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Is the Global Order Heading for an ‘Age of Divorce’?

The global order is in flux. Our multilateral system is outdated at best, and paralyzed and powerless at worst. Countries are trying to reduce their dependencies, but talk of an economic and technological “decoupling” poses a serious risk to the current world order. If we are not careful, we may risk sleepwalking towards a “divorce” between the US, Europe, and its allies on one side, and China, Russia and other powers on the other side, with many countries hedging their bets. The consequences for global security and prosperity are serious. Brexit provides a cautionary tale of what divorce looks like – feeding greater domestic volatility and constraining leaders’ ability to take bold measures abroad, whether they be security or trade related, resulting in a vicious circle of paralysis and entrenched populism.

João Vale de Almeida, the George W. Ball Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs and former EU Ambassador to the United States (2010-2014), to the United Nations (2015-2019), and to the United Kingdom (2020-2022), discusses the need for creative thinking on how to fix a broken multilateral system and avoid what he calls an “Age of Divorce.”

Keynote Address

João Vale de Almeida, George W. Ball Adjunct Professor at Columbia SIPA

Keynote address followed by fireside chat with Rana Foroohar, Global Business Columnist and an Associate Editor at the Financial Times and CNN’s Global Economics Analyst

Event Contact Information:
SIPA Events


Apr 11 2023


6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


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Formats (virtual, in person, hybrid)



International Affairs Building (Columbia University)
420 West 118th Street


Columbia University
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