The Age of Unpeace with Mark Leonard

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The Age of Unpeace with Mark Leonard

11th January 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

What do China’s mask diplomacy, America’s sanctions on Iran, Russia’s election interference, Belarus’s migration policy, struggles over Huawei, Covid-19 and Climate change have in common? Although seemingly separate events, they are all examples of globalisation being turned into a weapon. They are all connectivity conflicts with the potential to create economic hardship and pose costs to human life.

In today’s world, many of the forces that were supposed to bring the world together have ended up driving us apart. Trade, technology, the internet and travel promised to create a global village, but they are also giving countries a reason to fight one another, the opportunity to struggle and an arsenal of new weapons, from cyber-attacks and sanctions to fake news and weaponised vaccines.

The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to present Mark Leonard’s new book, “The Age of Unpeace: How Connectivity Causes Conflict”, where the author will be in conversation with HJS Executive Director Dr Alan Mendoza about how connectivity has fragmented our societies and politics, and made people focus more on what divided them rather than what they hold in common.



Mark Leonard is co-founder and director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, the first pan-European think tank. His topics of focus include geopolitics and geoeconomics, China, EU politics and institutions.

Leonard hosts the weekly podcast “Mark Leonards’s World in 30 Minutes” and writes a syndicated column on global affairs for Project Syndicate. Previously he worked as director of foreign policy at the Centre for European Reform and as director of the Foreign Policy Centre, a think tank he founded at the age of 24 under the patronage of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. In the 1990s, Leonard worked for the think tank Demos where his Britain™ report was credited with launching Cool Britannia. Mark has spent time in Washington, D.C. as a Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and in Beijing as a visiting scholar at the Chinese Academy for Social Sciences.

He was Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Geoeconomics until 2016.

Honoured as a “Young Global Leader” of the World Economic Forum, he spends a lot of time helping governments, companies, and international organisations make sense of the big geo-political trends of the twenty-first century. He is a regular speaker and prolific writer and commentator on global issues, the future of Europe, China’s internal politics, and the practice of diplomacy and business in a networked world. His essays have appeared in publications such as Foreign Affairs, the Financial Times, the New York TimesLe MondeSüddeutsche ZeitungEl Pais, Gazeta WyborczaForeign Policy, the New Statesman, the Daily TelegraphThe EconomistTime, and Newsweek.



Dr Alan Mendoza is a Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Henry Jackson Society, Britain’s leading thinktank fighting for the principles and alliances which keep societies free. He directs strategy for the organisation as well as acting as its main public face in mediums as diverse as the BBC, Sky, CNBC, Al-Jazeera. Bloomberg, LBC and TalkRadio. On the print side, Alan is a columnist for City AM, London’s business newspaper, and has contributed to The Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Sun and a host of international newspapers and magazines.

Having obtained a B.A. (Hons.) and M.Phil in history at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, Alan completed a Ph.D. at the same institution. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and was the Parliamentary Candidate for the Conservative Party in the Brent Central Constituency for the 2015 General Election. He is also a Trustee of the President Reagan Memorial Fund Trust.





On the 11th of December 2022, Dr Alan Mendoza, the Executive Director of the Henry Jackson Society, and Mark Leonard, the founder and Executive Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations and author of the Age of Unpeace, discuss how globalisation and greater connectivity between countries encourages conflict.

Alan began the discussion by introducing the event topic as well as asking Mark to give a brief description of his work. Mark then gave a summary of the two key themes tackled in his book which were how connectivity gives people a motive and an opportunity to engage in conflict and his prediction that three blocs will emerge (American, Chinese and European) that will dominate international relations.

The discussion continues with Mark describing how he defined unpeace and the evolution in his views on globalisation and connectivity from when he started writing the book in 2016, as well as the pitfalls of internationalism. The discussion ended with a series of question asked to Mark about the issues that contribute to unpeace, how to handle private companies that contribute to conflict, and how Britain can best act in the world.


11th January 2022
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London, England, SW1P 4QP
21-24 Millbank
Westminster, SW1P 4QP United Kingdom


Mark Leonard


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