Global Trends 2013

Peace - Development - Environment

Tobias Debiel, Jochen Hippler, Michèle Roth, Cornelia Ulbert (ed.)
Translated by Hillary Crowe

Published by Stiftung Entwicklung und Frieden (SEF), Bonn October 2012
96 pp, ISBN 978-3-927626-46-1, EUR 12.00

Since the last edition of Global Trends was published three years ago, the demands being made of global governance institutions have increased to such an extent that the system of international relations appears to be permanently under pressure. A series of global shocks – the world financial crisis and the food crisis being two examples – have thrown the gaps in global governance and the repeated failures of the climate process into sharp relief.

At global level, a climate of distrust of the United Nations (UN), fuelled over many decades, and the erosion of its problem-solving capacities through the systematic use of blocking tactics have done much to undermine institutionalised multilateralism. Instead, attempts are being made to alleviate the pressure in the system through a move towards sectoral – in other words, thematically specialised – forums and a multitude of alternative forms of global governance outside the established multilateral institutions.

The resulting fragmentation of global policy-making, combined with a proliferation of international and transnational forums, is creating new complexities in international relations and is tending to reinforce the inequalities between actors. At the same time, the increasing multipolarity in the system offers opportunities to forge new alliances which no longer (have to) abide by the rules of conventional power politics.
In this scenario, the state's role appears to be undergoing a process of long-term change, reflected also in an altered understanding of what sovereignty means, both internally and externally. Social protest movements are increasingly objecting to the lack of provision of national and global public goods by governments and their failure to control dominant market forces. The burgeoning middle classes in many developing countries are a major force to be reckoned with here. Technological advances such as the Internet offer new opportunities for political participation, transnational networking and public access.

The major global governance gaps mentioned at the start clearly show that the Western   economic model and concept of progress cannot provide a frame of reference for the wider world – and that it is the major industrialized nations, first and foremost, which need to   change course. The finite nature of our natural resources, and the limited and in some cases almost exhausted carrying capacity of the Earth's ecosystems, including the atmosphere, mean that a "business as usual" approach is not an option. As a result, a broad debate has begun at the national and the international level about how prosperity and welfare should be defined, also in light of the interests of future generations.

The authors of this new edition of Global Trends have undertaken in-depth analyses of these developments, briefly outlined here, and present their findings, underpinned by statistical data and factual information.


sef: Policy Lunch

The EU in Global Food Governance


Enough food is produced worldwide to feed humanity, yet more than 815 million people in the world are undernourished. What is the global vision for food and nutrition governance? What initiatives and reforms are being implemented? What role can the EU play?

sef: and CIDSE – International Alliance of Catholic Development Agencies will debate these questions during a Policy Lunch in Brussels on 12 July 2018. Register now!

:further info here

Strengthening Social Security in Africa


Social protection is a human right. However, it is only a reality for about one fifth of the people living in Africa. What initiatives have been established at continental, regional and national level in recent years? How successful are they and what are the associated challenges? Around 80 experts discussed these questions during the Potsdam Spring Dialogues on 19/20 April 2018. Read the conference report now!

:further info here

sef: insights 3-4|2018


During the Potsdam Spring Dialogues we spoke to two experts about innovative measures of social protection. Nkateko Chauke elaborates in the interview how a Basic Income Grant for the SADC region might work. Raquel Tebaldi gives recommendations how social protection might cover women better.

Read the interviews as sef: insights or watch them as videos!

:further info here

How to defend digital rights?


Internet freedom is threatened in many states by restrictions to net neutrality or by governments shutting down internet applications. But there are rays of hope. In different world regions, civil society is mobilizing to protect net neutrality or to fight digital rights abuses in the courts. What do activists’ experiences from Europe and Africa have in common? What can journalists and the media contribute?

sef: will discuss these questions with experts from around the globe at a roundtable talk during the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum. Register now!

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Strengthening Local Peacebuilding


The Berlin Summer Dialogue on 29 and 30 May 2018 will discuss the chances and challenges of local peacebuilding as the basis for sustaining peace., with a particular focus on the participation of women and youth. In addition, we will look at useful support for local peace initiatives from outside. Further information and the programme can be found here. Participation by invitation only.

:further info here