The Future of the Global Order: Power, Technology, and Governance

From Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea to the global economic and political effects of new technologies, the post-Cold War global order may be at a tipping point.

Broader systemic trends, such as globalization and climate change, mean that the challenges of today and tomorrow will be global - and require global responses.

The role of automated trading algorithms in the 2010 “Flash Crash” in the United States, combined with the specter of drone warfare around the world and the proliferation of military robotics, highlight how the intersection of technologies presents enormous challenges and opportunities for global norms.

Fundamentally, The Future of the Global Order research theme examines implications of changing global power dynamics, impacts of new technologies, and contributions of governance institutions for the future of international cooperation. It seeks to understand the drivers of change and the varied implications of those changes. Additionally, it offers new ideas for the preservation and evolution of the international order.

Standing faculty members from Penn provide guidance and direction for each Global Innovation Program research theme. The Future of the Global Order research theme is led by:

William Burke-White, inaugural director of Perry World House, who holds the Richard Perry Professorship at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is also a professor of law.

Michael C. Horowitz, professor of political science and interim director of Perry World House at the University of Pennsylvania.

Recent Workshops and Colloquia

2019 Colloquium: How Emerging Technologies are Rewiring the Global Order

On September 23-24, 2019, Perry World House convened its fall Global Order Colloquium, titled “How Emerging Technologies are Rewiring the Global Order.” The colloquium explored how artificial intelligence, robotics, quantum, and other trends in technology are shaping international security, governance, and human rights.

2018 Colloquium: Competing Visions of the Global Order

On September 24-25, 2018, a who’s who of former government officials, diplomats, and journalists joined academic experts at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House for a two-day colloquium focused on “Competing Visions of the Global Order.” 

Global Order Workshop: Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations

In April 2018, Perry World House convened a high-level workshop of senior scholars and policymakers to discuss the root causes of nationalist movements and moments around the world. To determine if the nationalist fever is breaking or still building, workshop participants responded to a novel survey that then served as the foundation for conversations at the session and the post-conference report. 

Recent Publications

Transatlantic Relations - What's Next?

Perry World House, the University of Pennsylvania’s center for global policy engagement and research, recently released Transatlantic Relations - What's Next?, a publication that pinpoints the most crucial issues facing transatlantic policymakers today and proposes solutions.

Fall 2018 Global Order Colloquium Report

Read the report from the 2018 Global Order Colloquium, covering cutting-edge research from scholars, commentary from policymakers with recent government experience, and insights from a public forum discussion. 

Fall 2018 Global Order Colloquium Thought Pieces

Read thought pieces by panelists from the 2018 Global Order Colloquium here, looking at how the global order is faring at a time of dramatic change and turbulence. 

Explaining the New Age of Nationalism

As fears rise about the potential damage nationalist politics may do not only to a country's politics and policies but also the global order itself, there is an urgent need for new explanations and research about nationalism.