For the past three years I have partnered with my colleague Stefan Meister, head of the Robert Bosch Center at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), and the Robert Bosch Stiftung to explore Russia-European-American dynamics in a turbulent time.
During the initial phase of our project in 2015-2016 we focused on the need to identify common elements of a Western strategy towards eastern Europe and Russia, via a Transatlantic Strategy Group of eminent persons. That phase resulted in a book entitled The Eastern Question: Russia, the West and Europe’s Grey Zone.
During 2016-2017 we focused on perspectives from east European and Russian experts and opinion leaders, who offered a reality check for the recommendations we made in The Eastern Question. This phase resulted in two publications. The first, entitled Eastern Voices; Europe’s East faces an Unsettled West, features east European authors. The second, entitled The Russia File, features Russian authors representing a range of perspectives on future relations.
In 2018 we have generated a number of scenarios — narratives of alternative futures – that can enable decision-makers to play out the potential ramifications of choices they face today. These scenarios are not about linear extrapolations of trends, they are about making connections among different trends in ways that stretch our thinking, enable us to think beyond “business as usual,” and allow us to include black and white swans as we look to the future. In Brussels and in Washington, DC we conducted the scenarios with high level U.S., east/west European and Russian participants.
We also moderated a virtual scenario exercise in June 2018 in cooperation with Friends of Europe as part of their annual Debating Security Plus exercise.
For more, the project description on the Robert Bosch Stiftung website.