Monthly alert: The changing international order: Geodynamics in 2017

September 18th 2017 - 11:30

To many, the world seems to be on fire. A small, newly nuclear-armed authoritarian country is incessantly taunting the world's sole remaining superpower. That superpower itself is now increasingly seen even by some of its staunchest allies as a "threat to world peace". Russia's large military exercise along its Western borders has Europeans on their seat's edge. And less mediatized, but no less impactful for the world was the tense military standoff between the two giant and nuclear-armed Asian great powers. In the midst of these events are unprecedented technological changes and climate-related cataclysms, that potentially herald fundamental shifts. Are all these events glimpses of a larger underlying iceberg or merely a statistical anomaly of our fascination with extreme events? And how can we even be sure?

These questions are not purely of academic interest - also not (limited) to the Netherlands. On January 1, 2018, the Kingdom of the Netherlands will take a seat at the most prominent and prestigious international table - the United Nations Security Council - for a period of one year. It will even chair the Security Council during the month of March 2018. As it prepares for this weighty responsibility, getting a better evidence-based understanding of the actual geodynamics behind the current international order is of the utmost importance. This alert presents a few selected highlights from our datasets in 'nowcasting' geodynamics in the period Jan- Jul 2017.

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Photo credit: Kate-2112 via / CC BY
Stephan De Spiegeleire is Principal Scientist at HCSS. He has Master’s degrees from the Graduate Institute in Geneva and Columbia University in New York, as well as a C.Phil. degree in Political Science from UCLA. He worked for the RAND Corporation for nearly ten years, interrupted by stints at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik and the WEU’s Institute for Security Studies. Mr. De Spiegeleire started out as a Soviet specialist, but has since branched out into several fields of international security and defense policy. His current work at HCSS focuses on strategic defense management, security resilience, network-centrism, capabilities-based planning, and the transformation of defense planning.
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.