Panel Paper: Effective Leadership for Complex Global Problems: Jean Monnet's Methods for International Cooperation from WWII to European Integration

Monday, April 10, 2017 : 2:15 PM
HUB 268 (University of California, Riverside)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Tim R McDonald, RAND Corporation
We are in an increasingly interconnected world, where power is moving away from institutions and governments, and structures of formal authority and outward into informal networks. We see this in the dynamics of social interactions and popular movements, and with the growth of international companies. Some of the greatest national security challenges we face, from climate change to migration and economic inequality, are complex problems that do not have a singular easy answer, and in which no one authority can step in to provide decisive action. The national and international institutions that have long been relied upon for answers to these challenges have not been as effective as hoped. Yet while the role of authority is decreasing, power is not – it is changing source. We need more ways to think about methods for effective policy leadership in a world that is interconnected, in which problems are complex and the role of formal authority is diminished.

Jean Monnet, a French diplomat and businessman, provides a model of effective policy leadership from a position of informal authority. Monnet was a central figure uniting Europe during post-War reconstruction, yet never held elected office. For centuries the failure of regional cooperation in Europe had led to repeated wars and destructive competition. It wasn’t until the alignment of security, economic, and political interests that the continent achieved the remarkable feats of peace and prosperity through interdependence. Through clear articulation of goals and vision, analysis of dynamics, and effective design and implementation of policy proposals, Monnet was able to transcended national and parochial interest by focusing collective attention on a common aim. He worked across sectarian and national boundaries to align interests for a vision for uniting Europe.

What can we learn from Monnet’s methods for taking on complex national and international problems for today? While Monnet sought interdependence, today’s world is more interdependent than ever before. People cross borders and companies are global. Yet methods for effective analysis, design, and implementation of policy proposals that align interests to clear aims are needed more than ever.

This paper will use case study analysis to examine Monnet’s methods through the leadership framework of formal and informal authority, and analyze the effects of his policy leadership on national security and international power dynamics. It seeks to generalize his methods for use on a wide range of important policy problems.