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Holbrooke Forum

The Richard C. Holbrooke Forum

The Richard C. Holbrooke Forum for the Study of Diplomacy and Governance was established in 2013 as a remembrance of the American Academy in Berlin’s founder and his lifelong commitment to applying the tools of diplomacy and statecraft to solving some of the world’s most intractable problems. It is the Academy’s principal forum for debate on international public-policy issues, bringing together some of the finest thinkers and practitioners of global affairs. Through sustained, in-depth exchange, they aim to find answers to pressing contemporary issues and to assess the underlying structural challenges facing the international community and transatlantic partners.

Building on the intellectual capital of the American Academy, the Holbrooke Forum uses a variety of formats to conduct its work. Interdisciplinary working groups—comprised of experts including legal scholars, policymakers, political scientists, historians, and members of government—discuss topics of current and future global import. Distinguished Visitors at the American Academy present some of the best thinking in their respective public-policy fields to audiences at the Hans Arnhold Center. Small seminars and workshops convene informally to formulate and test ideas for new, and better, policies. The work in these formats is informed and inspired by what we call the Holbrooke Method: a relentless, unconventional, forceful, highly demanding intellectual pursuit of political possibilities in a world that needs new solutions for complex challenges. The results of these activities are published and circulated by the American Academy in Berlin on a variety of media platforms as well as through papers presented to governments and decision-makers.

The Richard C. Holbrooke Fellowship & Workshop

Starting in 2018-19 the American Academy in Berlin will award the Richard C. Holbrooke Fellowship to one residential fellow per academic year. The Richard C. Holbrooke Fellowship was created as a programmatic addition to the Richard C. Holbrooke Forum, which honors the American Academy’s founder and chairman. Its objective is to provide opportunities for dialogue on questions of special importance to both the United States and Germany. The program will include a workshop with practitioners from the United States and Europe, which is convened by the Richard C. Holbrooke Fellow. The workshop findings will be published by the Richard C. Holbrooke Fellow through the American Academy in Berlin.

News from the Richard C. Holbrooke Forum

On February 15, 2018, a Richard C. Holbrooke Discussion about current state of German-American relations one year after the Trump presidency began took place among Derek Chollet (Executive Vice President and Senior Advisor for Security and Defense Policy, German Marshall Fund of the United States), Jörg Lau (Foreign Editor, DIE ZEIT), and Daniela Schwarzer (Director, German Council on Foreign Relations), and Angela Stent, Director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian & East European Studies, Georgetown University. Introductory remarks and moderation were given by Thomas Bagger, Director-General for Foreign Affairs, Office of the President of the Federal Republic of German.

From November 5-7, 2017, the Richard C. Holbrooke Forum held a seminar in Tallinn, Estonia, as part of its ongoing Digital Diplomacy Project. In cooperation with the Tallinn-based International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS), participants conducted a deep- dive into the question of how the unfolding IT revolution will impact international affairs, diplomacy, statecraft, and global order. At the center of the discussion were issues of institutional adaptation in a networked world, the revolutionary impact of blockchain technology and quantum computing, the increasingly fuzzy distinction between war and peace, and how political order will come about and be maintained in a world where classic politics loses much of its ability to bring about outcomes. The seminar will be followed up by a series of essays on the subject, published under the Richard C. Holbrooke Forum publications page, and downloadable as PDFs.

Download and read the rapporteur’s summary by Judy Dempsey and chairman John C. Kornblum’s observations of the seminar.

Subsequent the Richard C. Holbrooke Forum’s early October 2017 roundtable on new diplomatic and political challenges in the Balkans, Cornelius Adebahr published an article for the Holbrooke Forum outlining those challenges and the way forward for the European Union.

Subsequent the Holbrooke Forum workshop The Global Triangle, held at the American Academy on May 5, 2017, the Forum initiated a publication series, based on a few of the major themes and topics addressed. The first three essays are “Drivers of Global Change,” by Eberhard Sandschneider, “The Digital Demos,” by Ulrich Speck, and “Net Reach,” by Adam Segal.

On the evening of June 1, 2017, the Academy’s Richard C. Holbrooke Forum brought together Stephen Hadley, former national security advisor to President George W. Bush, and Christoph Heusgen, chief foreign policy advisor to the German chancellor, to discuss both the foundations and the policy specifics the Atlantic security arena is facing today. Click here to watch the full discussion.

On May 5, 2017, the Richard C. Holbrooke Forum hosted a workshop entitled The Global Triangle Project: Power, Innovation, and Order in a Networked World. The workshop looked into what happens when traditional geopolitics collides with the digital revolution, and what this means for diplomacy and statecraft. It was comprised of two dozen participants from academia, the private sector, and the foreign policy community—among them the China Daily, Mercator Institute for China Studies, Chatham House, Nokia Networks, Stanford and Fudan universities, the Council on Foreign Relations, SWP, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Read more and view a selection of photos from The Global Triangle workshop.

Contact the Richard C. Holbrooke Forum

Jan Techau

Director, Richard C. Holbrooke Forum

T: +49-30-80483 120
F: +49-30-80483 111

Sarah Mie Nass

Senior Associate, Programs

T: +49-30-80483 405
F: +49-30-80483 111

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