- Changing Mental Maps: Rediscovering the Atlantic
- Is the United States Still Interested in the Atlantic?
- The Rise of Brazil
- The Lawless Ocean
- Unleashing the Potential of the iGeneration
- Atlantic Corridors in the Global Economy
- Anxieties Without Borders
- Whose World Is It?
- Cities as Global Actors in an Urban Century
- New Partnerships in Reinventing Development Policy
- The U.S. Elections 2012
- Migration and Labor Mobility
- Asian Actors in the Atlantic
- Bridging the Atlantic: Opportunities for Latin America and the Caribbean in a Shrinking World
- The Road Ahead for Africa
Friday, September 28, 2012
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Please Note Daylight Savings Time Change
Changing Mental Maps: Rediscovering the Atlantic
Have traditional notions of Atlanticism run out of steam? Is a more comprehensive approach needed? For much of the last century, transatlantic relations have been dominated by events and initiatives in the North Atlantic. Institutions devoted to transatlantic relations have similarly been oriented largely along North-North lines. As a geopolitical space, the Atlantic Basin has been shaped by policies made in Washington and Brussels.
There are good reasons to believe that this narrow approach to Atlanticism is in need of revision, and that there will be advantages for North and South in doing so. For one thing, the growing importance of the global South in international affairs will certainly be felt in the Atlantic, with the rise of Brazil, South Africa, and other players. Key global issues, from climate and energy to mobility and maritime security, also will have a strong southern Atlantic flavor. New actors, especially China, will need to be taken into account around the Atlantic Basin as a whole. Traditional Atlantic stakeholders may look to develop more inclusive transatlantic strategies as a counter to rising centers of power elsewhere. Under pressure of global competition, countries in the Atlantic South may also rediscover their interest in Atlantic ties, North-South as well as South-South.
- Is a more expansive approach to Atlantic geopolitics needed? Is it practical?
- Who will benefit? Who might lose?
- Is Atlanticism a question of values, geography, or shared interests?
- What should be on the agenda? What should not be on the agenda?
- How would a more balanced Atlantic fit in global affairs?
Is the United States Still Interested in the Atlantic?
The United States and Europe comprise more than 50 percent of the world’s economic output. They have the strongest militaries on the planet. Democracy is the chosen form of government for the more than 800 million people living in North America and Europe. However, domestic economic and political issues have forced both the United States and Europe to look inward. Political squabbling and jabbing has increased on both sides of the Atlantic and threatens the decades of political goodwill and cooperation at the government and public level.
The recent war in Iraq, the ongoing war in Afghanistan, the military mission in Libya, and the lack of support for a mission in Syria have demonstrated some strains in the relationship. The United States and Europe have exhibited different beliefs on how issues of international security should be handled as well as how burdens, economic and military, should be shared. During the past year, the Obama administration has announced its plans to rebalance its force structure in Asia in order to address security and economic concerns there while at the same time reducing force structure in Europe.
World economic growth trends have rising powers such as India, Brazil, and China growing at phenomenal rates over the next decade. Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East are seen as attractive markets for companies to invest in and relocate manufacturing facilities to. As a result, countries in these regions are demanding more say in global affairs and are spending more resources to engage with each other at the political and economic levels.
With all the dynamism in the world and the challenges the United States and Europe face at home, is the United States still interested in the Atlantic?
- How is the United States’ “pivot” to Asia received in Europe?
- What must Europe do to adjust to the United States reducing its foreign policy emphasis on the continent?
- How successful has the “pivot” been for the United States?
- Have African and Latin American countries noticed a change in the United States’ attention? How has the Asian “pivot” affected them?
The Rise of Brazil
For many, Brazil has finally “arrived” on the international scene. Impressive growth, important energy discoveries, an agricultural and raw materials boom, the emergence of a middle-class society, an unchallenged position of influence in South America, and a relatively benign foreign and security policy environment have all contributed to Brazil’s rise. With few arguments, Brazil has a new stature as the most promising of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) nations.
The recent slow-down in economic growth and continued social policy challenges suggest that Brazil’s developmental trajectory may not be smooth and may depend critically on global conditions. If Brazil’s rise is structural, this will have important implications for the region and for Brazil’s international partners. Brasilia and Brazilian institutions are also likely to demand a new and more active posture on the world stage.
- How durable and significant is Brazil’s rise?
- What are the key drivers? What are the risks? What are the opportunities?
- How will Brazil’s successes, or travails, influence the country’s international strategy? How will others react?
- Will Brazil be interested in a new approach to the Atlantic?
