Technology-based Geostrategic Alliances and Competition

This theme focuses on global strategic partnerships and competition in an environment where democracy-affirming technology policy is under challenge.

This theme explores the role of technology in UK international relations. While the UK government’s Integrated Review featured references to ‘science and technology superpower’ status and ‘responsible cyber power’, specifying what these terms mean requires a detailed analysis of the global landscape.

New technologies are developing based on differing principles, standards and security characteristics in different parts of the world, creating a ‘balkanised’ landscape where understanding the intricacies of technologies that have been designed by others is ever more important. At the same time, interdependencies in the global technology ecosystem have become increasingly obvious: US sanctions on Huawei had a ripple effect on economies across the world, while China’s ‘Made in China 2025’ strategy commits Beijing to independence from strategic adversaries for key technologies.

Efforts at coordination between the world’s leading techno-democracies including the US and EU will be pivotal, but these discussions must also look towards non-aligned countries in the Global South who have an interest in mediating Chinese influence in their economies.

Advanced Technology: International Partnerships and Geostrategic Competition

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