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MAAIS Students, Guest Experts Discuss the Future of Transatlantic Relations

November 23, 2016


What do a Donald Trump presidency, Brexit, and the rise of populism across Europe and Russia mean for transatlantic relations? What do they mean for the future of international policy?

These are questions guest speakers Derek West and Martina Timmermann posed to MAAIS students Thursday afternoon in a seminar round table discussion of a changing world order. West, security cooperation manager at U.S. Africa Command, and Timmermann, vice president of international affairs at TIMA International, joined students to talk about the future of policy across the Atlantic and the challenges NATO and the European Union face with Russia. The 2016–17 MAAIS cohort, which is made up of students from a variety of sectors and backgrounds, is taking an intensive look this year at cross-sector involvement in future strategy.

As Thursday’s seminar discussion shifted from Trump to Russia and Europe to China and back around again, it became evident that innovative approaches to global issues may be key to reestablishing a strong global community. But just how out-side-the-box should these solutions get?

“Three months ago I had the pleasure to talk to a younger audience in academics. I was very interested in the divergent perceptions of Putin and sanctions. Some say ‘yes’ to sanctions, some say ‘no.’ How do you perceive this?” Timmermann posed to MAAIS students.

“Is Putin just filling a vacuum or is he legitimately leading?” asked MAAIS student Dori Krupanics. “Our strategy depends on the answer to that. I don’t believe in the sanctions. Sanctions are just pushing Russia farther away. We need to come up with a different strategy.”

Ultimately the conversation moved to the United States’ place in the world. Is U.S. power morphing along with the global landscape? What role will China play in managing order? The answers will be revealed with time, but without reassessing strategy, the U.S. may be left behind.

“A liberal democratic order is not preordained,” West said in closing.

The UW MAAIS program—M.A. Applied International Studies—hosts and cohosts numerous events featuring expert speakers and panels discussing a variety of cross-sector international issues. A list of all Jackson School of International Studies events can be found here.