Octagon

The OCTAGON is a yearly private round-table discussion in which 32 top intellectuals, activists, and experts join to address particular vital issues of our time. Despite being our youngest, the OCTAGON is CAF’s most intensive and focused initiative. Comprised of four main workshops and functioning under the Chatham House Rule, its aim is to gather sound analyses and grounded innovative proposals that can be further developed into political action and policy recommendations.

So far, CAF’s OCTAGON has dwelled on topics such as the global trend towards securitization and mass surveillance, the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict, and the challenges and opportunities after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Below you will find the compilation of all of the OCTAGON editions so far, including their complete programs, and thematic sessions. After each event, a comprehensive report of its reflections and conclusions is published.

OCTAGON 2023
The Palestinian Question and the Global (Dis)Order

Madrid, Spain | 20 January 2024

 

The Gaza invasion, like the Palestinian question, is a global event. It is part and parcel of political, normative, and geopolitical struggles that define contemporary global politics and (dis)order. The future of this question is intimately interlinked with the future shape of the global (dis)order. Indeed, at a time of great power competition and heated discussions over the nature and future of the global (dis)order, the global aspect of the Palestinian question is set to become further pronounced. This is why discussions on this subject cannot be solely confined to national or regional levels. Instead, these discussions have to be global in their content and scope…

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OCTAGON 2022
Israel-Palestine: New Era, New Narrative, and New Strategies

Madrid, Spain | 5 November 2022

 

The institutionalisation of a system of segregation, discrimination, and dispossession into a widely-recognised apartheid state in Israel-Palestine has not occurred by chance or in a day. Through silence and inaction, and by supporting empty initiatives and asymmetrical negotiations, the international community has endorsed the impunity of this system since its inception, letting it grow and settle. But the world in itself keeps wavering: before we could see the last overlapping ripples of the global meta crisis caused by COVID-19, the Russo-Ukrainian war has kickstarted yet another wave of unprecedented ramifications. New opportunities for action and alliances arise as old, and new geopolitical allies and rivals reposition. And a new era demands a new narrative.

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OCTAGON 2021
New perspectives for the israel-palestine conflict: a roadmap for global justice in the 21st century

Madrid, Spain | 20 November 2021

 

It has been 30 years since the Madrid Peace Conference paved the way for the Oslo Accords, and almost 20 have passed since the Quartet on the Middle East sat down again in that same city to define its «roadmap for peace.» This gap in time is reason enough to posit that these international instruments have served the primary purposes of establishing geographical and demographical transformation in Palestine, at the expense of citizen interests—regardless of ethnicity or religion—in order to defend reprehensible political interests. Meanwhile, this whole time, the despair of a dispossessed, oppressed and besieged Palestine is increasing. In parallel, the Jewish community, after the Holocaust tragedy, becomes victimized once again. The whole process has become an alienated dispositive of action and the carrier of unattainable aspirations. Today, Jerusalem represents an open wound, Tel-Aviv a schizophrenic symbol, Gaza a shadow of a city under a permanent state of siege and apartheid regime, and the West Bank a land ruined by the perversity of ethnic cleansing.

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OCTAGON 2020
The irrefutable meta-crisis: challenges and opportunities after COVID-19

Madrid, Spain | November 2020

 

2020 is a turning point in modern history. Before the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, we were already experiencing profound social, political and geopolitical tensions. Now, in an unprecedented way, we live in a world as mired in uncertainty as it is eager for change. Essentially, it is urgent to find a way to reimagine and build the future, together. For this reason, in exceptional circumstances, OCTAGON 2020 takes place this year as an open, virtual meeting. It gathers, as always, members and guests of CAF, and this time their reflections will be shared publicly.

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OCTAGON 2019
The era of (in) security

Madrid, Spain | 22 – 24 November 2019

 

In an era of increasing securitization and its opaque implications, a range of actors beyond the traditional nation-state compete for legitimacy, framing societal, technological, economic and environmental dangers. Since these same agents eventually define the collective conditions of risks and hold the control in a true regime of security, it is essential to analyze the scope of securitization: who claims ownership of it, why this rhetoric is built and how, and which audiences remain objects or willing participants in the language of security and de-securitization. In particular, it is key to examine the political strategies of power underlying narratives and counter-narratives such as terrorism, corruption, climate change, economic crash and migration, and how these narratives are coopted by the security field in order to manipulate, dominate and regulate public opinion and policy.

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