Letter from the Directors

ISDP continues working towards its core mission of contributing to global peace, security, and stability, and expanding understanding of international affairs.

The Institute hosts a significant number of guest researchers, visiting scholars, and delegations, who contributes to ongoing policy debate both in Sweden and internationally with their knowledge and expertise. In addition, ISDP continues to conduct workshops and seminars, both in Stockholm and in the Institute’s countries of research.

In 2017, the flurry of activity in ISDP’s focus areas has kept the Institute busy. Developments have been both alarming and encouraging. The Korean Peninsula have been a key area of focus. With serious implications for regional and international security, the need for creative diplomacy and confidence-building becomes ever more urgent.

The trajectory of Central Asia, long viewed by many as an area dominated by problems, has been more positive. The two major states of the region, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, have both embarked on significant efforts to reform and modernize their political systems and their economies. Responding to these developments will require more engagement and a willingness to revise outdated assumptions about the region.

Across the Eurasian continent, the one constant is uncertainty: economic challenges are mounting, and the ambiguity of the U.S. global posture continues to complicate strategic planning. Uncertainty also contributes to the trend toward centralization of power, which continues in major countries.

In all of these areas, the need for solid analysis, in-depth discussion, and dialogue are apparent. ISDP has continued to bridge the gap between academia and policymakers by providing up-to-date analysis and fora for discussion and debate.

We look forward to continually deepening cooperation with sponsors and partners, receiving feedback, and meeting you at our events in the coming year.

Sincerely,

Niklas Swanström & Svante Cornell

Directors of ISDP