Reports Offer Alternative Future Scenarios for Key Foreign Policy Issues

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A new Carnegie Corporation-funded report is part of a series offering forward-looking, cross-disciplinary assessments of issues critical to U.S. national security.  Produced by New York University’s Center for Global Affairs (CGA) as part of its Scenarios Initiative, the reports project likely alternative scenarios, identify possible surprises and test current and alternative policies.

The reports' findings reflect the opinions of a group of experts representing diverse backgrounds and nationalities gathered by CGA to address a pressing issue or pivotal country that combines great importance to U.S. interests with high variability and uncertainty. The 10 to 15 experts discuss three or four possible scenarios in an unscripted and conversational workshop format which encourages participants to challenge prevailing assumptions and attitudes, and express personal views.

The group then builds out each of the scenarios by exploring relevant political, economic, cultural, and global forces at play; critical, “game changing” events; how the U.S. and other major state and non-state actors might behave; and what policy choices the U.S. must confront in each scenario.

The Initiative's most recent workshops focused on China and Russia, both of which were supported by Carnegie Corporation; as well as a workshop on Turkey. An upcoming workshop will build alternative future scenarios for Ukraine.