© Carlo Allegri, Reuters

Down with Defeatism!

On the Crisis of the Liberal World Order

The crisis of the liberal world order is a crisis of self-confidence above all else. Despite all our self-criticism, we must not fall prey to defeatism, but should instead reflect on our own strengths and continue the success story of the last 70 years.

Benoit Tessier, Reuters


The liberal world order is in crisis. Signs of internal disintegration combined with new external challenges are creating a maelstrom of conflicting interests that certainly gives grounds for concern. The fact that, now of all times, the United States is increasingly abandoning its role as defender and guarantor of the “Pax ­Americana” is seriously exacerbating the situation and poses the question: who will save the liberal world order?

© Damir Sagolj, Reuters

Is Europe’s Future in Asia?

The Asia-Europe Meeting as an Instrument of the Rules-Based Multilateral Order

The world order as we have known it for decades is in turmoil. Countries in Europe and Asia in particular have been profiting from the rules-based multilateral order which provided them with security and allowed them to prosper. Therefore, they are strongly affected by the current volatility. Instead of relying on other powers, countries in both regions should work together and proactively shape the future of multilateralism through the Asia-Europe Meeting.

© Edgar Su, Reuters.

Region by Region

China’s Advances into the Indian Ocean

China’s advances into the Indian Ocean are without precedent. India is hemmed in and Europe stirred. With the New Silk Road, Beijing is creating conditions that will determine the nature of this trading area. But the reaction is perplexity and temporisation. Yet, Europe still has time to defend its interests on the basis of its own geostrategy.

© Mohamed Abd El Ghan, Reuters

The Arab World Struggles for Order

Beyond Autocrats and Islamists – Is there a Liberal Alternative?

The old order of the Arab world, which emerged from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the First World War and was influenced for decades by post-colonial autocracies, is disintegrating. State collapse and the restoration of authoritarian regimes, religious radicalisation, and jihadist terror have long since dispelled the hopes for liberty and true participation in government raised by the “Arab Spring”. Do liberal forces still have a chance?

The Rediscovery of Latin America

Europe’s Partner for Global Governance?

While the international order is increasingly characterised by new competition between liberal economic and societal systems on the one hand and authoritarian, state-capitalist models on the other, Latin America is becoming more and more a focus of German and European foreign policy. China’s increasingly confident claim to global leadership and the withdrawal of the US as guarantor of an international order influenced by Western values are leading many to recall a sub-continent which had previously led a shadowy existence in international politics, but which in fact plays a central role in the continued existence of a liberal-democratic multilateral world order.

© racken

“The EU’s Normative Appeal Ought Not to Be Underestimated”

An interview with Olaf Wientzek, European Policy Coordinator at the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

A Salvageable Relationship?

Society and Political Parties in Latin America

For years, Latin Americans’ trust in the established political parties has found itself in a downwards spiral. This brings young movements and political novices to the scene, who have been winning elections all over the continent lately. Nevertheless, doubts are justified as to whether these political outsiders are able to solve the myriad of crises.

An Urban World

How City Networks Support the Global Order

Cities, which already represent more than half of the world’s population, are conquering fora traditionally reserved for nation states, such as the United Nations Climate Change Conference and the G20, sending their mayors to represent them. It is not just the practical, people-oriented approach, but also the hope for alternative models in times of great uncertainty that is putting cities in the spotlight.

Building a Nation, Building a People

Public Housing in Singapore as a Holistic, Multi-Dimensional Public Policy Construct

No single policy issue is as indicative of Singapore’s success and its social, cultural, and political DNA as its public housing. In a few decades, the city-state has transformed from a slum-invested port town into one of the world’s most developed nations. One cannot understand Singapore if one does not understand Singaporean public housing.

About this series

This periodical responds to questions concerning international issues, foreign policy and development cooperation. It is aimed at access of information about the international work for public and experts.

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