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Envisioning Europe: Global Politics versus Great Power Rivalry

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Online Debate
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Dorośli , Młodzież
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Global Politics versus Great Power Rivalry: The Role of the EU

The European Union potentially represents a new type of global power. Classic nation states sharply distinguished between internal power, based on law and politics, and external power, deriving from wealth and military force. Tensions have always existed between differing conceptions of Europe that each envisaged the EU as a post-colonial project, a newly emerging superpower that could challenge the United States, and activists from below that emphasised the role of Europe as a peace project. Professor Mary Kaldor’s lecture will outline how this tension contributed to the evolution of Europe’s foreign policy. It will pay particular attention to the role of social movements, including war-time resistance movements that advocated for peace and social justice, the dialogue between peace and human rights movements across the Cold War divide during the 1980s, the solidarity movements that developed during the Balkan wars in the 1990s, and movements for social justice and climate change action in the first two decades of the 21st century.

Professor Kaldor will argue that this social evolution gave rise to an external policy that emphasises the importance of multilateralism in addressing global challenges, the spread of the rule of law, the provision of large-scale aid, and the need to contribute to crisis management. In contrast to the traditional great power conception of international relations espoused by current authoritarian regimes, it can be argued that this approach is much better suited to an interconnected world where sovereignty is becoming increasingly ambiguous.

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Mary Kaldor is Professor Emeritus of Global Governance and Director of the Conflict and Civil Society Research Unit at the London School of Economics. She was a founding member of European Nuclear Disarmament (END), a founder and Co-Chair of the Helsinki Citizen's Assembly and a member of the International Independent Commission to investigate the Kosovo Crisis, established by the Swedish Prime Minister. Professor Kaldor is the author of many books and articles, including New and Old Wars: Organised Violence in a Global Era (3rd edition, 2012), International Law and New Wars (with Christine Chinkin, 2017) and Global Security Cultures (2018).

Moderated by Chris Burns, a Franco-American journalist and media expert with more than 30 years' reporting experience in Europe, the U.S., Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East. He has covered armed conflicts, elections, financial crises, natural and human disasters as well as film festivals. Chris is also a media consultant and trainer, video producer, and has moderated panels for the World Economic Forum, OECD, OSCE, United Nations, World Bank and EU institutions. He studied Political Economy at the University of California, Berkeley, and undertook post-graduate studies in Europe. Chris speaks five languages and holds dual US-French nationality.

Introduction by Dr. Constanze Itzel, Museum Director of the House of European History.

In the light of the Conference on the Future of Europe, the House of European History (HEH) is organising an online lecture series entitled ‘Envisioning Europe.’ From 22 June 2021 to 19 July 2022, the museum will share its floor with 12 prominent historians to exchange insights into Europe past and present. Voices from outside Europe will also contribute to contextualising this dialogue with external perspectives. Each lecture includes a moderated Q&A session.