UK foreign policy in changed world conditions inquiry launched

UK and Compass
12 January 2018

The International Relations Select Committee launches its inquiry into UK foreign policy in changed world conditions.

Scope of the inquiry

The challenges facing international relations in the 21st Century are immense, fast-paced and constantly changing. Digital technologies and new networks are having a major impact on geopolitics; emerging global powers are increasingly asserting themselves; traditional post-war institutions are struggling to be effective. What, then, does successful foreign policy look like? Is the UK equipped to be effective in an era of digital networks and changing power relationships? Should the UK consider its global role in order to keep up and continue to influence international decision making.

Call for evidence

We are looking for submissions on the major forces shaping international relations, the effectiveness of UK foreign policy and influence on the international stage, and the resourcing of the departments international relations sits with. The inquiry will examine three key areas and in each ask how the UK should respond to the challenges and opportunities they present:

  • Britain and global diplomacy in the digital age
  • The UK's bilateral relationships
  • Multilateral institutions

The call for evidence includes a number of questions; submissions need not address all of them. We strongly advise that written evidence is no more than three pages long.


  • How should the UK develop its portfolio of engagements globally
  • What impact has technology had on global affairs, both economic and political?
  • What are the opportunities new digital technologies present to the UK?
  • How should the UK's international policies adapt to changing global conditions?
  • Accepting there is a new fluidity to international affairs, who ought to be the UK's closest bilateral partners?
  • How should the UK positions itself in relation to emerging powers?
  • Does the UK Government have the skills and capability to build and maintain the necessary relationships to thrive in the new global context?
  • What challenges are arising for the multilateral institutions that underpin the international rules-based order?
  • How, if at all, should the UK respond to these?


Written evidence is sought by Thursday 22 February 2018. Public hearings will be held from January 2018.

Further information

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