Virtual Visions of Europe #4

Changing geopolitical orders

About the speakers

George Blaustein is Senior Lecturer in American Studies and History at the UvA. He is the author of Nightmare Envy & Other Stories: American Culture and European Reconstruction (Oxford University Press, 2018), a study of Americanist writing and institutions in the 20th century. His essays and reviews have appeared in N+1, New Yorker.com, The New Republic, Vrij Nederland, and De Groene Amsterdammer. He is the president of the Netherlands American Studies Association (NASA).

Heinz Gärtner is lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna and at Danube University. He was academic director of the Austrian Institute for International Affairs. He has held various Fulbright Fellowships and the Austrian Chair at Stanford University. He was Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC. Among other things, he chairs the Strategy and Security advisory board of the Austrian Armed Forces and the Advisory Board of the International Institute for Peace (IIP) in Vienna, and an expert for EU and Euratom programmes at the European Commission. Heinz Gärtner is editor (together with Mitra Shahmoradi) of the book “Iran in the International System: Iran between Great Powers and Great Ideas” (Routledge, January 2020).

Julian Gruin is Assistant Professor of Transnational Governance at the UvA. From 2016-2019 he was an ESRC FRL Fellow at the University of Warwick. His work spans the disciplines of international political economy and economic sociology, with research interests in global financial governance, Chinese political economy, and the evolving nature of power in the global economy.

Artemy Kalinovsky is Senior Lecturer in East European Studies at the UvA. His latest book, Laboratory of Socialist Development: Cold War Politics and Decolonization in Soviet Tajikistan won both the 2019 Davis Center Prize and the Hewett prize for a monograph on the political economy of Russia. His previous books include A Long Goodbye: The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan (Harvard University Press, 2011), The End of the Cold War and the Third World (co-editor, Routledge: 2011), and the Routledge Handbook of Cold War Studies  (2014). He is a regular contributor to Foreign PolicyNational JournalForeign Affairs, and the Washington Post.

Luiza Bialasiewicz (moderator) is Professor of European Governance at the UvA and Co-Director of ACES

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Background Virtual Visions of Europe

The current Covid-19 pandemic confronts the European Union and its member states with unprecedented challenges. Public health ‘competition’ between countries instead of cooperation, leading to the closing of borders even in the Schengen zone. An economic slump unfolding on a scale not seen since the 1930s. Ever-increasing north-south and east-west divides in Europe. These challenges come on top of the ‘polycrisis’ experienced by the EU and its member states over the past decade: first the financial and euro crises, then the refugee and migration crises, followed by Brexit, alongside rising euroskepticism and attacks on the rule of law in a growing number of member states.  At the same time, the global order within which the EU operates is increasingly challenged by the hostility of nationalist leaders such as Putin and Trump, but also the re-positioning of China in global affairs.

How will the European Union emerge from this crisis? Will the Union come out stronger, with a larger budget, more powers to coordinate public health measures, and reinforced solidarity within the Eurozone? Or will the EU’s inability to reach agreement and take the lead on critical issues in fighting Covid-19 result in a long-term weakening of its internal authority and external influence, or even a full-scale collapse of the European project, as Emmanuel Macron has warned?

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