March 29th 2019 - 15:05

This synthesis report is part of our Strategic Monitor 2018 - 2019, which monitors trends and developments in the international order and presents a risk analysis on national security of the Netherlands. This is a translation of the original version in Dutch.

This report is a summary of the analyses, trends and developments presented in the Strategic Monitor 2018-2019.

The end of the post-war multilateral world order based on cooperation and rules has been loudly proclaimed in recent years. And yet there is no robust evidence for it. The multilateral world order is certainly on the wane, but as of yet there is no new, dominant type of order. In short, there is an interregnum. In this Strategic Monitor authors Tim Sweijs and Danny Pronk conclude that the international system is currently undergoing a phase transition between different system states, and that such a transition is characterised by unusual dynamics and events.

At the same time, the trend analysis shows a predominantly negative threat assessment. Rather than improving, this is expected to worsen in the years ahead. International cooperation in the international order is declining. In most areas we are seeing a shift from cooperation towards confl ict, accompanied by the systematic violation of rules and norms. This picture is not expected to change in the years ahead.

All these developments will put pressure on the traditional principles of Dutch foreign and security policy, including international cooperation in the EU and NATO as the primary multilateral arenas for the promotion of our interests. The high interconnectedness of security threats requires a policy in which different instruments of state power are deployed synergistically, not only in the internal-external security nexus but also across the different policy domains.

Read the paper here or download via the button on the right.

Dr. Tim Sweijs is the Director of Research at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. He is the initiator, creator and author of numerous studies, methodologies, and tools for horizon scanning, early warning, conflict analysis, national security risk assessment, and strategy and capability development. Tim has lectured at universities and military academies around the world. His main research interest concerns the changing character of contemporary conflict. Tim is a Senior Research Fellow at the Netherlands Defence Academy and an Affiliate at the Center for International Strategy, Technology and Policy in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology.