Preventing Another World War

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Chatham House, London


Peter Apps, Global Affairs Columnist, Reuters; Future of War Fellow, New America; Executive Director, Project for the Study of the 21st Century 
Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, Professor in History, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Santanu Das, Reader in English Literature, King's College London
Jonathan Powell, CEO, Inter Mediate; Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Tony Blair (1995-2007)
Chair: Polly Toynbee, Columnist, The Guardian


Nearly one hundred years after the end of the First World War, the international governance systems established in its aftermath to ensure a lasting peace are under pressure.  The world is witnessing an increase in the political rhetoric of authoritarianism, isolationism and nationalism, rather than collaboration and global cooperation, and there has been a disruption of the established international order as new powers emerge and old powers retreat.

This uncertainty at the supranational level has come at a time of a number of potential flashpoints - major conflict in the Middle East, instability in North Africa, Russian territorial incursion into Ukraine, escalating levels of international terrorism and the emergence of a new nuclear regime in North Korea. In such unstable times, are there lessons from history to which the international order can look to guard against any escalation into another world war? Or are the old institutions and mechanisms of the international order, based on Woodrow Wilson’s ‘Fourteen Points’, no longer fit for purpose?

Our panel will analyse the role of these existing international institutions and instruments in resolving and preventing modern conflicts, offering a new set of recommendations for improvement, reform or reconceptualization that could effectively adapt them to new and emerging threats in order to prevent another global conflict.

The event is in association with Meridian International Center and there will be a reception after the event.

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