from International Institutions and Global Governance Program

Council of Councils Ninth Regional Conference

Insights From a Council of Councils Workshop

January 5, 2017


Growing opposition to globalization and global governance is upending the established international order, weakening prospects for addressing today's most pressing transnational threats, and minimizing opportunities for economic growth. The enduring threat of transnational terrorism, renewed prospect of territorial aggression, massive flows of migrants, and perceived weakening of national sovereignty are causing policymakers to question past assumptions about world order and regional security. To consider how best to address these challenges, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, in collaboration with the Council on Foreign Relations, hosted thirty-four delegates from nineteen countries for the Council of Councils Ninth Regional Conference in Berlin, Germany.

The report, which you can download here, summarizes the discussion's highlights. The report reflects the views of workshop participants alone; CFR takes no position on policy issues.

Framing Questions for the Workshop

European Regional Security

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Defense and Security

Politics and Government

Given new geopolitical realities and security challenges from the East and South, what are the possible future scenarios for the European security architecture? How are internal political dynamics within European countries likely to affect future security cooperation, and how can different viewpoints be bridged? How should the EU-NATO-OSCE relationship evolve to promote peace and security, and what posture should these organizations take with respect to Russia?

Migration as a Security Challenge

What are the implications of current migration for regional security in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the Americas? With the humanitarian regime under immense pressure to adapt to growing refugee crises, how might states find a balance in migration policy between human security and the security of destination, transit, and origin states? What are the most promising strategies for preventing, managing, or absorbing massive flows of migrants and refugees—and how can the appropriate division of labor among international and regional institutions, governments, and nongovernmental organizations in these efforts be achieved? How can negative feedback loops between insecurity and migration be avoided to enable the opportunities and positive effects of migration?

The Fight Against Islamist Terrorism

What role can international institutions and regional and global powers play in countering Islamist terrorism in the Middle East? What is the scope of international cooperation in the fight against Islamist terrorism in the Middle East given different national priorities and regional and geopolitical rivalries? What is the potential blowback of the current strategies being employed in fighting Islamist terrorism in the region, and how can they be addressed? Are there any promising security strategies for the Middle East that can help reduce the spread of radicalized Islamist ideology, and who needs to take the lead?

Brexit's Implications for the EU and the World

What are the implications of Brexit for the United Kingdom (UK), the European Union (EU), the liberal world order, and the European project? What explains the pre-referendum disconnect between UK experts and voters on matters such as globalization, immigration, and free trade, as well as economic and political integration? Should we expect more countries to leave the EU or demand a reduction in EU authorities? What does Brexit suggest about the power of national sovereignty and the perceived democratic deficit within the EU? How can the EU and other international institutions regain the public's trust and confidence?

Populism as a Challenge to Political Stability and Globalization

What explains the surge of populism, and how does this political phenomenon vary across countries and regions? What challenges does populism present for international order, including for multilateral cooperation in areas ranging from trade to migration and security? What steps can international institutions and forums—such as the G20, IMF, World Bank, and WTO—take to address the backlash against globalization? What role can policy institutes play in helping elected officials better understand and respond to this discontent?

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Defense and Security

Politics and Government

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