With rapid technological change, shifting global demographics, and tectonic geopolitical shifts, the world faces an inflection point—where the choices that leaders make in the coming years will have profound implications for generations. In response to this moment, former Secretary of State George P. Shultz has organized a project at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution called Hinge of History: Governance in an Emerging World to explore what these shifts mean for global democracy, economies, and security.

On December 2, USIP and Stanford’s Hoover Institution held a timely conversation on the project’s findings and its implications for U.S. and international policy. The panel discussion evaluated the major demographic, technological, and economic trends that are creating tectonic shifts in our geopolitical landscape and forcing a strategic rethink of governance strategies in the 21st century. In light of the challenges identified, panelists also considered how the United States and others can harness these changes to usher in greater security and prosperity.

Continue the conversation on Twitter with #HingeofHistory.

Agenda

2:00pm – 2:20pm | A Conversation with Secretary George P. Shultz

  • The Honorable Stephen J. Hadley
    Chair, Board of Directors, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Secretary George P. Shultz
    Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

2:20pm – 3:20pm | Panel Discussion: Governance Strategies for the Emerging New World

  • Ambassador George Moose, moderator
    Vice Chair, Board of Directors, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Dr. Chester A. Crocker
    James R. Schlesinger Professor of Strategic Studies, Georgetown University
  • Dr. Lucy Shapiro
    Virginia and D. K. Ludwig Professor of Developmental Biology, Stanford University
  • Dr. James P. Timbie
    Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
  • Dr. Silvia Giorguli-Saucedo
    President, El Colegio de México

3:20pm – 3:30pm | Closing Remarks

  • Ambassador George Moose
    Vice Chair, Board of Directors, U.S. Institute of Peace

Latest Publications

What Guatemala’s Anti-Corruption Movement Can Learn from the Past

What Guatemala’s Anti-Corruption Movement Can Learn from the Past

Thursday, January 21, 2021

By: Miranda Rivers; Carlos Mendoza

Guatemalans have once again risen up by the thousands to demand major changes in how their country is governed. Their demands are intended to usher in reforms that will improve quality of life for citizens reeling from the impacts of two deadly hurricanes, as well as health and economic crises that have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The demonstrations are reminiscent of the 2015 protests that prompted the resignations of top officials, including the country’s president. However, that movement fell short of broader, structural change. This time around, protesters can draw on lessons learned from the past to achieve long-term reform and target Guatemala’s persistent systems of corruption.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Nonviolent Action; Democracy & Governance

2021 Will See More Global Protest: Can It Remain Peaceful?

2021 Will See More Global Protest: Can It Remain Peaceful?

Thursday, January 21, 2021

By: Jonathan Pinckney; Emmanuel Davalillo Hidalgo

After years of steadily rising nonviolent action movements from 2009 to 2019, the eruption of the coronavirus 10 months ago forced an initial lull. But movements in virtually every region of the world soon rebounded—and while destructive riots periodically seized headlines, data show that public demonstrations in 2020 remained overwhelmingly peaceful. Evidence suggests that 2021 will continue to see high levels of mass mobilization. If anything, pandemic-driven economic recession and deepening inequalities are likely to spur increased demonstrations. It will be up to governments to respond in ways that can keep mass action peaceful and engage movements to redress their grievances.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Nonviolent Action

International aid prioritizes the pandemic over peace. But at what cost?

International aid prioritizes the pandemic over peace. But at what cost?

Thursday, January 21, 2021

By: Dr. Elie Abouaoun; Sherine El Taraboulsi-McCarthy, Ph.D.

With the novel coronavirus emerging in late 2019, the attention of Western governments and international NGOs was dominated by the COVID pandemic in 2020, upending everything from domestic policies to international assistance priorities. The Devex funding database reveals more than $20.5 trillion has been committed to the global COVID-19 response from January to November 2020, with around $186 million for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Does this prioritization of COVID align with challenges facing the people of the region? Conversations with local peacebuilders expose that although the COVID cases might increase in 2021, pressing socioeconomic needs continue to trump concerns about the pandemic.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Health; Global Policy

Could a National Dialogue Solve Ethiopia’s Political Crisis?

Could a National Dialogue Solve Ethiopia’s Political Crisis?

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

By: Emebet Getachew; Mehari Taddele Maru; Yohannes Gedamu

While the recent conflict in Tigray renewed international focus on Ethiopia, more challenges lie ahead, including elections now scheduled for June 5. The state of Ethiopia’s political transition is contested, and the country remains polarized. However, as Ethiopian scholars Emebet Getachew, Mehari Taddele Maru, and Yohannes Gedamu discuss, a national dialogue process may have the potential to address the country’s dilemmas.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & Resilience; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

Global Fragility Act: A Chance to Reshape International Security Assistance?

Global Fragility Act: A Chance to Reshape International Security Assistance?

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

By: Calin Trenkov-Wermuth, Ph.D.; Paul M. Bisca

When the new U.S. administration gets to work, domestic priorities will be front and center on the agenda. Preventing state fragility and violent extremism abroad may seem less urgent. But implementing the Global Fragility Act (GFA)—which aims to fulfill those goals—should remain a top priority. Successfully advancing the GFA would directly benefit U.S. national security and help establish a more values-driven foreign policy. To this end, the United States should work with allies to create a global architecture for security sector assistance built on principles of aid effectiveness adapted from development financing. A U.S.-brokered international consensus on security assistance would help stabilize fragile states, prevent violence, and increase the value of dollars spent on the GFA.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Justice, Security & Rule of Law; Fragility & Resilience

View All Publications