On 26 November, ERSTE Stiftung and ESI organised a public debate about "Interventions, state building and the future of European Foreign Policy" in Vienna.
The last two decades have been the age of humanitarian intervention, of regime change and hugely ambitious state building efforts. From Bosnia to Kosovo, from Afghanistan to Iraq, nation states and international organisations have intervened by military force to change institutions, topple regimes and reshape societies.
What have we learned? What worked? Is this the dawn of a new era, in which a "responsibility to protect" overrides traditional state sovereignty? Or is the age of liberal imperialism, which begun in the mountains of the Balkans in the 1990s, coming to an end in Afghanistan, the graveyard of Empires? What does this generational experience mean for the EU?
Is there an emerging future vision for a proactive European common foreign and security policy? Is there going to be a European approach to interventions, as new institutions are being established following the entering into force of the Lisbon Treaty?
Introduction and moderation
Gerald Knaus - Chairman ESI / Fellow, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Kennedy School/Harvard. Previously Office of the High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina; former director of EU-UNMIK Lessons Learned and Analysis Unit in Kosovo.
From Afghanistan to Southern Iraq - observations on state building and intervention (Slide Presentation)
Rory Stewart - Member of the House of Commons, author of New York Times bestseller The Places in between (on his walk across Afghanistan) and The Prince of the Marshes (on his time as Deputy Governor of Amarah in Southern Iraq).
Sarajevo, Mitrovica, Kabul - what have we learned?
Minna Jarvenpaa - Former Head of Analysis, UNAMA mission, Kabul; worked on Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia for the British Government's Stabilisation Unit; former Senior Advisor to Nobel Prize Winner Martti Ahtisaari; Strategy Advisor to the UN SRSG in Kosovo; municipal administrator in Mitrovica; former member of Office of the High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina
A European way of intervention? - Lessons for future EU foreign policy
Miroslav Lajcak - Former Foreign Minister of Slovakia; Former High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina; Former Special Envoy of Javier Solana to Montenegro; former Ambassador of Slovakia to Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro; Albania and Macedonia.
- SPECIAL PAGE on the event with detailed background information (participants' CVs, agenda, recommended reading, photos)
- Der Standard, Florian Niederndorfer, "'Jeder schaut, wie weit er gehen kann'" ("'They all test out how far they can go'") (1 December 2010)
- Rumeli Observer: Reflections on Interventions and the EU – short guide to a big debate (17 November 2010), Kofi Annan – Tony Blair – Robert Cooper – Rand Corporation – Cato Institute
- ESI picture story: Liberal imperialism ( 2003)
- ERSTE Stiftung