New Threats and New Wars: looking to the future of Europe's strategic and defence landscape
Thursday 24 March 2022 5:00pm GMT / 7:00pm EET
The European Commission White Paper on the Future of Europe stresses the need for the EU to be able to defend and protect itself in an increasingly tense world: “NATO will continue to provide security for most EU countries but Europe cannot be naïve and has to take care of its own security.” With war raging between Russia and Ukraine, and escalation seeming more likely than diplomatic talks, what can be done for the future of defence across the continent? The Russian action was preceded by a wave of cyberattacks on Ukraine involving two banks, its defence, foreign, and cultural ministries and the army, and threats from other states is no longer applicable in only the military realm. From cyber-attacks to state-sponsored propaganda. From oil and gas politics to swift sanctions. What will the future of Europe’s defence and security landscape look like now and into the future; as state-on-state combat returns for the first time in the 21st century. This 90-minute webinar brings together leading policy experts, practitioners and academics to discuss this timely issue. How can the EU and NATO create a security strategy effective at addressing these challenges? How can we create a world safe for all?
Professor Mykola Gnatovskyy is based at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and Advisor to the Foreign Minister of Ukraine.
Tania Lațici is a Policy Officer at the European External Action Service, working on security and defence policy in the managing directorate of Common Security and Defence Policy and Crisis Response. In parallel, she contributes on issues of European and transatlantic defence policy as an Associate Fellow in the Europe in the World Programme at the Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations, a Non-Resident Fellow in the Transatlantic Leadership Program at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), a Member of Women in International Security Brussels, an Associate Expert at the New Strategy Center, and an Advisory Board member at A Path for Europe.
Dr Róbert Ondrejcsák, Slovak Ambassador to the UK. Róbert Ondrejcsák has worked in international relations for almost 25 years, moving between Slovakia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence and the world of academia and think tanks. He’s been a lecturer at Comenius University and Matej Bel University in Slovakia on international security studies, geopolitics and European and Transatlantic security architecture. In 2016, he founded STRATPOL in Bratislava, a think tank focusing on international relations and security, particularly on strategic communication and propaganda, as well as traditional issues related to European security, NATO and Eastern Europe. He has served (twice) as Slovakia’s State Secretary for the Ministry of Defence (2010-12 and 2016-20). Dr Ondrejcsák was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Embassy of the Slovak Republic to the United Kingdom, in December 2020.
Dr Simona Soare is Research Fellow for Defence and Military Analysis at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Tomila Lankina is a Professor of International Relations at the Department of International Relations, LSE. Her current research focuses on comparative democracy and authoritarianism, mass protests and historical patterns of human capital and democratic reproduction in Russia and other states. Her latest book The Estate Origins of Democracy in Russia: From Imperial Bourgeoisie to Post-Communist Middle Class (Cambridge University Press 2022) is on the long-term patterns of reproduction of social structure in Russia from the Tzarist times to the present and on why these legacies matter for democracy, development and social inequalities.
The EU's Best Shot: overcoming vaccine hesitancy in marginalised local
Wednesday 02 March 2022 5:30pm to 7:00pm GMT / 7:30pm to 9:00pm EET
Local identities across Central and South-Eastern Europe have seen a sustained distrust and scepticism in the region when it comes to vaccine uptake. How can the EU overcome this hurdle? As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, an ever-growing divide between Western and Eastern Europe in terms of vaccination uptake becomes has become more apparent. But what’s driving it? And what can be done to overcome these challenges?
The London School of Economics’ study into institutional district of vaccines found that countries with a Soviet legacy were linked to reduced trust in vaccines. The longer a person had been exposed to the Soviet regime, the less trust they had for this medicine. The Central and South-Eastern European countries who experienced these Soviet authorities still feel the effects today. Democracy in the region remains fragile and distrust of governments is also fuelled by widespread corruption and a disregard for the rule of law. Local identities have seen a sustained distrust and scepticism in the region when compared to the rest of Europe. And is due to a number of factors including; coordinated disinformation campaigns, a misunderstanding of science, and a significant lack of trust in the government. Within the borders of the EU, vaccination uptake amongst local identities across the landscape has been present since the onset of
this pandemic. There is a significant risk that vaccine uptake for COVID-19 will also be lower among minority ethnic groups and barriers to uptake must be understood and addressed within any future vaccination programme.
This 90-minute webinar brings together leading policy experts, practitioners and academics to discuss this timely issue. How can the EU successful overcome these challenges? How can we create a world safe for all? Join us on 2 March to discuss and have the chance to ask your questions to the panel.
Pauline Paterson is Co-Director of The Vaccine Confidence Project with Dr Heidi Larson at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has been researching issues of public confidence in immunisations since 2010. Specific research activities include qualitative analysis of parental reasons for not vaccinating their child with influenza vaccine in England, analysis of concerns surrounding HPV vaccine in India and Japan, and a systematic review on public trust in vaccination.
She is a member of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Immunisation in partnership with Public Health England. Pauline has also researched HIV risk perception in sub-Saharan Africa, and feasibility and acceptability of PrEP in Kenya, and carried out a systematic review on conceptualizations of uncertainty and risk, and implications for uptake and use of biomedical HIV prevention technologies in sub-Saharan Africa.
