The international order that has served to guarantee security, foster freedom, and produce unprecedented levels of global prosperity—underwritten by the United States and its allies since the end of World War II—is under siege. Great powers are testing its limits. The public backlash against globalization is straining US alliances and fueling calls for isolationism and protectionism. With Europe looking inward and Washington focused on “America First,” what has been achieved since 1945, and again from 1989, is at risk.

With so much at stake, the Atlantic Council has launched a comprehensive new initiative aimed at adapting and revitalizing the rules-based democratic order and rebuilding bipartisan support among policymakers and the broader public. The first step is to prepare a Declaration of Principles articulating the fundamental principles of a rules-based order. The declaration is intended to provide a framework around which political leaders and citizens in democracies around the world can coalesce to demonstrate their support for the values and principles underpinning the order.

Key activities