trump ascendancy is eliciting forms of popular protest across the United States that recall the 1960s.
While coastal elites scoff, Americans in the heartland voted for the proposition that Trump can restore U.S. growth, jobs, and national greatness. He now needs to deliver, against entrenched opposition. There is ample reason to expect more of the domestic conflict that was already visible in the early weeks of the administration, and to question how the dramatic shake-up of power in Washington will impact U.S. foreign policy and alliance leadership. Though we cannot predict what the next months or years of this administration might bring, we must understand the deeper political and economic forces that have transformed the U.S. political landscape.
- Where have liberal policies gone wrong? How can elites address the grievances that are fueling new nationalist movements?
- How will American populism at home translate into its policies overseas, and what does this mean for both allies and adversaries?
- What are the parameters for transatlantic cooperation in an age of insurgent politics that remain true to the values and interests of the West?
Women in a New Policy World
The transatlantic partners and the West currently face many crises, internally as well as externally. The disruptive impact of the newly elected U.S. president is fundamentally challenging how societies — from policymakers to journalists, advocates, and business representatives — do business. It has been a wake-up call that we cannot take our democracies for granted. New public-private alliances have led to public outcries over the travel ban from seven Middle Eastern countries to the United States, womens’ rights, and the future of Europe.
- How can political decision-makers ensure they keep re-engaging citizens?
- Is there a difference between the roles that men and women in power can play?
- What role should elected officials play in keeping societies secure, peaceful, and prosperous? Is gender a factor? Should women lead in ensuring gender-sensitive behavior and policies that are reflective of the diverse societies we have today? If so, how?
You Weighed In: Transatlantic Thought Leader Survey
We know the mood is unsettled in both Europe and America. But the results of an online survey, conducted from January 18 to March 16, 2017, paint a specific and troubling picture of the concerns shared by transatlantic opinion leaders. Respondents, including Brussels Forum invitees and alumni of GMF’s Marshall Memorial Fellowship, Transatlantic Inclusion Leaders (TILN), Manfred Wörner Seminar (MWS) and the American Political Science Association (APSA), shared what troubles them, what figures and institutions they trust and mistrust, and what they expect for the future of the transatlantic relationship. The results reveal both areas we can make common cause and surprising divergences of opinion between European and American thought leaders.