Experts discuss the 'Dismantling of the Rules-based Global Order'

Experts in contemporary European Studies gave a seminar at Regent's University London, exploring the fundamental challenges to what is often called the 'international rules-based order'.

Speakers at the joint Regent's and Senior European Experts event were:

  • Geoffrey Robertson QC, author and human rights lawyer,
  • Sir Mark Lyall Grant, Visiting Professor, King’s College London, and former national security adviser,
  • Dr Kori Schake, Deputy Director General, International Institute for Strategic Studies.

The seminar was chaired by David Hannay, Baron Hannay of Chiswick, who set the scene for the debate.

Since the end of WW2, countries have worked together to create a system of international institutions and rules that manage and facilitate peaceful, economically effective and politically robust relations between nation states. 

But in the light of recent actions, such as those by Russia and the USA, it is not just the way the international order operates but its existence that is being questioned. 

Dr Kori Schake said that one of the central challenges was a 'loss of confidence' in a rules-based order. She said, "I would just encourage you to think about what an order that somebody who wasn’t the West would create … because unless we actually believe in this order, fight for its preservation, I fear that the order that comes next is going to be one we’re a lot less happy with."

Geoffrey Robertson QC spoke about the international conventions that were signed after the Second World War but lamented the lack of enforcement measures before noting, "The road to hell is paved with good conventions."

Sir Mark Lyall Grant said that the UK needed to be making allies of smaller countries who benefit from the rules-based order. He added that we need to stand up and defend our value system, before saying, "We cannot impose a value system by force, we can only do it by good example."

Download the Dismantling of the Rules-based Global Order background paper here.

The Senior European Experts are an informal group of former high-ranking British diplomats and civil servants who regularly publish high quality briefing and opinion papers about EU issues. We are inspired by a mission to educate so that debate about the EU can be informed and constructive. Find out more: