About the project

Since the end of World War II, the United States and its allies across Europe and the Asia-Pacific have led the establishment of a rules-based order built around democratic values, collective security, and free-market economies. Yet today, autocratic states, including Russia, China, and Iran, are engaged in increasingly assertive efforts to challenge the status quo. To defend against these challenges and revitalize the rules-based order, the United States and its allies must leverage their collective capabilities and influence by forging new institutions that are more appropriately structured to advance shared values and interests.

The Atlantic Council’s project Shaping a New Democratic World Order will set forth bold and concrete proposals for new institutions aimed at strengthening cooperation among democracies to help the free world succeed in an era of strategic competition. The project will produce a series of strategy reports that will articulate the rationale, mission, and structure for new entities aimed at strengthening cooperation among the United States and its democratic allies. Those new entities include the following:

  • a D-10 to serve as a core group of leading democracies to develop joint strategies and align policies for addressing today’s most significant global challenges.
  • an Alliance of Democracies to bring together a broader group of democracies worldwide to counter authoritarianism and cooperate on advancing shared interests and values.
  • a Democratic Technology Alliance to develop common norms and standards that are consistent with liberal values and ensure that the free world prevails in the race for advanced technologies.
  • a Democratic Trade and Economic Partnership to advance trade and economic cooperation among democracies, develop resilient supply chains, and reduce strategic dependence on autocratic powers. 

This project builds on two foundational Atlantic Council publications aimed at revitalizing the rules-based democratic order for the twenty-first century. The first, the Declaration of Principles for Freedom, Prosperity, and Peace, published in 2019, articulates the fundamental principles underpinning the rules-based democratic order and aims to rally the world’s democracies around actions to advance and defend these principles. The second, an Atlantic Council strategy paper titled Present at the recreation: A global strategy for revitalizing, adapting, and defending a rules-based international system sets forth an actionable, global strategy for the United States and its allies to revitalize support for norms and principles underpinning the rules-based system, adapt that strategy to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century, and defend it against threats and challenges.

The project suggests that the United States and its allies must bolster cooperation by establishing new frameworks that reflect today’s realities and are designed to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. At the same time, it recognizes the importance of engaging influential global powers, including China and Russia, and continuing to seek avenues for cooperation through the United Nations and other inclusive institutions.

Taken together, the reports prepared under this project will provide policymakers with a set of actionable plans for shaping a new democratic world order and positioning the United States and its allies to succeed in an era of strategic competition over the decades ahead.

Strategy papers and reports

Key events


The Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security works to develop sustainable, nonpartisan strategies to address the most important security challenges facing the United States and the world.