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The future of a liberal international order: trends and challenges towards 2030 (WP1534)



Wednesday 1 to Friday 3 March, 2017

We mark the 10th year of our International Futures series at a time of global uncertainty and upheaval, with the potential to significantly undermine the liberal international order that has prevailed for decades. This latest meeting will examine a wide range of trends, challenges and opportunities and ask what they mean for the future of the liberal international order over the next 10-15 years.

This high level meeting convened policy planners and opinion formers, horizon scanners/futurists and academics alongside industry, think tanks and other experts from a range of countries. Through a mixture of plenary and breakout sessions, the roundtable informed policy planning, discuss implications of current trends and provide context for planning and decision making.

In particular it :

  • Assisted senior level officials to consider international mid and long term perspectives
  • Provided insights into how different countries, organisations and actors plan for the future
  • Assisted participants to reach a common understanding of long term trends and their implications for policy formulation and practical application
  • Supported national and international policy planning institutions in their contribution to global dialogue in the context of the challenges to existing thinking
  • Developed and deepen relationships with international partners, strengthening and consolidating the emerging networks of ‘futurists’

Key themes:

In a world  in which power and the global economy are becoming more contested, and liberal rules, multilateralism and globalisation are increasingly challenged, this meeting asked what this means for the future of the liberal international order.

The topic will be approached from a range of perspectives, analysing the impact of increasing nationalism, isolationism and protectionism and the transfer of power toward non-state actors and non-Western states.

  • Is the rules based international system set to unravel?
  • What form will the global political order take in the future?
  • Which actors are likely to gain and lose status?
  • What are the drivers and threats?
  • How can international frameworks aim to achieve security in a volatile world?

Additional information

Global Trends: Paradox of Progressa publication of the National Intelligence Council 

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