Statecraft: Thinking and Acting in a Hypercompetitive, Connected World

In today's world, even powerful and influential states struggle to attain their policy goals. The traditional means of exerting influence, such as military or economic power often fail to deliver the desired results. The implementation of state strategy fails due to a lack of policy coordination at the national, supranational, and international level.

This weakening of state power and the increase in anarchy in the international system in combination with, strategic incongruence caused by domestic factors  pose a security risk. They increase the likelihood of conflict and undermine cohesion in alliances and international partnerships. A new understanding of the nature of power and its application in the 21st century is therefore essential. At the heart of this reflection is the concept of statecraft, the skill and the art of governance. The concept of statecraft is incorporated into insights from all areas of research at CASSIS and the Henry Kissinger Chair. 

What might statecraft look like in the 21st century? The task of this research project is to define statecraft against the backdrop of increasing insecurity, shifting power relations, and the application of new power strategies. Can the term statecraft be reconceptualised for an international system in which states are no longer the only actors, nor always the dominant ones, and in which the notion of geographical space has changed profoundly? What state capabilities are needed today to provide collective, and to ensure individual security? The arising complex scientific questions will be considered in conjunction with international research, especially at the European and transatlantic level.


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Dr. Johanna Möhring


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