Monthly alert: Dutch Foreign Relations Index

October 19th 2017 - 09:00
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How should the Dutch government prioritize partnerships with other nations? Which countries are strategically important? Which are compatible in terms of shared values? Traditionally, Dutch foreign policy has a dual orientation: the pursuit of Dutch interests on the one hand and the adherence to and promotion of norm-based values on the other. How to handle relationships in a increasingly connected and complex world? HCSS is developing a Dutch Foreign Relations Index (DFRI) as an analytical basis for a framework to provide guidance on this.

This Monthly Alert presents the findings of a high-level analysis of this first current iteration of the DFRI. It offers, from the Netherlands’ perspective, an overview of the utility and compatibility of states worldwide and the changes therein over time. Clusters of countries are derived based on a combination of these two dimensions. The alert concludes with suggestions as to how the DFRI could be further developed and leveraged as an analytical input into the partnership prioritization process in Dutch official foreign and security policy making.

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Top 20 utilityTop 20 strategically important countries (Utility, 2016)

Tim Sweijs is a Senior Strategist. He is the initiator, creator, and author of numerous studies, methodologies, and tools for research projects in horizon scanning, conflict analysis, international and national security risk assessment, and capability development. He has led multicenter research projects for both private and public sector organizations – including the European Commission and various European governments.

Stephan De Spiegeleire is senior scientist at HCSS. He has Master’s degrees from the Graduate Institute in Geneva and Columbia University in New York, as well as a C.Phil. degree in Political Science from UCLA. He worked for the RAND Corporation for nearly ten years, interrupted by stints at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik and the WEU’s Institute for Security Studies. Mr. De Spiegeleire started out as a Soviet specialist, but has since branched out into several fields of international security and defense policy.

Karlijn Jans is a strategic analyst at HCSS. She holds a Master’s degree in European Studies specializing in German politics from King’s College London and a Master’s degree in European and International Law from Maastricht University. Her geographical expertise includes Europe and the transatlantic sphere. Ms. Jans further specialized in defense and security policies while studying as a visiting student at the Netherlands Defense Academy. Prior to her position at HCSS she worked as a policy advisor at the TNO’s EU office in Brussels. 

Erik Frinking is the Director of the Strategic Futures Program at HCSS. He holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from Leiden University. For almost twenty years, he has been involved in addressing high-level, complex policy issues for a wide variety of European countries and international organizations. Mr. Frinking worked for more than 13 years at the Leiden branch of the RAND Corporation, where he was director of the Education, Science & Technology, and Innovation program.