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About The Competitive
Statecraft Initiative

The long-term ascendency of democratic values and a rules-based international order is neither inevitable nor irreversible. Adversaries are aggressively pursuing competing visions and value sets, undermining U.S. interests and eroding U.S. influence with their own combative approaches to Competitive Statecraft. These include the use of surrogates and proxies, coercive economic policies, the destabilization of friendly nations, influence operations targeting democratic elections, persistent cyberattacks, and more. Exacerbating these complex, state-based challenges are terrorist networks, transnational criminal organizations, climate change, displaced populations, and global health crises. The international security environment all but begs for confident and assertive leadership and cooperation between liberal democracies.

These challenges demand an American approach to Competitive Statecraft—one that reflects American values and capitalizes on American strengths. The U.S. has unmatched capabilities in its military, intelligence community, diplomatic corps and development agencies, and still leads the world in technological innovation, economic capacity, and cultural influence. But the cumulative effect of all these advantages has been less than the sum of its parts, and recent efforts have not resulted in favorable and enduring strategic outcomes, especially when challenged by adversaries employing irregular means.

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We Need a New Approach

The Competitive Statecraft Initiative is hosted by America’s most innovative public research university to develop and promote whole-of-society approaches to these global issues. Drawing on the vast research and teaching resources of Arizona State University, with funding from and accountability to an array of public and private stakeholders, the Competitive Statecraft Initiative pursues its mission through three primary functions:

Research & Analysis

  • Assessments of U.S., allied, adversary and competitor capabilities
  • Competitive Statecraft lessons learned
  • Concepts & canon of Competitive Statecraft

Strategy & Policy

  • Integrated policy development
  • Competitive Statecraft strategy & campaign design
  • Advocacy for interagency reform
  • Decision prototyping


  • Interagency education & lifetime learning management
  • Security cooperation with allies & partners
  • Degree-granting programs
  • Seminars & conferences

For more information on the Competitive Statecraft Initiative please fill out the form below.