Trump, Brexit and the brics: Toward resilient international organizations in a post-liberal world?

Tuesday 21 May 2019, 17:00 to 19:00
Institute for European Studies
, Karel Van Miert Building, 
Conference Room Rome (Floor -1)
, Pleinlaan 5, 
1050 Brussels.

The post-war international liberal order is under threat. While global governance and particularly international organizations have prospered since the fall of the Berlin Wall, they are now increasingly challenged. Revisionist states, such as the BRICS, feel that the status quo does not accurately reflect 21st century international politics. But also the very states that founded the international liberal order after World War II seem to undermine its fundament. The Trump administration has caused havoc across the global governance landscape. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom is quitting one of the most successful international organizations.

The starting point for this roundtable debate is the publication of the fully revised third edition of International Organization (Red Globe Press, 2019) by Volker Rittberger, Bernhard Zangl, Andreas Kruck and Hylke Dijkstra. This standard textbook shows how international organizations convert the various demands of political actors into concrete policies and activities. This unique political systems perspective helps us understand how changing demands by President Trump, Brexiteers or the emerging powers affect international cooperation. It also reflects new empirical data showing that the overall number of formal international organizations is no longer growing and that international organizations actually die at a rather high rate (Pevehouse et al. 2019).

While it is not surprising that international organizations — like all other forms of governance (from empires, to city states, and military alliances) — have a life cycle, the current state of international organization gives rise to important questions such as: Will international cooperation in the 21st century still be organized through formal organizations, such as the UN, the EU, the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO? Should international organizations cave in to demands from their skeptical members or try to resist external pressures? Is there a need to strengthen the resilience of existing international organizations and to preserve the rule-based global order? Should international organizations be protected from outside aggression?

Join us to discuss the status and prospects of international organizations and the evolving international order with:

  • Hylke Dijkstra, Maastricht University
  • George Christou, Warwick University
  • Rosa Balfour, German Marshall Fund (tbc)
  • Gabriel Siles-Brugge, Warwick University
  • Sebastian Oberthür, Institute for European Studies (chair)

The roundtable debate starts at 17h00 and will end at approximately 19h00. Participation is free of charge and open to all but due to space limitations, registration is mandatory.