25th Anniversary of the sef: Discussion with Rainer Burchardt (Chair) Anke Brunn, Gernot Erler and Franz Nuscheler
© sef/Thomas Ecke
Foto mit Brandt, Biedenkopf und Rau bei der Gründung

The Development and Peace Foundation (sef:) aims to shape policy responses to the complex challenges arising in a globalised world. Its overarching goal is to contribute to worldwide peace and sustainable development based on social justice, human dignity and a respectful approach to the environment and natural resources.

The Foundation sees itself as an international forum for shared independent and creative thinking on urgent peace and development issues. It brings together present and future policy-makers and practitioners, their advisors, academic experts, civil society actors and the business community in a structured dialogue. In so doing, it mediates between different sectors, spheres of life and political levels and between academics, policy-makers and civil society. The Foundation makes it a priority to include views and perspectives from the Global South in the political debate.

Its global governance perspective is fundamental to the Foundation’s agenda. The Foundation turns attention in particular to the coordination, cooperation and, indeed, competition between the local, national, regional and global levels and between state and non-state actors, in order to address the urgent problems facing the world and shape the future in a responsible manner. It also explores forms of resistance to global cooperation and examines alternative models.

The Development and Peace Foundation is a cross-party organisation funded by the federal states of Berlin, Brandenburg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saxony.


In an era characterised by pressure to act and rapid decision-making, the – mostly international – events organised by the Foundation provide a space for informal, open but also focused dialogue. Its core tasks are to establish the thematic framework and provide a structure for the debate, and to identify and bring together relevant discussion partners from a range of disciplines.

The purpose of the discussions initiated by the Development and Peace Foundation is to promote creative reflection on potential solutions and thus to provide guidance and support – but not policy advice in a narrower sense – for decision-makers and their advisors in the political arena. In a best-case scenario, although this is by no means obligatory, practical recommendations for policy-makers and civil society are proposed within this framework.

Mediating between academics and practitioners in the political and economic spheres is one of the Foundation’s key priorities. It also facilitates the “trickle-down” of global debates and agreements to the regional and local levels.

In order to make the results of its work accessible to a wider interested public, the Foundation produces short policy papers, an annual report entitled Perspektiven auf Global Governance [published in German only], and the in-depth Global Trends, which is published in book form every three years.


Strengthening Social Security in Africa


Numerous African countries have adopted measures to improve social protection in recent years. And a large number of relevant initiatives have been established at both regional and continental level. How successful are they and what are the challenges associated? What has to happen for initiatives to be effective on a broader scale? And what kind of support can the international community provide? We will discuss these questions with experts from politics, academia, business and civil society during this year’s Potsdam Spring Dialogues on 19/20 April 2018. Register now!

:further info here

Current challenges for democracies


In February 2018, the first Dresden Forum for International Politics took place. The new series is co-organised by the sef:, the Free State of Saxony, Engagement Global gGmbh and Foundation Frauenkirche Dresden. Around 80 experts from different world regions discussed current challenges for democracy. They focused on how to create and sustain peaceful societies in democracies. Read the conference report and further coverage online now!

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The Development and Peace Foundation (sef:) and the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) are launching a new publications series: GLOBAL TRENDS. ANALYSIS. The new series aims to identify options for international policy action in an ever more complex world. Furthermore, it presents perspectives from different world regions. The series analyses current developments and challenges against the background of long-term political trends, and it illustrates facts with figures and tables. GLOBAL TRENDS. ANALYSIS is issued by a team of co-editors from different world regions. For more information, see our press release.

:further info here

Cooperation in a Post-Western World


The Western liberal order finds itself in deep crisis. Global power shifts are accelerating. What does this mean for the future of global cooperation? How can the wish for more national autonomy be reconciled with the need to cooperate in a globalised world? Can new forms of governance contribute to sustaining global cooperation? Michèle Roth and Cornelia Ulbert discuss these questions in the first issue of the new publication series GLOBAL TRENDS. ANALYSIS.

:further info here

How to overcome the impasse in UN Security Council reform


The urgently needed UN Security Council reform has been stuck for decades. Without a far-reaching structural change that includes the end of permanent seats and the veto, the Council is fading into irrelevance. But at a time of great power transitions, multipolarity without sufficient multilateralism is a dangerous trend. Therefore, in GLOBAL TRENDS. ANALYSIS 02|2018, Jakkie Cilliers calls for a political and intellectual leap to overcome the impasse in UN Security Council reform.

:further info here