The British Foreign Policy Group and Westminster Foundation for Democracy were delighted to host a lively panel discussion on how the Global Britain project can best merge the promotion of democratic values with our geo-strategic interests.
On the eve of the publication of the Integrated Review of the UK’s Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, this event explored how Britain should seek to achieve its stated ambition to advance democracy worldwide. In particular, how to approach the task of building meaningful cooperation amongst allies old and new, to counter the rise of authoritarian states and their diplomatic power.
Panellists discussed how best to strike the right balance, when the UK’s economic, security, diplomatic and development objectives may come into competition in a changing world – and whether initiatives such as the D10 could help to add muscle to the voice of liberalism, providing a meaningful new avenue for the UK’s global leadership.
- Lord Peter Ricketts is a crossbench peer who spent over 40 years as a British diplomat before retiring in 2016. His last post was Ambassador to France, and prior to that he was the UK’s first National Security Adviser and Permanent Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Lord Ricketts also served as the British Permanent Representative to NATO. In addition to his duties in the House of Lords, he is now a Visiting Professor at King’s College London and a Trustee for the Royal United Services Institute.
- Dr Rachel Kleinfeld is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she focuses on issues of rule of law, security, and governance in post-conflict countries, fragile states, and states in transition. As the founding CEO of the Truman National Security Project, she spent nearly a decade leading a movement of national security, political, and military leaders working to promote people and policies that strengthen security, stability, rights, and human dignity in America and around the world. In 2011, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appointed Kleinfeld to the Foreign Affairs Policy Board, which advises the Secretary of State quarterly, a role she served through 2014.
- Elisabeth Braw is a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). She is also a columnist with Foreign Policy where she writes on national security and the globalised economy. Before joining AEI, Ms Braw was a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies in London, where she founded its modern deterrence project. She has also been an associate fellow at the European Leadership Network, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, and a senior consultant at Control Risks, a global risk consultancy.
- Anthony Smith is the CEO of Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD). As a former diplomat, he spent nearly 30 years in the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, prior to joining WFD in 2014. He is a member of the Foreign Secretary’s Advisory Board on Human Rights and of the Board of the European Partnership for Democracy. He also chairs the Board of Peace Direct.
- Sophia Gaston (Chair) is Director of the British Foreign Policy Group. A social and political researcher specialising in public opinion, her research particularly explores populism, nationalism and the rise of anti-establishment movements, as well as broader threats to governance in Western nations.