Navigating the New World Order w/ Armen Sarkissian, Christina Lamb & Bronwen Maddox

26 May 2024 – 10:30 BST
Newport Street

Former President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian (author of The Small States Club), Chief Executive of Chatham House Bronwen Maddox, and leading war correspondent Christina Lamb, debate whether the global dominance of one geo-political bloc is safer for world order.

In the closing decades of the last century, many were critical of American global dominance. But twenty years on America’s relative decline has ushered in a new multipolar era that many contend is profoundly more dangerous. We have an unpredictable conflict in Europe larger than anything since World War II and international tension greater than at any point since the height of the Cold War. Meanwhile from the Middle East to the South China Sea, a host of regional conflicts have the potential to spiral out of control, and the new world order looks increasingly precarious.

Can we navigate to safety through international cooperation and treaties? Do we need to align in power blocks to provide overall defence, or is it safer to remain independent providing less of a threat to others? Or is the only solution for one nation or alliance to once again become globally dominant?

About the book

In this book, Armen Sarkissian, former president of Armenia, argues that small states can navigate the complex challenges of the twenty-first century in smarter ways than ‘greater’ powers. For smallness–often regarded as a weakness–can be a strength. It may induce insecurity in states, but also endows them with an instinct for survival. Large states are ponderous; small states can be agile and adaptive.

Drawing on his deep experience as a scientist, businessman, diplomat and head of state, Sarkissian offers captivating portraits of small states, from Africa to Europe to Asia, that have overcome seemingly insuperable odds to establish themselves as oases of political stability, cultural tolerance, technological innovation, financial prudence and scientific research. Sarkissian returns to the uncertain beginnings of these small states to demystify their improbable rise. Along the way, he introduces us to a cast of tenacious leaders with a knack for converting crisis into opportunity.

Widely regarded as the most respected Armenian leader on the world stage, Sarkissian ends with a poignant homage to his motherland. Part memoir, part manifesto, it is a stirring insight into the world’s oldest Christian country, which is at once an ancient civilisation, a small state and a global nation.

About the author

Armen Sarkissian PhD is a world-renowned theoretical physicist, diplomat, politician and businessman. Armenia’s former president (2018-22) and prime minister (1996-7), he has served as head of the University of Cambridge’s Eurasia Centre, and held top positions at Harvard and Chicago Universities, the University of London and the World Economic Forum.

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