the CES

Welcome to the Centre for Economic Security (CES)

At the forefront of global dialogue on economic resilience and national security, led by the esteemed Dr. Rebecca Harding, the CES is your independent think-tank partner, committed to developing strategies and providing data-driven insights for a secure economic future.

The Context: Economic Statecraft 2.0

The response of the “West” to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been to fight through economic means: sanctions on businesses and individuals, export controls to limit trade in certain products from toasters through to semi-conductors, limits on Russian central bank access to markets, and exclusion from the SWIFT payments system. Such measures explicitly target the interdependencies associated with globalisation itself – the free movement of capital, people, technologies, goods and services across borders.  However, the efficacy of these levers to underpin economic security remains an open question, not least because:

So much of the global trade enterprise remains deeply analogue; shortcomings in this digital architecture have not only generated significant freedom for criminality but created a vacuum in which the protocols for digital trade and finance could be turned against us.

A poor understanding of the deep supply chains which underpin security, resilience, and more widely critical national infrastructures has confounded the intelligent and targeted application of finance both to deter and to protect.

In response to the securitisation of sustainability and related investment, emerging regulatory frameworks for risk management and mitigation are creating perverse and unintended outcomes when viewed through the lens of national security.

Without a more integrated and strategic approach to financial and economic warfare, our capabilities and the credibility of our threat will be limited as our adversaries out-manoeuvre us or worse, weaponize those same dependencies against us. The need to work across these interdependencies to develop and promote effective strategies towards these vital areas of economic security could not be more acute.

About

Dr. Rebecca Harding is a partner of the T3i network, a Senior Fellow of the British Foreign Policy Group, and an independent trade economist, public speaker and digital and sustainable trade and supply chain specialist. She is the founder of strategic advisory business, Rebeccanomics which convenes the Centre for Economic Security and the Sustainable Trade Forum. In 2022 she was awarded the “Net Zero Entrepreneur of the Year” at the annual Scale Up Group’s Enterprise Awards.

She has built three data-based technology businesses in the data, digital trade and ESG space, held senior positions as Head of Corporate Research at Deloitte, Senior Fellow at London Business School, and Chief Economist roles at the Work Foundation and at UK Finance. She acted as Specialist Adviser to the Treasury Select Committee and advised the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Entrepreneurship. She has acted as a trade finance and supply chains expert witness, is a member of the World Trade Board, the ITFA’s ESG Committee and the ICC’s sustainable trade finance technology sub-committee. Between 2004 and 2018 she was a Director and Trustee of the German-British Forum. She advises members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Security.

Her co-authored books, “The Weaponization of Trade: the Great Unbalancing of Policy and Economics” and “Gaming Trade: Win-Win Strategies for the Digital Era” have defined the trade-based nature of strategic competition in the digital era. She provided the business case for the adoption into UK law the framework to enable digital trade; her work on the “regulatory paradox” of current sustainability reporting requirements has catalysed the establishment of the ITFA’s cross-industry ESG Working Group to set sustainability reporting and audit standards. She has authored 8 other books on the German economy, global innovation policy, and SME financing and Venture Capital. Her high media profile includes frequent appearances on BBC Television and Radio, Sky News, CNBC, and Times Radio, as well as citations in the broadsheet media.

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CES Purpose

The Centre for Economic Security (CES) is a nexus for:

Convening Expert Groups: Assembling thought leaders to sculpt the future of economic security.

Best Practice Identification: Crafting operational frameworks for economic warfare and statecraft.

Research Collaboration: Partnering with preeminent researchers to assess threats and craft responses.

Be part of CES

Are you are a bank, a corporate or a policy maker that needs to understand the role of trade finance in economic security?
Do you want to contribute to the development of economic security measures and policies as defensive and offensive tools in UK national interests?
Do you want to provide finance to defence and security supply chains?
Or might you want to make critical supply chains more efficient through the use of digital passports?
Do you have access to reliable sources of company data?
Or do you just need to be on top of actionable and leading-edge thinking, research and data so that you can make clear decisions on the back of evidence?
Do you need to know where the most likely areas of sanctions diversion, evasion or non-compliance might be?
Can you support with the provision of data on any of these areas? 

If your answer is yes to any or all of the above, then do contact us to join the CES!

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International Consortium For The Study Of Economic Leverage In Peace and Conflict: ICEL

CES works with the ICEL to ensure that thinking and definitions are based on world-class thinking and research. The ICEL serves as a hub connecting a global network of scholars, practitioners, government actors, and corporate agents involved in the study and application of economic levers of power for national security. ICEL focuses on developing skills in managing economic resources to achieve political, security, and resilience goals. It emphasizes the importance of defining and understanding concepts like Economic Warfare and Statecraft, and aspires to influence policy through rigorous analysis and discussion. Additionally, ICEL acts as a repository of expertise, ensuring that the lessons from historical economic confrontations are not forgotten amid current global challenges.

Contact the CES

Rebecca Harding, CEO

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