Center for War Studies to host event at the Munich Security Conference

CWS professors Sten Rynning and Trine Flockhart are both invited to the prestigious Munich Security ConferenceOne of the main themes of the 2020 Munich Security Conference is the phenomenon “Westlessness” -  a widespread feeling of uneasiness and restlessness in the face of increasing uncertainty about the enduring purpose of the West and growing disagreements about what it even means to be part of the West. The Center for War Studies will contribute to the discussions by hosting a side-event for conference participants with the title: Divided but not (yet) Brain Dead - The emergence of political cleavages in NATO.

The CWS event will focus on the problem of emerging political cleavages in NATO. It starts from the premise that NATO is currently facing a paradox. The Alliance should be able to present a positive narrative about recent progress in areas that for long have been of concern, such as defence spending, capabilities and how to prioritize NATO’s three core tasks. Yet, despite the recent progress, the Alliance appears increasingly fragile in areas that for 70 years have been NATO’s bedrock of strength – its status as a value community with a tradition for negotiation and consensus building.

Today NATO’s status as a community of values is threatened by a growing cleavage between liberal internationalism and illiberal nationalism. The cleavage extends to national politics in several member states, where the traditional cross-party consensus on defence and security appears to have ended. The question now is how NATO can prepare for a future of fading support for its foundational values.

The issues to be debated at the Munich Security Conference is also the topic of another public CWS event to take place on 5th March when Stanley Sloan visits SDU to talk about NATO, illiberalism and the Trump challenge in an event on Transatlantic Security Futures.