About the event
In June the Center for Foreign Policy and Security Studies organized two events in Bucharest and Craiova which focused on the changing nature of the world order and the future of the reordering of security in Europe. Professor Richard Sakwa from the University of Kent gave the keynote in both events and was followed by a panel of experts (Dr Lucca Ratti from the University of Rome, Dr Cristian Nitoiu from the Center for Foreign Policy and Security Studies/Loughborough London University, Dr. Florin Pasatoiu from the Center on Foreign Policy and Security Studies/University of Craiova, Professor Liviu Muresan from the EURISC foundation and Flavius Caba-Maria from MAPEI).
The debate highlighted the rapid speed with which processes and forces in the world order are currently transforming, and their impact on security relations on the European continent as well as the transatlantic order and the non-Western world. Liberalism still holds sway over the present Western-led world order, but the recent years have seen an increase in the number and viability of alternatives put forward by non-Western states.
According to Professor Sawka, the post-Cold War order has banished Russia to the margins and has overlooked the plurality of ideas, norms and values that non-Western states might share. He alluded particularly to the failure to embrace the common European home project put forward by Gorbachev towards the end 1980s and spelled out and idealistic and equal view of the security order on the European continent. To that extent, Russia should not be viewed as revisionist power that wants to replace the current liberal world order, but merely an actor that seeks to ensure equality among states and the salient role of sovereignty.
Nevertheless, the panelists as well as the audience questioned Russia’s ability to put forward a viable alternative or view of the world order. Such initiatives tend to come from states like China or India, that are markedly less ‘European’ than Russia, and can draw on their radically distinct culture in order to build workable alternatives. For example, what unites the BRICs countries in terms of ideologies of the world order is a commitment to the principle of peaceful coexistence.
In practice this translates into a clear statement that intervention in the internal affairs of other states is not legitimate, and domestic leaders should not be challenged by outside forces. Conversely, one of the key aspects of the Western led world order has been what some have coined an aggressive push of liberal values in order to transform so-called ‘illiberal regimes’.
However, the various recent shocks that the West has been facing, such as the financial crisis, the migrants crisis, the conflict in Ukraine, the Arab Spring, Brexit or the election of Trump seem to have pointed to the decline of the liberal world order. The US or the EU seem less willing and able to push forward a liberal agenda of transformative reforms in what as seen to be non-democratic countries.
Rather, we now see the proliferation a sort of pragmatic type of engagement, where the West tries to its own security and economic interests beyond the promotion of a certain type of political system. A more fluid liberal world order is likely to slip into multipolarity, making it more difficult to identify a clear central pillar of power (similar to the US during the post-Cold War period). In this new configuration, it is likely that multiple regional orders will coagulate around various smaller and less global minded centers of power.
The two events also offered a series of recommendations for how Romania might adapt to the changing nature of the world order. Most importantly, the speakers pointed to the need for Romania to benefit from the emergence of separate power centers and try to strike beneficial partnerships with each of them. This does not in any way entail relinquishing Romania’s role in the Transatlantic community, if anything creating a wide web of partnerships would only strengthen the EU’s role in world politics.
The event in Craiova was organized in the framework of the 5th International Conference “Politics. Diplomacy. Culture” organized alongside the “Alexandru and Aristia Aman” Foundation and the “Alexandru and Aristia Aman” County Library.
“The World at the Edge. The Struggle for Re-Ordering Security in Europe”
Featuring a Keynote Address by: Richard Sakwa, PhD Professor University of Kent
“Introduction and Q&A by: Florin Pasatoiu, PhD, Lecturer President and Executive Director Center on Foreign Policy and Security Studies
Followed by a distinguished Panel Discussion
Liviu Muresan, PhD, Associate Professor President EURISC Foundation With: Richard Sakwa, PhD, Professor University of Kent Florin Pasatoiu, PhD, Lecturer President and Executive Director Center on Foreign Policy and Security Studies/University of Craiova Cristian Nitoiu, PhD, Lecturer Vice-President Center for Foreign Policy and Security Studies/Aston University Flavius Caba-Maria President Middle East Political and Economic Institute Luca Ratti, PhD, Associate Professor University of Rome
Richard Sakwa, Professor of Russian and European Politics, joined the School of Politics and International Relations at University of Kent in 1987, was promoted to a professorship in 1996 and was Head of School between 2001 and 2007, and in 2010 he once again took over as Head of School until 2014. While completing his doctorate on Moscow politics during the Civil War (1918-21) he spent a year on a British Council scholarship at Moscow State University (1979-80), and then worked for two years in Moscow in the ‘Mir’ Science and Technology Publishing House. Before moving to Kent he lectured at the University of Essex and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prof. Sakwa is an Associate Fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies (CREES) at the University of Birmingham and since September 2002 a member of Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences.Adrian Nastase President, ‘Nicolae Titulescu’ Foundation
Florin Pasatoiu, President and Executive Director Center for Foreign Policy and Security Studies
Lecturer in International Relations at the Faculty of Social Sciences- University of Craiova, president and director of the Center for Foreign Policy and Security Studies. Florin Pasatoiu was awarded five fellowship schemes: with MGIMO, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs- Russian Federation (in Moscow, September-November 2014), with Salzburg Global Seminar (in Salzburg, May 2014), with the German Marshall Fund of the United States of America (in the United States of America, February – March 2008), with the European Foundation Centre, International Fellowship Programme for Learning and Exchange in Philanthropy (IFP) (at ALDA- in Italy and Council of Europe- Strasbourg, in 2007) and with the Mission of Romania to the European Union (in Brussels, in 2003). Florin Pasatoiu has been involved in the “Whither Liberal World Order? Challenges from Russia, Eurasia, and Beyond” working group hosted by University of Kent, Canterbury (UK) in the framework of the H2020 UPTAKE project, which brings together scholars from the Universities of Kent, Uppsala University (Sweden) and Tartu (Finland).
