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Leangkollen Security Conference 2018 | A Diverging West? External Forces and Internal Crises  

Den norske Atlanterhavskomité
The University Aula / The Leangkollen Conference Center

The 2018 Conference focused on the current external and internal security challenges facing Europe and the Western Community.

You can watch the full conference by visiting our Youtube-channel:

Leangkollen Security Conference 2018


With the 2018 Conference title "A Diverging West? External Forces and Internal Crisis", we tried to grasp the ongoing transformation of the ols World order. This is a transformation brought forward by changes in great power constellations, as well as the political ripple effects of a revived right wing populism, nationalism and authoritarianism that hit Europe following the last financial and refugee crisis. As we are faced with an increasingly volatile political reality, both in Europe and across the Atlantic, many have begun to question Western cohesion and durability.

Donald Trump´s "America first" statements have seriously questioned the United States´ willingness to back the system that Western policy makers created after 1945. In Europe, this has paved the way for a new debate on increased European contributions to security and defence inside and outside NATO. Exactly how Europeans will, in Angela Merkel´s words, "take their destiny into their own hands" is, however, a question open for debate among the soon-to-be 27 EU member states. There are few signs of a Union free from diverging interests even after Britain is leaving next year.

The conference was opened by the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg. During the opening session, we also had the pleasure of engaging in debates with the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide, and the Norwegian Minister of Defence, Frank Bakke-Jensen. For the remainder of the conference, we were joined by top international and Norwegian academics, including Professor Hal Brands, Professor Frédéric Charillon, Professor Matthew Goodwin, Head of Centre for Military Studies, Henrik Breitenbauch, Director Ulf Sverdrup, and Head of Centre for Asian Security Studies, Jo Inge Bekkevold.

Click here to see the conference program.