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Finding Britain’s role in a changing world

UK foreign policy is going through a period of extreme volatility, with the country’s international position more uncertain than at any time since the end of the Second World War. There is a national debate over Britain’s global role, looking at whether and how the UK can move from a period of intense introspection to reengage constructively on the world stage and within regional and international institutions. This programme will examine the challenges posed by both ‘Brexit’ and an increasingly volatile world, looking at what they mean for the UK now and for its future. Central to the FPC’s work in this area will be exploring the extent to which the UK can be a ‘force for good’ in the world and how its relations to international institutions and other nations develop.

Publications in this programme
Articles relating to this programme

Countering authoritarianism

Since the Financial Crisis in 2007-8, democratisation has stalled and even gone into reverse. Authoritarianism is proliferating worldwide, including even at the heart of Europe. According to Freedom House, a…

Article by James Rogers

Anti-corruption and open societies

It is not by accident that the most common metaphor in anti-corruption is the contention that ‘sunlight is the best of disinfectants’. It was popularised by soon-to-be US Supreme Court…

Article by Phil Mason

Digital democracy

For digital democracy to succeed across the world, we need an open reformation in our democratic systems, practices and mindset. Far from radical, this is essential if we are to…

Article by Catherine Stihler

A response to the Integrated Review

There is a lot to digest in the much awaited publication of the Prime Minister’s Integrated Review (IR) of UK international policy. It is a weighty enough document of over…

Article by Dr Kate Ferguson

Building on the Integrated Review

The publication of the long awaited Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, entitled ‘Global Britain in a competitive age’, should finally help give greater clarity  to the…

Article by Adam Hug

The UK and the Commonwealth: Leading the rights path

With the COVID-19 pandemic battering the world socially and economically, both the Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and the Secretary General of the United…

Article by Sanjoy Hazarika and Sneh Aurora

Brexit Britain at the United Nations

Following the 2016 Brexit referendum, successive governments have been keen to emphasise that Britain’s withdrawal from the EU is not a rejection of international institutions and cooperation more broadly. Advocates…

Article by Richard Gowan

Another look at values-based multilateralism

Every few years, Western leaders raise the idea of democracies working in 'alliance' or 'concert' on global challenges. The late US Senator John McCain, an esteemed supporter of transatlantic cooperation,…

Article by Thomas E. Garrett

The ethics of offensive cyber operations

Turn off the lights in Moscow? This is just one of the possible uses of offensive cyber operations (OCOs) briefed to the press by senior British defence sources.[1] Put simply,…

Article by Dr Joe Devanny

What Brexiting Britain can learn from Bern

At first sight, EU relations with Switzerland might seem a ‘niche’ topic for a British observer.  But in fact current developments are rather important in understanding potential models for the…

Article by Dr Ed Turner and Anna Wartmann
Events in this programme

Shifting sands: The UK’s role in the Middle East and the changing international order

This seminar, organised by the FPC and the SEPAD (Sectarianism, Proxies and De-sectarianisation) project at the Richardson Institute for Peace at Lancaster University, aims to look at the evolving picture across the region, looking at the key challenges on the ground, the continuing geo-strategic tensions and the impact of the Biden Administration’s policy agenda. The diplomatic dynamics are becoming increasingly complex with traditional Western allies – such as Saudi Arabia, ...

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Rt Hon Alistair Burt, Pro-Chancellor at Lancaster University and former Minister of State for the Middle East

Professor Simon Mabon, Director of the SEPAD project and Chair in International Politics at Lancaster University

Dr Edward Wastnidge, Deputy Director of the SEPAD project and Senior Lecturer in Politics & International Studies at the Open University

Dr May Darwich, Lecturer in International Relations of the Middle East at the University of Birmingham

Chair: Baroness Northover, Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson on Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Listen to an audio recording of the event here.

June 16, 2021
5:00pm-6:30pm (BST)

The event will take place on Zoom.

Can the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games help UK’s post-Brexit sport diplomacy get out of the starting blocks?

In summer 2022, Birmingham will be hosting the Commonwealth Games, the UK’s first ‘sport mega event’ in this post-Brexit landscape. The 2012 Olympics presented a clear positive vision of the UK as a young, dynamic and diverse country, as well as showcasing the UK’s longer term vision of its future with sustainability and legacy being a core part of the message. The 2022 Commonwealth Games present a similar opportunity to ...

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Baroness Grey-Thompson, Paralympian, Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords and Broadcaster

Chris Matheson MP, Shadow Minister for Media

Neale Coleman CBE, Senior Advisor on London 2012

Sunder Katwala, Director of British Future

Dr Daniel Fitzpatrick, Lecturer at Aston Centre for Europe

Listen to an audio recording of the event here.

May 18, 2021
5:00pm-6:30pm (BST)

The event will take place on Zoom.

Investigating Corruption: US versus UK – A Widening Transatlantic Divide?

Barely into the start of 2021 and events around the world have brought the question of global corruption and the fight against it sharply into focus. Noticeable is the increasing divergence between governing authorities in the US and UK’s approach towards tackling anti-corruption and money laundering. The new Biden administration has clearly identified corruption as ‘a core national security interest’ and recent ‘historic’ legislation passed through US Congress takes aim ...

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Tom Burgis, investigative journalist at The Financial Times and author of ‘Kleptopia: How Dirty Money Is Conquering the World’

Casey Michel, US investigative journalist and author of upcoming book ‘American Kleptocracy’

Dr Tena Prelec, Research Fellow with the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford

Dr Sue Hawley, Executive Director of Spotlight on Corruption

Chair: Susan Coughtrie, Project Director at the Foreign Policy Centre

Listen to an audio recording of the event here.

April 20, 2021
5:00pm-6:30pm (UK Time)

The event will take place on Zoom.

Defining the values the UK should stand for and protecting its ability to defend them

This public zoom event is part of the Foreign Policy Centre’s ongoing Finding Britain’s role in a changing world project responding to the UK’s Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy. It will comprise a short keynote speech from Tom Tugendhat MP, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, expert responses and an audience Q&A session. The event will take stock of the deliberations around the Government’s Integrated ...

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Tom Tugendhat MP, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee

Dr Kate Ferguson, Co-Director of Protection Approaches

Benjamin Ward, UK Director of Human Rights Watch

Chair: Deborah Haynes, Foreign Affairs Editor, Sky News

Listen to an audio recording of the event here.

November 26, 2020

The event will take place on Zoom.

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 ...

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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.

March 3, 2020

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

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