20:20 Visions: conversations on the future of democracy

20:20 Visions: conversations on the future of democracy is a new series of online discussions on current challenges to democracy faced by Central and Eastern Europe, hosted by LSE IDEAS and the Ratiu Forum.

Geopolitics in the Balkans

Monday 29 June 2020 13:00 to 14:30 (UK time), 15:00 to 16:30 (Ro time)

Join us as our panel explores the shifting geopolitical organisation and strategies of the Balkans and the role of external actors such as Russia, China, and the European Union.
The COVID-19 outbreak, shifts in the global order, and rising tensions between great powers have brought new geopolitical dynamics into the Balkans. Against this backdrop, we will discuss these ongoing changes with a special focus on Serbia where parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place on 21 June.
We will take a closer look at policies pursued by the great powers (USA, EU, China, Russia) in the region and analyse their agendas in a broader, global context. We will also identify existing dependencies and see how the involvement of major global actors in Serbia may evolve in the future.
  • This event will be live streamed on Facebook 

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Yu Jie is a Senior Research Fellow on China in the Asia-Pacific Programme, Chatham House. She is the former head of China Foresight at LSE IDEAS and remains an Associate at LSE IDEAS. 

Sena Marić is based at the European Policy Centre.

Maxim Samorukov is from the Carnegie Institute Moscow.

Bogdan Zawadewicz is affiliated with LSE IDEAS and Geschwister Scholl Institute of Political Science.

EVENT CHAIR: Megan Palmer is Programme Manager of the Central and South-East Europe Programme, LSE IDEAS.


Monday 8 June, 13:00 UK time (15:00 RO)

A recent Freedom House report singled out Central Europe and the Balkans – particularly Poland, Hungary and Serbia – for their alarming rate of democratic disintegration. The COVID-19 pandemic has provided these countries with an unusual opportunity to interfere with constitutional powers and scheduled elections. How have these three countries exploited this opportunity? And what longer-term impact will this have in these precarious times for democracy?
In the first of a series of online talks, the Ratiu Forum welcomes Slobodan Markovich (University of Belgrade, LSE IDEAS), Eric B. Weaver (University of Debrecen) and Wojciech Przybylski (Visegrad Insight, Res Publica Foundation) to discuss these political developments and their impact on democracy and civil liberties. 
  • This event will be live streamed on Facebook 

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Wojciech Przybylski is the editor-in-chief of Visegrad Insight and chairman of Res Publica Foundation in Warsaw. Previously Wojciech has been the editor-in-chief of Eurozine – a magazine representing a network of European cultural journals, and – a Polish journal Res Publica Nowa. He has launched and leads the ‘New Europe 100’ project that is networking and bringing forward a community of successful innovators from CEE across the fields of business, research media, NGO and public administration run jointly by Res Publica, Financial Times and Google. He is a member of the advisory board of the European Forum of New Ideas. His expertise includes European and transatlantic affairs as well as policies related to innovation and culture. He has been publishing in Foreign Policy, Politico Europe, Journal of Democracy, EUObserver, VoxEurop, Hospodarskenoviny, Internazzionale, Gazeta Wyborcza, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna and several others. His new book ‘Understanding Central Europe’ (co-ed. with Marcin Moskalewicz) has been published in 2017 by Routledge. 

Slobodan Markovich

Dr. Slobodan G. Markovich, MBE is Full Professor at the School of Political Science of the University of Belgrade where he lectures Political Anthropology, Political History of South-East Europe and Image of European Other. He is also Full Professor at the Institute for European Studies in Belgrade. He has been Research Associate at LSEE/LSE since 2012, and at LSE IDEAS since 2018. He has been the head of the Centre for British Studies at the School of Political Science in Belgrade since 2017. His published monographs include a book on Freud’s pessimism: Pessimistic Anthropology of Sigmund Freud (Belgrade, 2012), on Serbian economist, politician and diplomat Chedomille Miyatovich. A Victorian among Serbs (Belgrade, 2006), and a monograph on British-(Balkan)Serbian relations: British Perceptions of Serbia and the Balkans 1903-1906 (Paris, 2000, in English). His (co-)edited collections of papers in English include: British-Serbian Relations from the 18th to the 21st Centuries (Belgrade, 2018), Problems of Identities in the Balkans (Belgrade, 2006), and Challenges to New Democracies in the Balkans (Belgrade, 2004). He has been the coordinator of annual meetings “Psychoanalysis and Culture” since 2016.His research interests include: Construction of Ethnic/National and Religious Identities in the Balkans, British-Balkan Relations, psychoanalytic anthropology, and History of European Pessimism.

Dr.Eric Weaver

Dr. Eric Beckett Weaver is an associate professor teaching political science at the University of Debrecen. He received his doctorate in History from The University of Oxford in 2008. He is the author and editor of a variety of books and articles on nationalism, minorities, and politics in Southeastern Europe.

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