Activity on the Atlantic Ocean continues to grow and evolve, but the capacity of governments to safeguard, monitor, and prevent illegal uses of the maritime domain continues to lag. This disconnect will only grow larger; trade flows are set to increase, especially in the South Atlantic.
As a result of increasing trade but also because of growing offshore energy activity — both in oil and gas and in renewable energy sources — environmental challenges will increase, particularly in coastal areas. The problems posed by the prevention of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fisheries and the creation of sustainable fisheries affect the whole ocean.
More economic activity and growing populations bring with them an increase in illegal activities, ranging from piracy to smuggling to trafficking in drugs and people.
In order for governments to rise to these challenges, they will need to be able to monitor what is happening on the seas, detect illegal activities, and have legal and administrative frameworks available to deal with them. The current situation is lacking in each of these areas.
- What capacity do governments have for dealing with the myriad challenges in monitoring and safeguarding the Atlantic Ocean?
- What are the greatest threats and problems currently facing the Atlantic crossing?
- What will the problems be in 10 or 20 years if the current situation continues unabated?
- Who should be responsible for policing the oceans?
- How does trans-oceanic trade factor into the maritime security equation?
Unleashing the Potential of the iGeneration
Globalization and the information age have challenged the norms of existing political and economic systems, and have greatly influenced the lives of youth and young adults across the Atlantic Basin. At the heart of this challenge is new technology, which has fundamentally affected relations between younger segments of the population and their governments. In a number of countries around the Atlantic Basin, technology and demography have contributed to profound changes in the fabric of societies. From “informal” forms of political participation to involvement in the informal economy, youth have looked for alternatives to the current system. As a result, societies have to contend with a frustrated generation less able to identify and support existing political, economic, and social structures.
- How can social cohesion be created or sustained in a time of profound demographic change?
- Can current political systems survive in an age of technological transformation? How has increased access to information and technology changed the relationship of young adults to their economies and their governments?
- What are the long-term consequences of high youth unemployment for countries around the Atlantic Basin? What can today’s leaders do to address the political, social, and economic consequences of youth unemployment?
- What are the implications for the current systems of increased and sustained activity outside the formal channels of political and economic participation?
Atlantic Corridors in the Global Economy
Growth, trade, and investment prospects in the Atlantic Basin are fueling optimism about the increasing potential and contributions of the southern Atlantic to the global economy. In 2011, export volumes from sub-Saharan countries increased by more than 10 percent while foreign direct investments to Latin America and the Caribbean increased by 16 percent. Overall, countries in the South Atlantic weathered the global economic crisis fairly well despite suffering sharp reductions from high pre-crisis growth rates. While further deceleration is expected in 2012, growth is predicted to rebound in the region next year.
But the South Atlantic remains strongly affected by externalities, especially the euro crisis. Efforts in developing countries to boost growth through monetary policy are further exposing them to global shocks. In addition, the expansion of consumer markets and the transition from commodity export-based economies to industrial policies are shifting investment patterns. Issues of governance and market openness are also being watched carefully by traditional investors in South and Central America and Africa. The EU, which is Latin America’s second-largest trading partner and the leading investor in the region, is growing more and more concerned over protectionist measures such as the forced privatization of foreign assets.
Globally, the North Atlantic remains the world’s biggest economic bloc, and Americans and Europeans are looking into strengthening this bilateral economic relationship. On the other hand, the South Atlantic is offering new opportunities for deeper intercontinental cooperation. The growing interconnectedness of Atlantic economies is facilitating exchanges and investments in sectors such as agriculture, energy, natural resources, telecoms, and services. Estimates by the European Commission suggest that the longer-term effect of all its ongoing and potential trade negotiations could amount to 2 percent of GDP, or more than €250 billion. Thus, greater focus on global trade relations with existing and new partners could contribute to recovery and sustainable growth. Furthermore, Latin American and African countries are increasingly attracting young unemployed workforces, including Europeans with cultural or linguistic ties, influencing the dynamics between North and South, as well as between South and South.
- What is the contribution of the South Atlantic to the global economy? What is the role of countries such as Brazil, Mexico, and South Africa in leading their continents toward further development and growth?
- Is there any real potential for South-South cooperation between Africa and the Latin America and Caribbean region?
- What are new economic and social challenges facing high-growth countries in the South Atlantic? Do their publics’ expectations exceed their countries’ prospects?
- Are booming markets in Latin America and Africa competing with Europe and North America? Should the EU and the United States be concerned by increasing investments in the region from China, India, and other emerging markets from outside the region?
- What economic model will new emerging countries adopt? Can they influence global standards?
