Research for Strategic Monitoring

As part of the Strategic Monitor research, strategic monitoring and foresight focusses on geopolitics, the region around Europe, Europe and the EU, and security and defence, in order to identify blind spots and better prepare for possible events or upcoming trends. 

The Strategic Monitor is designed to make optimal use of external expertise on strategic topics. Research for Strategic Monitoring and Foresight is executed by the think tanks The Hague Center for Strategic Studies (HCSS) and the Clingendael Institute. Both ministries will be actively interacting with the researchers of HCSS and the Clingendael Institute, thereby gaining new insights from external parties while maintaining the relevance for actual policy.

Monthly Alerting

The Monthly Alerts offer an integrated perspective on key challenges in the (future) security environment of the Netherlands categorized along the following four themes:

  1. Vital European and Dutch security interests
  2. New security threats and opportunities
  3. Political Violence
  4. The Changing International Order

Each Monthly Alert offers a selection of discussions on emerging developments by key stakeholders and is supported by previews of ongoing monitoring efforts by HCSS and Clingendael. The Monthly Alerts run on a four-month cycle alternating between the four themes. 

Strategic Alerting

Strategic alerts are brief papers about ‘clear and present’ developments in the security environment that are analysed in the context of broader underlying patterns, trends and emerging developments. Going beyond mere trend descriptions, Strategic Alerts have a clear ‘so what’-focus as they also offer reflections on the potential policy implications.

Scenario Studies

Scenario studies facilitate ‘what if’ questions and the context in which policy options play out. They facilitate an improved understanding of the environmental dynamics and uncertainty by looking at ‘alternative futures’, which can be used to develop and test a set of robust policy options. Two case studies focusing on the following this year’s topics: 

  • World trade & globalization
  • The future of Syria

Trend Reports

These in-depth analyses of game-changing trends and key drivers of change highlight emerging patterns and new driving forces. The trend reports identify apparent or possible shifts in the balance between or relative importance of underlying patterns, trends and drivers in the global system. This year’s topics are:

  • Political violence, violence data and the fog of war.
  • Populist sovereignism and their implications on today’s and tomorrow’s environment of The Netherlands and Europe.

Annual Strategic Monitor Report

The Annual Strategic Monitor Report provides a wider framework for analysis, situating the important conclusions of (previous) alerts, trend analyses and scenario analyses within a broader perspective. As such, the report generates a new analysis at a higher strategic level that provides additional context for these other products. With a special focus on the drivers of (in-)stability and conflict in the world, it identifies the deeper, structural (dis-)continuities ongoing within the international system. The Annual Strategic Monitor Report provides its analysis by drawing on a large evidentiary base that HCSS and Clingendael compile on a continuous, year-round basis in order to track and analyze various trends and topics. These trends include power relations, interstate influence, global order and international assertiveness, and cooperation and conflict across different domains (e.g.; diplomatic, economic, military). Examples of topics covered are organized crime, free trade, territorial integrity and cyber for both state and non-state actors.

Earlier editions of the Annual Strategic Monitor Reports

Research HCSS

Publications Clingendael

See also