Chatham House

Nous avons démarré en soulignant ces passages de Wikipédia qui disent tout ou presque.

 Selon [Cecil Rhodes]

Le Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), fondé en 1920, est une think tank plus connue sous le nom de Chatham House. C’est en fait l’équivalent anglais du Conseil des relations étrangères américain.

Certaines personnalités créèrent à la fin de la Première Guerre mondiale, sur les modèles de la Round Table et de la Fabian Society de l’empire victorien, de nombreuses organisations, réunissant discrètement les personnes des milieux financiers, politiques, médiatiques, industriels, syndicaux, intellectuels et universitaires, les plus puissantes de la planète : ces personnes fondèrent ainsi entre autres, sous la houlette du colonel Edward Mandel House, mentor du Président Woodrow Wilson, le Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) à New York, et l’Institut Royal des Affaires Internationales (Royal Institute of International Affairs) à Londres, qui essaimèrent par la suite en d’autres organisations similaires dans bien d’autres pays.

Son premier président fut le Vicomte Cecil of Chelwood (Lord Robert Gascoyne Cecil)Norman Angell en fut membre tout comme l’historien Arnold Joseph Toynbee qui en fut longtemps directeur des études.


La règle de Chatham House (en anglais : Chatham House Rule) est une règle utilisée pour réglementer la confidentialité des informations échangées lors d’une réunion. Sa traduction en français est1 :

« Quand une réunion, ou l’une de ses parties, se déroule sous la règle de Chatham House, les participants sont libres d’utiliser les informations collectées à cette occasion, mais ils ne doivent révéler ni l’identité, ni l’affiliation des personnes à l’origine de ces informations, de même qu’ils ne doivent pas révéler l’identité des autres participants. »


La règle de Chatham House a été formalisée en 1927 pour faciliter les échanges au sein du Royal Institute of International Affairs. À son origine, la règle avait pour objet de protéger l’anonymat des personnes participant à une réunion placée sous son égide, de manière à améliorer les Relations internationales. Elle est maintenant largement utilisée à travers le monde anglo-saxon pour faciliter la liberté des discussions; en effet, elle permet de résoudre un problème de frontières que rencontrent fréquemment les communautés de pratique, en ce qu’elle permet d’apporter les témoignages de ces dernières, tout en protégeant la liberté d’interaction nécessaire pour que ces communautés puissent avoir des discussions constructives.

Cette règle a fait l’objet de différentes mises à jour – la dernière en 2002.

Selon Wikipedia.en [Royal Institute of International Affairs]

Research and publications

Chatham House research is structured around four departments: Energy, Environment and Resources, International Economics, International Security, and Area Studies and International Law, which comprises regional programmes on Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and Russia and Eurasia, alongside the International Law programme. The International Security department also contains the Centre on Global Health Security.[6]

Recent notable reports and papers

The November 2013 report Conflict and Coexistence in the Extractive Industries examined disputes between governments and companies over mineral resources and how falling commodity prices, plus heightened concerns over resource security, environmental degradation and climate change, could bring further scrutiny and tensions to the sector.[7]

Chatham House released the report Managing Famine Risk in April 2013 which argued that while early warning systems for famine and food crises had a good record, early action had been heavily hindered by the perceived political risk in donor countries.[8]

In December 2012, Chatham House released Resources Futures, a report on resource insecurity and the potential for future supply disruptions, volatile prices, accelerated environmental degradation and rising political tensions over resource access.[9] The report proposed a new ‘G8-style’ group of critical producers and consumers called the ‘Resource 30’ or R30 to tackle resource price volatility.[10][11]

In May 2012, Chatham House published the report Shifting Capital: The Rise of Financial Centres in Greater China.[12] The report argued that China needs to develop a deeper and more diversified financial sector that reflects the size and the international integration of its real economy.

