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.


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

Where Does Tunisia’s Transition Stand 10 Years After Ben Ali?

Where Does Tunisia’s Transition Stand 10 Years After Ben Ali?

Thursday, January 14, 2021

By: Leo Siebert

The story by now is well known. Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation in December 2010 sparked an unprecedented wave of protests across Tunisia and the broader region. Less than a month later, the country’s longtime dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, fled to Saudi Arabia. That was 10 years ago today. And while Tunisia is often lauded as the “lone success story” of the uprisings that swept across the region, its democratic transition remains in limbo. A decade later, Tunisians have seen hard-won improvements in political freedoms, but a lagging economy and sclerotic politics have stunted the realization of many of the protesters’ demands—and kept them in the streets.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Ethiopia’s Worsening Crisis Threatens Regional, Middle East Security

Ethiopia’s Worsening Crisis Threatens Regional, Middle East Security

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

By: Payton Knopf; Jeffrey Feltman

The Gulf Arabs recognize a strategic reality that has eluded the stove-piped U.S. foreign and security policy bureaucracy for too long: The Horn of Africa is an integral part of the Middle East’s security landscape, and increasingly so. No country demonstrates this more clearly than Ethiopia. That country’s escalating internal crises pose an increasingly grave threat not only to the country’s citizens but to international peace and security and to the interests of the United States and its partners in the Middle East, principally Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

The Current Situation in Venezuela

The Current Situation in Venezuela

Wednesday, December 16, 2020


Venezuela is in the midst of an unprecedented social and humanitarian collapse—the result of bad economic policies and political conflict—that has led to food insecurity, the second largest migration crisis in the world, and regional instability. The international community has responded with pressure against the regime coupled with support for an opposition-led government, but to date it has been unsuccessful in bringing about a positive change.

Type: Fact Sheet

2020 Trends in Terrorism: From ISIS Fragmentation to Lone-Actor Attacks

2020 Trends in Terrorism: From ISIS Fragmentation to Lone-Actor Attacks

Friday, January 8, 2021

By: Alastair Reed; Kateira Aryaeinejad

In the past five years, terrorist attacks have declined notably around the globe. While this is certainly good news—particularly in the 20th year of the so-called global war on terror—terrorism remains a pervasive threat. Despite declines in its prevalence, the scale of the challenge posed by terrorism and the violent ideologies that underpin it is still immense and the mechanisms by which to address it remain complex and in need of further coordination on a global scale. What trends did we see in 2020? And how can those trends inform policy to counter violent extremism?

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent Extremism

View All Publications