Panel Discussions - Monday, February 03, 2014
Sleepwalkers or Architects? Lessons Learned from 1814 and 1914
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the Congress of Vienna and the 100th anniversary of the First World War. The former ushered in a century of peace while the latter ignited the most destructive war the world had ever seen. What lessons can the international community learn from those two historical events? Can contemporary leaders be the architects of a new world order, like in 1814, or are they sleepwalking towards a crisis like the rulers of 1914?
These were some of the questions raised in a panel discussion at the House of Lords in London on February 3rd. They will also be the focus of a series of IPI events this year, culminating in a major conference at the Salzburg Global Seminar at the end of August.
On February 3, IPI President Terje Rød-Larsen took part in a panel discussion in the House of Lords on the topic, “What future for Europe–1814, 1914, or something else?” which followed the inaugural Palliser lecture delivered by Edward Mortimer.
In his intervention, Mr. Rød-Larsen noted that “whereas in 1814 and 1914 Europe shaped international affairs, today global developments have a major impact on the future of Europe.” He pointed out how in 1814 the P5 of that time–namely, the Quadruple Alliance of Great Britain, Prussia, Russia, and Austria plus post-Napoleonic France–were united by a sense of shared values and a desire for stability. The Congress of Vienna provided a collective security arrangement that maintained a balance of power for almost a century.
Mr. Rød-Larsen contrasted this system with the breakdown of international relations in 1914. He cautioned that there are dangerous parallels between the contemporary situation in the Middle East and “trouble in the Balkans” a century ago. He also warned that “territorial disputes in the South China Sea, an escalating arms race, as well as rumblings of nationalism in China and Japan recall sabre rattling in Europe a century ago.”
He warned that the international system is not fit for purpose to deal with contemporary threats and challenges: “it is broken–it needs an overhaul,” Mr. Rød-Larsen said. “Perhaps we need the contemporary equivalent of the Congress of Vienna to reshape international institutions.” To that end, he proposed the creation of an Independent Commission on Multilateralism.
IPI, in cooperation with the Salzburg Global Seminar, will be organizing a series of events throughout the year on lessons learned from 1814 and 1914 for contemporary international relations.
The Global Observatory
Firing Blanks: The Growing Irrelevance of the UN Small Arms Process
UN momentum toward stopping illicit arms trade seems to have slowed, but national gun control laws hint at the possibility of a successful bottom-up approach.
Key Global Events to Watch in August
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
August 25, 2014
High-Level Forum Examines Lessons of 1814 and 1914 for Today
2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War One and the bicentenary of the opening of the Congress of Vienna–two dates that profoundly shaped the course of history.
August 22, 2014
Real World Lessons Inform 2014 IPI Course in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution
The 2014 Advanced Course in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, held June 22-25, led an array of international diplomats through three days of in-depth lectures, negotiation and public speaking exercises.
July 17, 2014
EU and UN Seek Ways to Improve Cooperation in Peacekeeping
The European Union is among the strongest supporters of UN peacekeeping missions around the globe, but the growing challenges faced by UN-led operations have raised the need for better EU-UN cooperation, both on the ground and at the planning level.