To assess what contribution, if any, gold could make to the international monetary system in the wake of the global financial crisis, Chatham House set up a global taskforce of experts in 2011. In February 2012, the taskforce released the report Gold and the International Monetary System[13]which concluded that although a gold standard may have limited reckless banking and debt accumulation, it likely would have created excessive constraint on national economic policies where more flexible responses were needed.

George Osborne and Christine Lagardespeaking at Chatham House, 9 September 2011

In September 2011 Chatham House published a report examining support for populist extremists across Europe and recommending how mainstream political parties could respond. Right Response: Understanding and Countering Populist Extremism in Europe, by Matthew Goodwin,[14] noted that extreme parties more effectively exchange ideas and strategies as compared to mainstream parties, and recommended established parties work together on best practice to confront this challenge.

In October 2010 Chatham House published a report entitled Strategy in Austerity: The Security and Defence of the United Kingdom.[15] The report offered a framework for assessing the quality and durability of the British government’s Strategic Defence and Security Review. Briefing Papers were also published on Iraq, Yemen, Cyber-Warfare, and the legal implications of unmanned drones (UAVs) amongst others.

In September 2010 Chatham House produced the report The ‘Shale Gas Revolution’: Hype and Reality, by Paul Stevens,[16] which analysed the huge increase in unconventional gas production in the US. The report cast serious doubts over the industry’s confidence in the ‘revolution’ and whether conditions in the US could be replicated. It received a Special Note in the Publication of the Year category at the Prospect Think Tank Awards 2011.[17]

A Chatham House analysis of the June 2009 Iranian presidential election voting figures by Ali Ansari, Daniel Berman and Thomas Rintoul[18] revealed irregularities in the official statistics that contradicted the official government line that a spate of newly participating voters had pushed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to victory. This report was widely cited by major media outlets, including The New York Times,[19] BBC News,[20] The Guardian,[21] The Telegraph,[22] The Wall Street Journal,[23] and the Financial Times.[24]


In addition to undertaking wide-ranging research, Chatham House hosts high-profile speakers from around the world. Recent speakers include Shinzo AbeDavid CameronAung San Suu KyiChristine LagardeMadeleine AlbrightEllen Johnson SirleafAbdullah GülAnders Fogh RasmussenHerman Van RompuyMuhammad Yunus, and Ban Ki-moon.

Periodical Publications

Chatham House also houses the key scholarly and policy journal International Affairs, as well as a bi-monthly magazine The World Today.

Chatham House Prize

The Chatham House Prize is an annual award presented to « the statesperson deemed by Chatham House members to have made the most significant contribution to the improvement of international relations in the previous year ».[25]

Hillary Clinton, recipient of the 2013 Chatham House Prize.

List of winners[edit]

Year Name Country
2005 President Viktor Yushchenko[25]  Ukraine
2006 President Joaquim Chissano[25]  Mozambique
2007 Sheikha Mozah Al Missned[25]  Qatar
2008 President John Kufuor[25]  Ghana
2009 President Lula da Silva[26]  Brazil
2010 President Abdullah Gül[27]  Turkey
2011 Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi[28]  Myanmar
2012 President Moncef Marzouki and Rached Ghannouchi[25]  Tunisia
2013 Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton[29]  United States



The Royal Institute of International Affairs finds its origins in a meeting, convened by Lionel Curtis, of the American and British delegates to the Paris Peace Conference on 30 May 1919. Curtis had long been an advocate for the scientific study of international affairs and, following the beneficial exchange of information after the peace conference, argued that the method of expert analysis and debate should be continued when the delegates returned home in the form of international institute.[30]

Lionel Curtis was instrumental in the founding of Chatham House.

