Addressing Threats to the Liberal International Order

The postwar order that America built together with our allies is under attack. The siege comes from multiple directions—from authoritarians who strangle liberty in the name of security to terrorists who radicalize across borders and nationalist leaders who fuel fear and division at home.  Powerful illiberal states are capitalizing on this moment by filling the vacuum of leadership with values that do not match our own.  They perceive the success of our system as a threat to theirs—fashioning a zero-sum world where they inject doubt and discord into democracies to pressure them into failure. In particular, under President Putin, Russia seeks to return to an era when the use of force prevails and the world is carved into spheres of influence. Meanwhile, transnational challenges like terrorism, cyber attacks, epidemics, and climate change continue to defy unilateral solutions and test the resilience of our societies.

The United States cannot win this fight alone. We must lead through our unrivaled network of alliances and partnerships, and through our unparalleled influence in international institutions—institutions that must be more efficient, effective, fair, and reflective of emerging new powers and partners. We must build coalitions at every level to defend and, if necessary, enforce the norms of international behavior and responsibility. We must expose and disarm the tools demagogues and extremists use to inspire violence and stir chaos. Those who share in the benefits of common security also share in its responsibility, and our partnerships must reflect today’s threats while adequately distributing the costs.

Vice President Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.
Vice President Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel walk on the balcony outside the Chancellor's office overlooking Berlin. Official White House Photo by David Lienemann.


Shaping the Global Discussion

Penn Biden Center experts participate in conferences and meetings around the world to advance the dialogue on the future of Europe and the role of the United States.

Vice President Joe Biden Addresses the Concordia Europe Summit in Athens, Greece, in June 2017 

Dr. Mike Carpenter hosts a panel on the future of Russia’s relationship with the West at the Warsaw Security Forum in Warsaw, Poland, November 2017 


Crowds wave Irish and American flags during a speech by Joe Biden at Dublin Castle.
Crowds wave Irish and American flags during a speech by Vice President Biden at Dublin Castle. Official White House Photo by David Lienemann.


Engaging with Foreign Leaders

Working through the Penn Biden Center, Vice President Biden continues to engage with foreign leaders when he travels abroad and at home in the United States. 

Meeting with President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci 

Meeting with Ireland’s Prime Minister, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar 

Meeting with the Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras 

Vice President Biden greets Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens.
Former Vice President Biden greets Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens. Credit: David Lienemann/Concordia.


Leading the Debate

The Penn Biden Center’s foreign policy leaders continue to inform policy making in their areas of expertise and drive the dialogue around issues of international importance.

How to Stand Up to the Kremlin by Joe Biden and Mike Carpenter in Foreign Affairs 

Trump is Ceding Global Leadership to China by Tony Blinken in the New York Times 

Mike Carpenter testifies to a joint subcommittee meeting of the House Foreign Affairs Committee 

The Myth of a Better Iran Deal by Colin Kahl 

How Iran Hawks Can Help Stop Trump from Going to War with Iran, co-authors include Jeff Prescott