Multiple Modernities

IEEM Conference 2019:

Towards a new multilateralism?

Cultural diversity and Political Co-operation?

 2 November 2019 Saturday

The rationale of the Macau 4 conference
At the beginning of the 21st century, multilateral and peaceful cooperation among diverse states, regions and cultures is at stake. The legacy of the hegemonic era is declining, not only because of the legitimacy and efficiency deficits, but also of the open boycotting of relevant members.  However, in spite of defections and attacks, the institutionalization of international life shows resilience and sometimes progresses:  new forms of cultural dialogue as well as  of pluralist , multilayered multilateral cooperation are emerging at global , regional and interregional levels; they are focusing on traditional challenges and the new relevant common goods of the human kind.  Cultural backgrounds, cognitive priorities very much matter in conditioning intercultural dialogues and convergence.

Taking stock of the progresses achieved by the previous three conferences (2016,2017,2018, the first is already published, the second in forthcoming; the third is at state of publication proposal) we will implement  on November 2nd  2019 the recommendation of the Macau 3 (2018) concluding debate by including in our research agenda  concrete policy-fields.

The most relevant of them, both culturally and politically, are the following-ones:

-two major threats to the human kind survival : climate change/environmental protection, on the one hand and ABC weapon proliferation/security, two challenges going far beyond the powers of single, even powerful, national Leviathan and demanding multilateral cooperation. Furthermore, they are multi-actors issues, where regions, participatory networks matter as driving forces. The COP regime evolution and the UN system are the multilateral arrangements/organizations addressed.

international trade . While trade used to be the driver of interdependence and growth, it is now under threat of trade wars on the one hand, and , on the other, the target of demands of enhanced criteria and values concerning environmental, social and life standards of the citizens . There is an evident link between trade- regime-upgrading and conflict preventing;  as well as between trade wars and  security implications. The organization addressed is WTO but this issue goes beyond WTO.

– the fourth dimension of multilateral cooperation we propose to discuss  is the controversial question of human rights protection at the cross-road between universalism ( UNdeclaration) and relativism.  The conceptual and philosophical sides must be combined with the analysis of the various background cultures and cognitive priors, legal definitions and alternative ways of governance at regional and multilateral levels.

The method:

  1. A bottom up approach is proposed: starting with policy-analysis and concluded by the dialogue about the very conceptual, institutional, normative and political dimension of a new multilateral cooperation.
  2. By the program construction and implementation we should take stock of the experience and underline the Macau role as bridge-maker in a period where the Cold War approach is affecting policies and ideas: the inter- cultural balance between Western and Eastern participation is essential, notably between the European and Chinese/East Asian participants; secondly respecting gender balance is an imperative for the Macau conferences.
  3. we do wish a sustained dialogue between academics , cultural Foundations and  intellectuals committed to the various policy making communities;   openness to cooperation with the Gulbenkian Foundation and FEPS ( and other entities)  are consistent with these shared aims.  We would also very much  like to ask, at least, for a written message by the UN general secretary   Antonio Guterres ( to be requested in June and put in the invitation letter as well as in the final program)


This Programme is supported by Macau Foundation


Download the Programme and Application form

Multiple Modernities 2019 – Towards a new multilateralism? Cultural diversity and Political Co-operation?
Multiple Modernities 2018-Regionalism, Inter-Regionalism and Multilateralism
Multiple Modernities 2017 – The New Populism and New Authoritarianism
Multiple Modernities 2016 – Visions for Common Progress