Cristian Nitoiu Vice -President Center for Foreign Policy and Security Studies
Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, and an Associate fellow at LSE IDEAS. Before coming to Aston he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in EU-Russia relations and Ukraine at LSE IDEAS and he held research positions at Trinity College Dublin and the College of Europe (Natolin campus, ENP Chair). He is an expert on EU and Russian foreign policy, EU-Russia relations, Eastern Europe, international relations, the European public sphere or international political communication. He is currently working on a book on EU-Russia relations during Putin’s third term, one on the role of the ideal self in world politics and a project on the European Parliament’s approach towards the post-Soviet space and Russia.
Luca Ratti, Associate Professor
Luca Ratti is an associate professor in History of International Relations at Universita’ di Roma. His research and teaching interests lie in post-World War Two international history, specifically U.S.-European relations, NATO’s evolution and European security and defense policies, and international relations theory. He is particularly interested in the post-Cold War challenges for NATO, Anglo-American relations and Germany in the Cold War and after, and in the broader question of the changing nature of regional and world security. Professor Ratti’s work has appeared in journals such as The Journal of Transatlantic Studies, Diplomacy & Statecraft, The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, The Journal of Middle Eastern Geopolitics, and Mediterranean Politics. His latest volume A Not So “Special Relationship”: The US, the UK, and German Unification explores Anglo-American policy towards Germany during and at the end of the Cold War in Europe.
Flavius Caba-Maria, President, MEPEI
Flavius Caba-Maria is the President of the Think-Tank Middle East Political and Economic Institute (MEPEI) / Bucharest, Romania. He studies for his PhD thesis at The National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA) of Bucharest, focusing on the dynamics of International Relations in the Middle East; he holds a Bachelors of Law and graduated courses on politics at Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, and BA in military science. As the President of MEPEI, he manages projects that aim a better understanding and knowledge regarding the Middle East, its cultural diversity, social, political and economic reality, promoting a new approach that counters bias and prejudice regarding the Middle East. The think-tank aims to develop and strengthen the relation between the EU Member States and those of the Middle East. He holds a vast experience on the Middle East, being the author and the coordinator of articles and scientific works on energy security, counter-terrorism, defense, International Relations and regional development.
Liviu Muresan, President, EURISC
Liviu Muresan, PhD, Professor, founder and the Executive President of the EURISC Foundation – European Institute for Risk, Security and Communication Management (1995). He graduated courses of the Defence College NATO GFO (Rome), of the Institut des Hautes Etudes de Defense Nationale (Paris), of the Center for Civil-Military Relations (Monterey). He held several positions in the governmental structures: Senior Adviser to the Prime Minister, Senior Adviser to the Romanian Government, Senior Adviser to the Interior Minister, High Representative of the Romanian Government of the Anti-Corruption Initiative of the Pact of Stability (SPAI) and of the Combating Organized Crime Initiative (SPOC). He was Director of the Romanian Agency for setting up the regional SECI Center for Combating Transborder Organized Crime, and as the Deputy Director of the National Defence College he was the first civilian appointed in command position in the Romanian Army (1993-1994). He is Executive President of the Euro-Atlantic Council Romania – Casa NATO, EURODEFENCE Romania and Association des Anciens Auditeurs de l’IHEDN (Paris). Since 2007, he is member of European Security Research and Innovation Forum (ESRIF), contributing to the development of a “Joint Security Research Agenda” (European Commission). He received the National Order “Star of Romania” – Class Officer (2000).
MEPEI, www.mepei.com/ The MEPEI is an independent, non-profit organization that serves to promote greater understanding of the Middle East, its diverse culture, languages, and people, and to create links between individuals, institutions, and communities.