Strategic Monitor
Strategic Monitor 2019‌-‌2020
Tim Sweijs (HCSS) and
Danny Pronk (the Clingendael Institute)

The Writing on the Wall

The title of this year’s report “The Writing on the Wall” is a reference to the warning of impending disaster in the biblical tale of Belshazzar, King of Babylon, described in the book of Daniel. In it, Daniel reads the writing on the wall as a warning to Belshazzar that his days as king were numbered. Sudden, structural change such as the end of Belshazzar’s kingdom is emblematic of discontinuity, a central feature of today’s world. Power is shifting, technological progress is accelerating, rules are changing. The Strategic Monitor seeks to decipher the writing on the wall, describe the key trends as they unfold, and understand how they shape our future.