- Can rapidly emerging countries from the Atlantic Basin avoid a growth trap? Is the transition toward sustainability realistic?
- What are the prospects and potential for intraregional and interregional agreements in the Atlantic?
While the nation-state has remained the primary political actor in the international arena, there is little doubt that technological, economic, and demographic changes are at least partially eroding the monopoly on power that states have maintained since the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. While globalization has provided tremendous opportunities for societal progress, it has also increased the potency of threats that transcend national borders and has placed a premium on multinational responses to these problems. This session is designed to address some of the particular security challenges that must be dealt with on a trans-national or trans-continental basis — challenges such as narcotics trafficking, international organized crime, terrorism, and violent extremism.
It is not enough to rely on traditional cross-border cooperation between nations; there is a growing requirement to work across continents to defeat the various criminal and extremist networks scattered around the globe. Likewise, nations increasingly need to work across the Equator and work “North-South” to solve transcontinental challenges. This panel will address a variety of shifting trends that illustrate the growing importance of North-South ties on both sides of, and across, the Atlantic.
This panel will also address the successes and the limitations of current approaches to these issues and discuss how governments may need to rethink both their understanding of the strategic environment as well as their structures in order to better prepare for and respond to these pressing problems. Finally, this panel may address what international or supra-national bodies might be leveraged to add to the collective response to anxieties that can no longer be contained inside traditional political borders.
- How do we address drug trafficking? What are the implications for the funding of insurgency and terrorism throughout the world?
- What are the consequences for Europe and the United States of the instability in the Sahel that has fueled extremism and violence?
- How do we address failed states, refugee crises, and humanitarian disasters that can create new “sanctuaries” attracting Al-Qaeda and other foreign fighters?
- How will the nature of insurgency require nations to work in partnership to combat what appear to be “internal” threats?
Foreign policy debates thrive on change, and the more fundamental, the better. Over the last few decades, it has been fashionable to speculate about the relative rise and decline of leading international actors and what this will mean for global order. U.S. and European anxiety about the long-term decline of the West, and the so-called rise of the “rest” — China, above all — has been a leading driver of this trend. The objective growth in the power and potential of numerous competitors for international influence, many of which are in the global South, has been another driver. For some, this is a story of ascendancy and shifts in leadership — who will set the norms and shape strategic agendas when the West, especially the United States, cannot or will not?
A more nuanced, and more likely scenario is less definitive. As Charles Kupchan suggests in his recent book No One’s World: The West, the Rising Rest, and the Coming Global Turn, the future may simply bring a more diffuse and diverse constellation of actors, promoting multiple norms, rules, and institutions — international politics à la carte.
- Is this kind of stable multipolar order likely? Or is it inherently unstable and likely to give way to new leadership?
- If we are indeed headed toward a diffuse, multipolar world, what are the “signposts” accompanying this shift? How far along are we?
- What are the implications for the Atlantic world, where Western leadership has arguably been most pronounced?
- What are the stakes and preferences of the global South?
- Is this all too traditional? What about the world beyond states?
Cities as Global Actors in an Urban Century
Rapid urbanization and an increasingly global role for cities will be hallmarks of this coming century. Over 70 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050, and according to a recent McKinsey report, 600 cities will soon contribute to more than 65 percent of global GDP growth. As the world urbanizes and concentrates in these metropolitan areas, there is little doubt that the rise of global cities presents an intriguing opportunity to reshape international dialogue on a wide range of issues, including economic growth, energy, water, and transportation. Several pressing questions also emerge: what kind of cities will we live in, how will cities make use of their economic and political power on the international stage, and who will benefit from the more global role of cities?
In recent years, cities have become globally active in a number of ways, including: 1) the strengthening of international trade and investment offices at the local level; 2) greater direct involvement of local governments within international and multilateral organizations, including the UN, 3) the creation of transnational networks of cities, whether for lobbying or dissemination of best practices; and 4) much closer relationships with international corporations that often provide the services and technology support that rapidly growing cities need. This session will explore these different models of global engagement.
- What impact has the increasingly global role of cities had on international policy and agenda-setting?
- Does the new global influence of cities pose a challenge to national governments or is it an opportunity that national governments should embrace?
- What is the impact of closer cooperation between cities and global corporations on governance models and policy?
- How do leaders ensure that the benefits of global engagement have an equitable impact on all their citizens?
- Is there a tension between global engagement and democratic participation at the local level?
- For cities, what are the overall benefits of global engagement, and what innovations are on the horizon?
