The Strategic Monitor 2018-2019 monitors global trends and assesses risks and opportunities for Dutch national security. The international system is currently experiencing a phase transition of sorts during a period of Interregnum. Phase transitions feature contradictory dynamics and discontinuous change. These past few years, key tenets of the liberal international order (LIO) have been shifting, and shifting quite dramatically. A range of international security and economic arrangements grounded in multilateralism and the peaceful settlement of disputes have come under fire. New players have entered the fray and the rules-of-the-game are being rewritten. Zero sum thinking is becoming increasingly dominant. Yet, other tenets of the LIO persist. This results in an amorphous system with key trends tracing divergent trajectories: freedom is on the decline but the number of democracies has not decreased; free trade is under severe pressure, while actual trade volumes continue to grow; interstate tensions are rife, yet international great power peace persists.
The international system thus displays properties of multilateral, polarized, networked and fragmented orders. The Strategic Monitor 2018-2019 tracks these different properties under the two themes of this year’s report: International Peace and Security and Societal Stability, and assesses the implications for Dutch foreign and security policies.
The Strategic Monitor 2018-2019 consists of the summary report 'Interregnum' and fifteen individual research papers. The Dutch version of the summary report was published in February 2019. The English version of this report is expected in March 2019.