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Launch Event | "The Future of the Liberal International Order" – 75th Anniversary Edition of the Journal International Organization

Oct 08, 2021 | 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM

The Knowledge Exchange Lab took the 75th anniversary issue of the renowned journal International Organization (IO) as an occasion to exchange and openly discuss about the future of the Liberal International Order (LIO). During the panel discussion some of the contributors of the special issue exchanged with selected high ranking foreign policy officers from the Federal Foreign Office, the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Department of State. The event took place on Friday, 08 Oct 2021, both at the Humboldt Labor and online.

Discussion at the Humboldt Lab

Discussion at the Humboldt Lab


After Second World War II the international political order was fundamentally restructured – based on liberal standards. The renowned political science journal International Organization grew up alongside the Liberal International Order (LIO). Since the founding days of the journal, the LIO has proven to be resilient. But it is nowadays challenged in unprecedented ways. Why is that so? The Knowledge Exchange Lab took the 75th special issue of the journal as an occasion to host a hybrid panel discussion on one of the major questions of our times.

All in all, the discussion revealed that the challenges towards the current international order are multi-faceted. Policy-makers and scholars shared the concerns about a double challenge the LIO is exposed to: while there are clear external challengers (e.g. China), openly contesting its normative foundations, we must not forget the internal challenges such as the rise of populism, leading to polarization in Western societies. It was stressed that these two challenges are linked to each other. Another important aspect raised was the divide between the public and the diplomatic sphere: whose rules are the rules of the liberal international order? There was a consensus that public diplomacy (in this case in Germany, France and the U.S.) needs to be communicated better to the public sphere. Otherwise, international policy making will remain a very abstract concept. The event was followed by a reception.


  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Risse (Professor of International Politics, Freie Universität Berlin, SCRIPTS)
  • Prof. Beth A. Simmons, PhD (Andrea Mitchell University Professor of Law, Political Science and Business Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania)
  • Salman Ahmed (Director of Policy Planning Staff, U.S. Department of State)
  • Manuel Lafont Rapnouil (Director CAPS – Center for analysis, prevision and strategy of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs)
  • Sebastian Groth (Director of Policy Planning, Federal Foreign Office)
  • Moderation: Dr. Gregor Walter-Drop (Director Knowledge Exchange Lab, SCRIPTS)

Time & Location

Oct 08, 2021 | 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM

Humboldt Lab at Humboldt Forum Berlin, Schloßplatz 10178 Berlin