New Partnerships in Reinventing Development Policy
After the end of World War II, the United Nations, Bretton Woods institutions, and G77 defined the global development architecture. Foreign aid flowed from a few industrialized countries to many poor ones. Today, Brazil, China, India, and South Africa are increasingly engaged in development on the international stage by providing financial resources to developing countries. As their geopolitical standing rises, they will affect the development landscape and, in turn, global governance, as witnessed already in the G20. The explosion in civil society, information technology, and private-sector resource flows is fundamentally changing development as well. These factors are providing new opportunities and challenges requiring new partnerships and a reinvention of traditional development policy.
Three decades ago, a handful of industrialized countries accounted for the majority of aid flows to the developing world. There were few alternative sources of finance for nations facing extreme poverty, financial turmoil, or a humanitarian disaster. Foreign aid was a product of negotiations between donors and local governments with little consultation with civil society or the private sector. Today foreign aid represents a much smaller share of these resources as flows from corporations, foundations, and remittances have created new opportunities to spur economic growth and reduce poverty. The spread of democracy also is leading to greater demands by civil society for a voice in setting national development priorities. Emerging countries that previously were recipients of foreign aid are now themselves providing assistance and actively setting the global development agenda.
Last year, the High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea, sought to create a new framework for more effective development in this evolving new world. It resulted in a more inclusive and partnership-oriented development agenda. South-South cooperation and partnerships between donors, foundations, and businesses offer the potential to generate new sources of economic growth, learning, and innovation. However, Busan revealed the underlying divergences in worldviews among some emerging and traditional donors on issues such as human rights, governance, and civil society. While the world defined by the Bretton Woods system is fading, the outlines of this global development architecture are not fully defined.
- What experiences might traditional donors share with emerging ones as they launch their own development agencies and policies? What can traditional donors learn from emerging countries given their recent experiences in addressing poverty at home?
- What should African countries do to facilitate partnerships and better coordination among donors, local civil society, and the private sector?
- What opportunities exist for sharing lessons learned between countries that have already lifted millions from poverty (such as Brazil, China, and India) and developing countries eager to commit to reforms (i.e. South-South cooperation)?
- What are some examples of catalytic partnerships between the public and private sectors that would help generate innovation and economic growth?
The U.S. election will take place just over a month after the Atlantic Dialogues. While President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney have been on the campaign trail for months, the next month will feature more substantial, structured discussions from the candidates ahead of the three presidential and one vice presidential debates in October. This session is designed to address some of the topics — both foreign and domestic — that will take center stage in the closing days of the campaign, to help digest some of the issues for the international audience gathered in Rabat, and perhaps make some predictions as to how November 6 might play out.
A distinguished group of political participants and observers from both sides of the U.S. political debate can be expected to address President Obama’s handling of and Governor Romney’s positions on national security, Israel, Iran, Russia, Afghanistan, Syria, the global economic crisis, and the U.S. economic recovery.
- What do the current polling numbers say?
- What would a Romney foreign policy look like?
- What would a second-term Obama administration do?
- What U.S. foreign policy priorities are common to both candidates?
- What are the longer-term U.S. political trends that will shape this election and affect future ones?
Managing mobility and labor migration flows while at the same time maintaining security oversight and reducing irregular migration is a challenge for any region in the world. In Spring 2011, the EU Commission reacted to the Arab Spring by initiating a “Dialogue for Migration, Mobility, and Security.” This dialogue is set out to tackle long-term challenges in the areas of migration and mobility, to support democratic and economic transition in the Southern Mediterranean region, and to better manage migration flows and combat irregular migration. A main aim of the initiative is to prepare the ground for so-called Mobility Partnerships that are seen by some as an innovative and sophisticated tool to a global approach on migration but by others as a way to secure Europe’s external borders. Mobility Partnerships are established case-by-case and have been set up with countries such as Moldova, Georgia, and Cape Verde. The EU is currently assessing Mobility Partnership opportunities with countries in North Africa such as Tunisia, Egypt, and Morocco.
- Can such partnerships really help to manage mobility and security in a meaningful way?
- Can they promote development and address labor needs or are they rather a tool of securitization of Europe’s external borders?
- What other tools do policymakers have?
- What are similar discussions in regional consultative processes in the wider Atlantic area, such as the Puebla or Lima Process of Latin American and Caribbean Countries?
Asian actors have emerged as a new force in the southern Atlantic. While the European Union and the United States remain the primary political and economic partners for many of the region’s nations, it is countries like China, India, and even Korea and Japan that are offering new opportunities for growth, investment, trade, and political partnership. Asia is increasing its share of foreign direct investment, trade, high-level visits, dialogues, and even migration into the southern Atlantic countries. The wider Atlantic, including Europe and the United States, has benefited from the growth, but those benefits have been accompanied by the challenges inherent in the transformative effect Asia’s emergence has had on global economics, politics, and the balance of power.
