GERMAN CONFERENCE at HARVARD February 17-18, 2012
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The End of the West as We Know It?
Germany, the US and the Future of the Transatlantic World

The sixth student-organized German Conference - exploring the fate of the Western world.

In the second half of the twentieth century, the West was the leading international bloc. With unrivalled economic dominance, enviable democratic welfare states and military strength, it outlasted – many say, won – the Cold War and entered into a period of what was expected to be lasting growth and continuing preeminence.

One decade into the twenty-first century, this prospect seems much more doubtful. Partly as a result of the emergence of other powers and partly as a result of internal divisions, the West has lost a considerable amount of its clout, and appeal.

Germany and the US exemplify this trend. With meager economic growth, fiscal crises and welfare states considered by many unsustainable, they have yet to come to terms with a world in which China is the world’s economic locomotive and largest creditor. In security affairs, too, the utility of a once proud NATO is called into question by policymakers and pundits on both sides of the Atlantic, as Germany is downsizing its military and the US is reorienting itself towards the Asia-Pacific region.

The last conference explored the following topics in panel discussions and speeches:
  • A Coming Global Turn? Or the Resurgence of the West? Perspectives on the West’s Future Position
  • A Dismal Future for NATO? Transatlantic Views on Mission and Burdensharing
  • Is the West Losing its Edge? Global Imbalances, Economic Governance and Western Competitiveness
  • Who Pays the Bill for Demographic Change? The Western Welfare State at a Crossroads


View photos from the 2013 Conference here!

German Conference 2013

Watch Videos from the 2013 Conference here!