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Finding Britain’s role in a changing world: building a values based foreign policy

This Foreign Policy Centre and Oxfam event will launch our new collection of short essays that seeks to re-examine and re-imagine the UK’s foreign policy and discuss its findings about how Britain can best respond to global challenges.

The collection of essays features the panellists listed, as well as Rt Hon Tobias Ellwood MP (Chair of the Defence Select Committee), Caroline Lucas MP (former Green Party Leader), Stephen Twigg (former Chair of the International Development Select Committee), Ruth Bergan (Trade Justice Movement), Jonathan Cohen (Conciliation Resources), Teresa Dumasy (Conciliation Resources), Richard Reeve (Rethinking Security), and Marissa Conway (Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy). Some of the authors will be attending the event and able to make contributions to our discussion.

The UK is preparing for its post-Brexit place in the world at a time when the principles of liberal democracy and a rules based world order are facing their greatest challenge in a generation. The rise of authoritarian powers, tensions in the transatlantic relationship, rapidly changing technology and the impact of climate change all pose difficult questions that the UK may need to answer. The event will seek to discuss the UK’s foreign policy priorities, as laid out in the collection of essays, and explore the different conceptions of the national interest. It will also aim to understand which values the UK believes in promoting and discuss the extent to which they should underpin its approach to a rapidly changing world.

Returning to some golden era of UK foreign policy is not an option, inconsistencies and injustices in today’s world order have made challenges to it inevitable. Essays in the collection seek both to re-establish the importance of longstanding global norms, rules and multilateral decision making, whilst also exploring ways to do things differently: with new alliances based on common values; with approaches that explicitly seek to reflect the experiences of the most marginalised; and with new approaches to emerging strategic problems. The event provides the opportunity to hear from some of the authors involved and contribute to the discussion.

Listen back to the event below:

When March 3, 2020 6-7:30pm

Committee Room 12, Houses of Parliament, London, SW1A 0AA


Baroness Anelay, Chair of the House of Lords International Relations and Defence Select Committee

Lord McConnell, Former First Minister of Scotland

Theo Clarke MP, Member of the International Development Select Committee

Dr Emily Jones, Global Economic Governance Programme, Blavatnik School of Government at University of Oxford

Danny Sriskandarajah, Chief Executive, Oxfam GB

Chair: Adam Hug, Director, The Foreign Policy Centre

Listen to an audio recording of the event here.

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