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A Coming Global Turn? Or the Resurgence of the West? Perspectives on the West’s Future Position

While the other panels at this year’s German Conference at Harvard address discrete policy areas and focus mainly on internal issues in the West, this discussion will step back and ask in more broad terms: what future for the West? How will the rise of other powers affect the West’s relative standing in the world? What will come of Western values? These and other questions will be discussed by two eminent scholars, both of whom have recently completed books on this very topic. Charles Kupchan’s “No One's World: The West, the Rising Rest, and the Coming Global Turn” is already on the shelves, and Richard Rosecrance’s “The Resurgence of the West: How a Transatlantic Union Can Prevent War and Restore the United States and Europe” will be published in April 2013.
The discussion will be moderated by one of America’s most accomplished and respected diplomats, Nicholas Burns, who is now a professor at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.


R. Nicholas Burns
The Sultan of Oman Professor of International Relations
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Dr. Charles A. Kupchan,
Professor of International Affairs
Georgetown University

Richard Rosecrance, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

A Dismal Future for NATO? Transatlantic Views on Mission and Burdensharing

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warned that NATO was heading for a dismal future unless the allies agreed on the need to strengthen the alliance. Underlying the different views about how much defense spending is necessary are disagreements with regard to NATO’s future mission. This panel will explore German and American views on what NATO should be doing in the 21st century and on who should shoulder what part of the burden.


Dr. Joachim Krause
Professor of International Relations
Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel

Speakers and Panelists:
Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Former Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Federal Republic of Germany
Chairman of the SPD Parliamentary Group in the Bundestag

Wesley Clark
US Army General (ret.)
Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe

Alexander Graf Lambsdorff
Member of the European Parliament
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe

Dr. Theo Sommer

Is the West Losing its Edge? Global Imbalances, Economic Governance and Western Competitiveness

Since the beginning of the financial crisis, the balance in international economic relations has shifted dramatically. The crisis has shattered confidence in the “Western” economic model of capitalism. Almost all developed economies have since suffered continuously from anemic growth rates and high levels of unemployment, while emerging markets seem to have mastered the challenges brought about by the crisis much more efficiently.
Furthermore, the Euro crisis has turned the Europeans from the biggest lender to the biggest customer of international financial institutions, while the United States continue to let China finance their current account deficit. The G8 as primary lieu of international economic coordination has evaporated and has been replaced by the G20. In short, the West seems to have lost its absolute economic dominance – but is this an accurate picture? And is this change here to stay? What does it mean for the way the West should deal with the rest of the world in the future? What does this shift imply for domestic economic models, competitiveness and production modes? And finally, which role should and could Germany, Europe and the US play in this changing economic context?


Dr. Uwe Jean Heuser
Chief Financial Editor

Philippe Aghion, Ph.D.
Robert C. Waggoner Professor of Economics
Harvard University

Dr. Henrik Enderlein
Pierre Keller Visiting Professor
Harvard Kennedy School

Marcel Fratzscher, Ph.D.
President and CEO
German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Martin Walker
Global Business Policy Council Senior Fellow

Who Pays the Bill for Demographic Change? The Western Welfare State at a Crossroads

Globalization, technological innovation and demographic changes do not only exert pressure on the economic growth ambitions of the West. They also raise the question of how long we will still be able to afford what many agree is one of the greatest achievements of the “Western” model: the welfare state. The objective of this panel is to critically discuss the medium- and long-term prospects of social security systems in the US and Germany as well as potential strategies to support them. The discussion will likely touch on aspects such as the role of immigration, the importance of adequate labor market policies, and the role of technological as well as social innovation (these aspects will be refined further depending on the respective areas of expertise of both keynote speakers and panel participants).


Elisabeth Niejahr
Political Correspondent

Speakers and Panelists:
Dr. Ursula von der Leyen
Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Federal Republic of Germany
Member of the Presidium of the CDU Germany

Kathryn Edin, Ph.D.
Professor of Public Policy and Management
Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

George A. Papandreou
Former Prime Minister of Greece/ Member of the Greek Parliament
President of the Socialist International