About the Geo-economics and Strategy Programme

The Geo-economics and Strategy (GES) programme is devoted to analysis of the interplay between economics and geopolitics at the global level. Its broad thematic and global scope allows for comprehensive examination of the structural economic changes that are shaping today’s international strategic relationships.

The programme covers issues of global economic relevance and their ramifications for international security and diplomacy, examining the dynamic relationships between existing and new centres of economic growth; shifts in consumption, production and innovation patterns; changing demographics across developed and developing countries and its impact on national strategies; the scarcity of and competition over resources; diverse responses to economic challenges; and the rise of regionalism as a response to global crises.

The programme has also focused on issues of national development in a comparative and global context, including economic modernisation, macroeconomic policy, industrial and environment policy, labour laws and the challenge of employment generation, policy towards foreign direct investment and the role of the private sector. The programme aims to understand the impact of these trends on geopolitical relations and an assessment of their role in mitigating or exacerbating the risks of local, regional and global conflict and national, regional and international security.

The primary audience of the GES programme is the global business, policymaking and expert community. Recent international conferences have been convened on themes such as 'Parsing the Reality and Promise of Gulf-Asia Engagement' (October 2011); 'Assessing the Interplay of Economic and Political Risk' (March 2012); 'Currencies of Power and the Power of Currencies' (September 2012); 'The Geo-economics of Resources and Conflict in Africa' (April 2013); 'Fiscal Stress, Global Military Balances and Regional Security' (October 2013); 'Changing Balance of Power in the Multilateral Trading System' (April 2014) and 'Business Opportunity and Political Risk in the Middle East' (September 2014). Workshops were also organised on issues such as “Food Security and Regional Stability in Middle East” (December 2012); 'Energy and Maritime Security in Indian Ocean Region' (June 2013); and 'Business and Political Risk in Middle East and Eurasia' (October 2013). A workshop on emerging economic relations between China, India and the GCC economies is being organised in July 2015 and the IISS will convene a Middle East Geo-economics Forum in November 2015.

GES has published two Adelphi books, one on ‘currency wars’ and another on multilateral and plurilateral trade, and several articles have been published based on these conferences in Survival and other journals. The GES Programme has also organised several public lectures on geo-economic themes at the IISS Middle East office, inviting eminent speakers from around the world.