Expert conference

Embracing the Shift of Powers

German Oxford Forum 2011

The Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation in cooperation with the Oxford German Forum 2011 organises this initial Confernece under the title "Embracing the Shift of Powers - German, British and European Perspectives"


The political and economic growth of countries such as India and China will be one of the dominating global trends in the 21st century. Already now, the signs are obvious: fast recovery after a global recession, demonstration of remarkable new military capabilities

in the Pacific, the Indian IITs’ reputation for educating some of the world’s best engineers and the pupils of Shanghai outperforming every other cohort in the renowned PISA study. Most experts agree that the ongoing growth in the emerging economies will eventually

lead to a significant shift of economic and political power from the West to the East, most notably to India and China. Goldman Sachs estimate that, by 2030, the Chinese GDP will exceed the American GDP by more than 50%.

Beyond doubt, these developments will improve the economic and social situation of hundreds of millions of citizens in the emerging countries. It is, however, equally predictable that these developments will lead to increased political and economic competition in areas of traditional Western pre-eminence, e.g. global security policy,

high-value manufacturing or financial services. Will the European countries, will Britain and Germany be able to compete? Will they be able to deal not only with the risks, but also with the opportunities of the 21st century? And what role are the European countries

going to play on the international stage, surrounded by heavyweights like India, China and the US? Or will it turn out that their ageing and semi-educated societies, weakened by inefficient integration policies, are not able to embrace dynamic change?

Panels at the Oxford German Forum 2011: Embracing the Shift of Powers

Emerging Economies – Chances, Competition and Cooperation

Saturday, 07 May 2011 – 14:15 – 16:30

What business models, policies and international regulations are required to ensure that the economic success of countries like India and China translates into a win-win situation for Germany, Britain and Europe? What policies do European entrepreneurs and enterprises expect from the European governments? What is the effect of the European socio-economic model (as compared to, e.g., the American or Chinese models) on competitiveness? How important is innovation, and what should be done to foster innovation?

Education in a Knowledge-based Society

Saturday, 07 May 2011 – 16:45 – 18:45

Which educational policies are required in times of knowledge-based societies and knowledge-based competition? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the German and British education systems, and what is the level of education they provide compared to that of emerging countries like India and China? What is the relationship between freedom, education and the ability to innovate? Is the level of investment in education sufficiently high in Britain and Germany – or are there alternative approaches towards improving the quality of education, e.g. by promoting competition, individual responsibility and comparability in educational systems? Should the European Union play in stronger role in coordination national education systems?

Economic and Social Integration Policies in Germany and Britain

Sunday, 08 May 2011 – 09:15 – 11:15

How can a modern policy on integration be assured in light of mounting tension from demographic, economic and social-cultural changes? What indicators should be employed to measure the success of integration (e.g. average individual wellbeing, economic success, cultural assimilation, formal education?), and what indicators should a modern integration policy consequently aim at? What is the role of labour markets and social policy in integration? What can Germany learn from British experience with and views on integration, and vice versa? Would the concept of a “European identity” be helpful in defining a reasonable outcome of successful integration?

The European Union – A Global Player?

Sunday, 08 May 2011 – 11:30 – 13:45

The economic and political rise of countries like China and India is changing the balance of powers: the world will increasingly become multipolar. What are the consequences for the European countries? Is it possible and necessary to define distinct European aims and interests for the global stage? Does this apply equally to economic (e.g. regulation of financial markets) and political (e.g. security policy, role in the UN) areas? What is the future of the traditional partnership of the West between Europe and America? What political instruments could and should the EU apply in pursuit of its aims?

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Embracing the Shift of Powers: German, British and European Perspectives
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Claudia Crawford

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Head of KAS Office Multilateral Dialogue KAS in Vienna +43 1 890 14650 +43 1 890 146 516