The Dahrendorf Forum's special issue of Global Policy

Event Summary: Global Policy Launch Event

On 28 September 2017 the Dahrendorf Forum hosted a launch event for a special issue of the journal Global Policy entitled “Europe and the World: Global Insecurity and Power Shifts” at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. Four of the volume’s contributors discussed the future of European foreign policy.

When Ralf Dahrendorf wrote twenty years ago that Europe may be “ill prepared for globalization” there were many global events that he could not have foreseen. His quote has proven predictive of many of the internal and external challenges Europe is facing today. The special issue of Global Policy that was launched during an event at the Hertie School last week addressed some of these, providing a synthesis of contributions and discussions from the Dahrendorf Symposium held in Berlin in May 2016.

Hertie School president Helmut Anheier observed in his welcome address that many of Europe’s problems are inextricably linked to the global economy. The ability to react to the effects of globalized economic interdependence is therefore crucial for Europe, as the alternative is to be left behind and lose influence to rising powers.

Responding to Anheier’s invocation, Robert Falkner of The London School of Economics asserted that the global power shift that is currently leading the so-called “West” into a decline is a permanent reversal of fortunes, and one that should have been anticipated after such a long period of European dominance. The three main questions he consequently distinguishes for Europe’s role in a multipolar global order are: What can and will be Europe’s global relevance? How large will its influence be as a global player? And who will be its allies?

After Falkner’s broad assessment of the current state of affairs, Dilek Kurban of the Hertie School provided a concrete example of the West’s fall from political and moralistic hegemony. In her analysis of the refugee deal between the EU and Turkey, she emphasized the problems in the German-led EU approach to negotiations with Turkey. In order to secure national interests, she argued, human rights and other traditional European values were left aside.

Daniela Schwarzer of the German Council on Foreign Relations turned towards rising powers in Asia. She pointed out the danger of new political vacuum on a global level, which could arise through extreme political events such as the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. As a reaction to global threats such as cyber wars and terrorism, Schwarzer proposed a shift towards systems that will provide resilience against attacks, rather than a sole focus on preventative security measures.

Resilience was also a key topic in the last contribution by Monika Sus, one of the Dahrendorf Forum’s postgraduates based at the Hertie School, which identified the ongoing diversification in the interests of global stakeholders and questioned the EU’s capacity for. She argued that political and social inclusion will be key if the EU is to remain a central player on the global stage.

The panelists’ presentations were followed by a lively discussion with the audience.


You can access the special issue here.