Thronging with Uncertainty

How Do We Manage Systems We Don't Understand?

30 January 2020

Our ability to predict the consequences of complex processes is diminishing. How can Central Europe best prepare for the future? By not substituting short-term benefits for long-term successes, actively participating in the life of your community, and having the courage to make radical decisions and changes.

In 2019, we witnessed changes confirming the shift from cooperative multilateralism to competitive multipolarity. In other words, an increasing number of states are choosing a more assertive and confrontational approach: they prefer direct bilateral diplomacy between states over a willingness to address their issues on international platforms.

We can see this clearly in foreign policy steps of Turkey, in the German approach to the Nord Stream 2 and Trump’s foreign policy openly working according to the very same logic. Such an approach suits strong states which can more easily enforce more favourable terms for themselves, especially if they outweigh their “partner” several times in a bilateral relationship.

Having the political and economic weight of the Visegrad Group in mind, this is hardly the desired development. Moreover, such development is increasing the unpredictability of actions and responses by individual actors.

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Matej Kandrík

#DemocraCE Fellow. Director at think-tank STRATPOL - Strategic Policy Insitute

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