Ultimately, the British and American delegates formed separate institutes, with the Americans developing the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

The British Institute of International Affairs, as it was then known, held its inaugural meeting, chaired by Lord Robert Cecil, on 5 July 1920. In this, former Foreign Secretary Viscount Edward Grey moved the resolution calling the institute into existence:

« That an Institute be constituted for the study of International Questions, to be called the British Institute of International Affairs. »[31]

These two, along with Arthur J. Balfour and John R. Clynes, became the first Presidents of the Institute, with Curtis and G. M. Gathorne–Hardy appointed joint Honorary Secretaries.[32]

By 1922, as the Institute’s membership grew, there was a need for a larger and more practical space and the Institute acquired, through the gift of Canadian Colonel R. W. Leonard, Chatham House, Number 10 St. James’s Square, where the Institute is still housed.[33]

Inter-War Years

Following its inception, the Institute quickly focused upon Grey’s resolution, with the 1920s proving an active decade at Chatham House. The journal, International Affairs, was launched in January 1922, allowing for the international circulation of the various reports and discussions which took place within the Institute.[34]

After being appointed as Director of Studies, Professor Arnold Toynbee became the leading figure producing the Institute’s annual Survey of International Affairs, a role he held until his retirement in 1955. While providing a detailed annual overview of international relations, the survey’s primary role was ‘to record current international history’.[35] The survey continued until 1963 and was well received throughout the Institution, coming to be known as ‘the characteristic external expression of Chatham House research: a pioneer in method and a model for scholarship.’[36]

In 1926, 14 members of Chatham House represented Great Britain at the first conference of the Institute of Pacific Relations, a forum dedicated to the discussion of problems and relations between Pacific nations.[37] The IPR served as a platform for the Institute to develop an advanced political and commercial awareness of the region, with special focus being place upon China’s economic development and international relations.[38]

In the same year the Institute received its Royal Charter, thereupon being known as the Royal Institute of International Affairs. The Charter set out the aims and objectives of the Institute, reaffirming its wish to ‘advance the sciences of international politics…promote the study and investigation of international questions by means of lectures and discussion…promote the exchange of information, knowledge and thought on international affairs.’[39]

1929 marked the inception of the Institute’s special study group on the international gold problem. The group, which included leading economists such as John Maynard Keynes, conducted a three year study into the developing economic issues which the post-war international monetary settlement created.[40] The group’s research anticipated Britain’s decision to abandon the gold standard two years later.[41]

Around this time Chatham House became known as the place for leading statesmen and actors in world affairs to visit when in London; notably, Mahatma Gandhi visited the institute on 20 October 1931, in which he delivered a talk on ‘The Future of India’. The talk was attended by 750 members making it the Institute’s largest meeting up to that point.[42]

Committee of Post-War Reconstruction meeting in the Institute’s Common Room, 1943.

In 1933 Sir Norman Angell, whilst working within the Institute’s Council, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his book The Great Illusion, making him the first and only Laureate to be awarded the prize for publishing a book.[43]

Chatham House held the first Commonwealth Relations Conference in TorontoCanada in 1933. Held roughly every five years, the conference provided a forum for leading politicians, lawyers, academics and others to discuss the implications of recent Imperial Conferences.[44] With various dominion nations seeking to follow individual foreign policy aims, Major General Sir Neill Malcolm, the chairman of the Canadian Institute for International Affairs, emphasised the need for ‘essential agreement in matters of foreign policy between the various Governments’, with the Commonwealth Relations Conference being the vehicle upon which this cooperation would be achieved and maintained.[45]

In 1937, Robert Cecil was also awarded the Nobel Prize for his commitment to, and defence of, the League of Nations and the pursuit for peace and disarmament amongst its members.[46]

War Years, 1939-1945

The outbreak of WWII led the Chairman Lord Astor to decentralise the Institute, with the majority of staff moving to Balliol College, Oxford. Throughout the war years the Institute worked closely with the Foreign Office who requested various reports on foreign press, historical and political background of the enemy and various other topics. The few who remained in London were either drafted into various government departments or worked under Toynbee, dedicating their research to the war effort.[47]

The Institute also provided many additional services to scholars and the armed forces. Research facilities were opened to refugee and allied academics, whilst arrangements were made for both the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and the Polish Research Centre to relocate to the Institute following the bombing of their premises. In addition, allied officers undertook courses in international affairs at the Institute in an attempt to develop their international and political awareness.[48]

