The past two years have been particularly turbulent for nations, people, communities, and organizations across the world. It took a global pandemic to highlight what lay at the heart of several crises afflicting the world: instability. For decades, countries and governments have spent time, energy and resources developing institutions that can weather any storm, and yet COVID-19 showcased how conflicts can appear in subtler forms, leaving us unprepared for many of the challenges that the coming years will bring. Yet, despite the remarkable upheavals of the pandemic, domestic and geopolitical, we have found consistency in remarkable places; whether it was those of us under curfew adapting to new routines or being forced to spend more time with family because of changed plans, chosen and unchosen.
Instability and stability can coexist. Anyone who has searched for living accommodation in Paris or Berlin can attest to the perfect stasis of a secure situation, accompanied by an anticipation of impending upheaval if a flnew one is not found. This coexistence can be seen at the international level as well, as Russia’s troop buildup stokes fears in the minds of Ukrainians and NATO without a single act of aggression. And in this moment of climate change, people all around the world find themselves living in stability one day, and a natural disaster the next. Were their circumstances always unstable? Or were they stable, until they were not? If so, is that really stability; is it stable enough? With these questions and those that our authors raise, we hope to interrogate our assumptions, challenge the definition of stability, and examine our relationship with instability as individuals, nations, and a world.
The theme of this year’s collaboration between ‘The Governance Post’ at the Hertie School and ‘The Paris Globalist’ at Sciences Po is (in)stability for precisely this reason. Through this theme and our articles, we hope to highlight global challenges that are fuelled by such instabilities, and how a collaborative approach that brings policy and global studies together can provide answers during periods of uncertainty. We invite articles on any subject matter, seen through a lens of stability, instability, or both. We invite authors to think broadly about this theme and how it manifests in issues around the world every day, and to pitch an article which will contribute to our understanding of (in)stability, and perhaps even ourselves.
It will take the cooperation of professionals in academia, policy, development, and other sectors to effectively address these big questions, and through this collaboration, we seek to take a step forward in the direction of more meaningful collective engagement.
To participate in this collaboration, please fill this form: https://forms.gle/xSktt5YjBKzyC9yUA.