The Congress of Vienna, 1815/2015/2115: Analyses, Perspectives, Projections

Event Date: 
Sunday, June 7, 2015 to Monday, June 8, 2015
Vienna, Austria

Attendees should RSVP for the event by June 3 to

The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination will host a colloquium, "The Congress of Vienna, 1815/2015/2115: Analyses, Perspectives, Projections," in Vienna, Austria at the Gartenpalais Liechtenstein, June 7-8, 2015. The colloquium is convened under the auspices of LISD, The House of Liechtenstein, and the Federal Chancellery of Austria, in cooperation with the European Forum Alpbach.

The object of this special public colloquium is to analyze and assess the lessons and meaning of the 1815 Congress of Vienna for today, and to consider possible perspectives for the future international system. The goal is to apply the lessons of the Congress to the potential political, security, socio-economic, scientific and socio-cultural/religious developments of tomorrow, with the intent of informing, engaging, and educating the next generation of leaders.

By reviewing the dynamics of the challenges to today's international order the colloquium will focus on the lessons learned from prior successful inclusive concert diplomacy as applied to the changing nature of today’s diplomacy, shaped by global real-time interaction with social media and non-state actors. In the current global setting, anything seems possible and the rules of order appear to be in the process of being re-written. Existing international institutions seem under-equipped for the task of effectively enforcing peace and stability. They face a series of challenges deriving from socio-economic and demographic developments; religious-ideological radicalization; nationalism and socio-cultural forces and values; non-state actors; globalization; nanotechnologies; environmental and health challenges; and the possibility of catastrophic terrorism. Finally, in this context of seemingly ineffective global governance structures, we see the re-emergence of great power geopolitics versus local self-determination.

Drawing from the lessons of history and the successes, and shortcomings, of various conceptions of “world order” following the ratification of the Final Acts of the Congress, the colloquium will seek to explore lessons, means, ways, and ideas for a more stable, peaceful, inclusive, and functioning order for our own uncertain times. By “thinking the unthinkable” and addressing what is too often avoided, one can develop proactive, out of the box, anticipatory ideas for possible stabilization of today's world of multiple, many times interactive, crises, and search for means to avoid a further downward spiral dynamic. It is inspired by the successful conclusion of the Congress of Vienna in June 1815 which de facto brought about more than half a century of relative peace and stability to the European continent, permitting significant political, socio-economic, industrial and technological developments. The formation of states like Belgium and The Netherlands, Swiss permanent neutrality, and eventually German and Italian unification all took place during this period until the Franco-Prussian War.

For more information about the colloquium, contact Julia Tréhu.