The Post War Years

Chatham House had been researching potential post-war issues as early as 1939 through the Committee on Reconstruction.[49] Whilst a number of staff returned to the Institute at the end of the war, a proportion of members found themselves joining a range of international organisations, including the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund. Combining this with the Institute’s early support of the League of Nations and impact of the gold study on the Bretton Woods system, Chatham House found itself to be a leading actor in international political and economic redevelopment.[50]

Margaret Thatcher exiting Chatham House after attending the ‘Inside Saudi Arabia: Society, Economy and Defence’ conference, October 1993.

In reaction to the changing post-war world, Chatham House embarked on a number of studies relating to Britain and the Commonwealth’s new political stature, in light of growing calls for decolonisation and the development of the Cold War.[51] A board of studies in race relations was created in 1953, allowing for the close examination of changing attitudes and calls for racial equality throughout the world. The group broke off into an independent charity in 1958, forming the Institute of Race Relations.[52]

Following the Cuban missile crisis and Brazilian coup d’état, the institute developed a growing focus on the Latin American region. Che Guevara, then Cuba’s Minister of Industry, wrote an analysis of ‘The Cuban Economy: Its Past and Present Importance’ in 1964 for International Affairs, displaying the Institute’s desire to tackle the most difficult international issues.[53]

Chatham House played a more direct role in the international affairs of the Cold War through the October 1975 Anglo-Soviet round-table, the first in a series of meetings between Chatham House and the Institute of World Economy and International Relations in Moscow. As an early example of two-track diplomacy, the meeting sought to develop closer communication and improved relations between Britain and the Soviet Union, one of the first such attempts in the Cold War.[54]

Soon after the first Anglo-Soviet round-table, the Institute began an intensive research project into ‘British Foreign Policy to 1985’. Its primary aim was to analyse the foreign policy issues which Britain would encounter in the near and far future. Research began in 1976 and the findings were published in International Affairs between 1977 and 1979.[55]

At the start of the 1980s, the Council moved to expand the Institute’s research capabilities in two key emerging areas. The first modern programmes to be created under this initiative were the Energy and Research Programme and the International Economics Programme, formed in 1980 – 1981.[56]

In addition to reshaping its research practices, the Institute also sought to strengthen its international network, notably amongst economically prosperous nations. For example, Chatham House’s Far East programme, created with the intention of improving Anglo-Japanese relations in the long and short term, was bolstered by the support of the Japan 2000 group in 1984.[57]

Nelson Mandela delivering a speech at the Chatham House conference ‘South Africa: The Opportunity for Business’, 10th July 1996.

Recent History

The Institute celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1995, an event marked by the visit of HM The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. During her visit, the Queen was briefed by the Institute’s experts on South Africa in preparation of her impending visit to the country following the end of apartheid.

1998 marked the creation of the Angola Forum. Combining the nation’s oil reserves with its growing international ambition, Angola quickly became an influential African nation. As a result, Chatham House launched the Forum to create an international platform for ‘forward looking, policy focused and influential debate and research’.[58] The Institute’s wider Africa Programme was created in 2002, beginning the modern structure of area studies programmes.[59]

In 2005, ‘Security, Terrorism and the UK’, the Institute’s report on the Iraq War, was published.[60] The report, which links the UK’s participation in the Iraq War and the nation’s exposure to terrorism and the shadow of fear which such terror casts, gained significant media attention.

The Chatham House Prize was also launched in 2005, recognising state actors who made a significant contribution to international relations the previous year. HM The Queen presented the debut award to Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko.[61]

In January 2013 the Institute announced its Academy for Leadership in International Affairs, offering potential and established world leaders a 12 month fellowship at the institution with the aim of providing ‘a unique programme of activities and training to develop a new generation of leaders in international affairs.’[62]

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