- Can the Wider Atlantic work more closely together to take advantage of the opportunities that Asia’s emergence has provided?
- Is the current model of Asia’s involvement in the countries of the region sustainable? If not, what reforms are needed?
- What are the key areas of competition between countries?
- Is the emergence of Asia improving the representation of developing countries in the global space or not?
- How is the rise of Asian powers reshaping Southern Atlantic countries’ relationships with the United States and Europe?
Bridging the Atlantic: Opportunities for Latin America and the Caribbean in a Shrinking World
Because of a long history of exploration, immigration, trade, and cultural exchange, Latin America and the Caribbean are well integrated into the wider Atlantic. Indeed, the current surge of globalization and transatlantic ferment is only the latest of many in the history of the region. But the pace of change and connectedness today is unprecedented. With the digital revolution, increasingly efficient global supply chains, and multidirectional foreign investment flows, Latin America and the Caribbean are presented with enormous opportunities and new challenges. Are Latin America and the Caribbean preparing themselves sufficiently for this rapidly shrinking world?
The nations of the region have made enormous progress in recent decades. Every country except Cuba has a democratically elected government. While some countries lag in democratic governance, it is now a fact of life in the Americas that governments change through transparent, democratic elections. In most cases, the ballot box has produced more pragmatic approaches to macroeconomic policy and social inclusion programs, fostering a dramatic rise in the middle class. Trade with the rest of the world has boomed, and growth rates have invited significant investment from the United States, Europe, and China. During the recent international recession, Latin American governments earned widespread praise for their sound financial management. Meanwhile, the energy revolution in the hemisphere fosters not only growth but optimism about the future.
There is a flipside to the region’s success: A growing middle class means rising expectations, and these increased social demands are challenging even the most successful governments. The key to addressing those expectations involves better science and technology education (including vocational programs), more research and development, and public-private efforts to foster greater productivity and innovation. These are the same skills that the region needs in order to take advantage of globalization, and governments in the region are acutely aware that their economies, still heavily commodity-based, need to add more value to compete with Asian and European manufacturing. Meanwhile, the dark side of globalization — transnational crime — demands continued attention from the region’s leaders and their friends in the United States and Europe. On balance, the shrinking world has already proved a huge benefit to Latin America and the Caribbean, and with continued advances in education and innovation the Americas will contribute even more to prosperity in the wider Atlantic.
- What are the main benefits in Latin America and the Caribbean from globalization?
- How are countries in Latin America and the Caribbean contributing to progress in the wider Atlantic?
- Who are some of the leaders of Latin American globalization? Which countries? Which sectors? Which private entities?
- How do the approaches of Brazil and Mexico to globalization compare?
- What role does culture play in the region’s growing integration?
- What are the main obstacles to further integration of the Americas into the wider Atlantic?
All eyes are turning to Africa. There are indications that the continent is on the rise and could make the current century its own. African economies have been growing at impressive rates over the past decade and are expected to continue in that direction, including predicted growth of 4.5-5.5 percent in 2012 and 2013. Political and social indicators have also improved since 2000. Countries are taking advantage of technological advances to develop their information technology and financial sectors.
This calls for optimism with a dose of caution. Africa continues to face substantial development challenges and remains vulnerable to external shocks. Somewhat shielded from the global economic crisis, African countries are increasingly interconnected and are further opening their markets to emerging economies; for example, trade between China and Africa increased by 25 percent in 2011. Overall, the continent is becoming increasingly attractive. While resources like oil and minerals remain an important source of wealth, huge potential lays in a more efficient management of other natural resources. Sustainable development will also require significant social improvements. With the median age in Africa at 18, demography will be as much a challenge as an opportunity in the years to come.
African countries remain heavily reliant on private and public external actors. While official development aid remains high (35 percent of global overseas development assistance), foreign direct investment has surpassed it in recent years. Strategic approaches to old and new partners will influence the path ahead. Moving forward, African countries also will need to tackle inequalities between and within themselves.
- What is the role for South-South cooperation in Africa’s future, and what lessons can be learned? Is it sustainable as it stands today?
- How can African countries better harness the continent’s abundance in natural resources?
- What role can Africa’s youth play in determining the continent’s path?
- Will the strides made in economic governance have an effect on political governance in Africa?
- Is there any potential for an “African” economy? Are there any prospects for the continent’s integration and interconnectedness?
- Can high-growth African countries take the rest of the continent with them?
- How will internal tensions affect the development prospects of the continent?