Paul Schmidt has been Secretary General of the Austrian Society for European Politics (OFGE) since 2009. Previously he has worked at the Oesterreichische Nationalbank, both in Vienna and at their Representative Office in Brussels at the Permanent Representation of Austria to the European Union.
His current work mainly focuses on the analysis and discussion of topical issues regarding European integration. Schmidt’s comments and op-eds are regularly published in Austrian as well as international media.
Juliana Onwumere is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience King’s College London. She is also a Consultant Clinical Psychologist in the South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK. Her complementary research and clinical interests focus on the intersectionality of mental health problems, family relationships, and health across the lifespan.
She is interested in caregiving relationships affected by violence and the interface between mental and physical health. Juliana has a growing interest in health inequalities particularly in racial and ethnic minority groups. Her work includes the development of evidence-based psycho-social interventions and workforce training and supervision initiatives to support their increased access by underserved groups.
Joan Costa-Font is Associate Professor in Health Economics at the Department of Health Policy, LSE. He is the co-director of the MSc International Health Policy, and the bulk of his current teaching and research is on behavioural health economics, as well as issues on political economy and ageing and caregiving.
His expert areas are the global challenges of population ageing and health inequalities. He has three board research areas (i) healthy ageing and caregiving, (ii) health behaviours and inequality and (iii) governance and health; and has published widely in economics and other social science journals.
The Collapse of The Soviet Union 30 Years On: transition and Soviet legacy
Wednesday 08 December 2021 5:00pm to 6:30pm GMT / 7:00pm to 8:30pm EET
This year states across Eastern and Central Europe are marking their third decade of independence, and the region remains in a state of unknown; oscillating between the western liberal democracies of the EU and a pivot towards Moscow and the East. Did we witness the end of History? Has Europe been wanting for a superpower ever since? Has Washington lost its fight for influence in the post-Soviet space?
25 December 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the Soviet Union for almost seven years and executive president for nearly two, stepped down from office. He announced his resignation in a 10-minute speech, broadcast live on television, as the Soviet Union passed into history. The Soviet red flag, bearing the hammer and sickle, was lowered over the Kremlin and in its place the Russian Federation’s tricolour was raised. It was an image mirrored at Soviet embassies around the world.
In the immediate aftermath, and 30 years on, the post-Soviet space remains an area in transition. Transition into democracies, into EU accession and a geopolitical tinderbox between two Great Powers. Russia recently announced it was suspending its mission to NATO and closing the alliance’s offices in Moscow, as relations with the Western military bloc plunged to new depths. Covid has ravaged the region and left many wanting in the wake of lacklustre.
This event brings together world-leading academics and practitioners to investigate the immediate ramifications of the end of the Soviet order, education and social mobility, and a look at the development of the region three decades on. The generational dimensions of the transition in the commonwealth of independent states will also be analysed in this 90-minute public webinar.
Diana Georgescu is Assistant Professor in Eastern European History at the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies at University College London. Her research focuses on socialist and post-socialist Romania, with particular interests in the transnational history of childhood and youth, memory studies, gender history and comparative nationalism. Dr Georgescu has published articles on socialist childhood and citizenship, post-socialist memory regimes, gendered representations of national and European identity, post-communist film, national identity and travel writing.
Her current book project, ‘Ceaușescu’s Children:’ The Making and Unmaking of Romania’s Last Socialist Generation (1965-2010), explores the lived experiences, institutional structures and ideological constructions of socialist childhood and citizenship in Ceaușescu’s Romania, throwing light the role of children as both objects of state efforts to raise loyal socialist citizens and as agents in their own right.
Slavo Radosevic is Professor of Industry and Innovation Studies at the University College London where he has also been acting director of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He has worked at the University of Sussex SPRU as a researcher (1993-1999), as a researcher in Croatia, as a government economist and was Federal Under-secretary for Development in the former Yugoslavia. His main research interests are in science, technology, industrial change, foreign direct investments and innovation policy in Europe, with particular reference to central and eastern Europe (CEE) and former USSR economies.
He has published extensively in international journals in these areas and has edited several volumes on these issues. He acts as an expert for the UN Economic Commission for Europe for which he worked on former Soviet Union economies (Armenia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan). He has been an advisor to the EC, OECD, UNESCO, UNIDO, and World Bank. He has been a special advisor to the EC DG Commissioner for Regional and Urban Policy (2015-2019).
Serhii Plokhii is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History and the director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. A leading authority on Eastern Europe, he has published extensively on the international history of World War II and the Cold War.
His books won numerous awards, including the Lionel Gelber Prize for the best English-language book on the international relations and the Ballie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction (UK).
Vladislav Zubok is professor of international history, with expertise on the Cold War, the Soviet Union, Stalinism, and Russia’s intellectual history in the 20th century. His most recent books are Collapse: The Fall of the Soviet Union (2021), The Idea of Russia: The Life and Work of Dmitry Likhachev (2017),
Victoria Phillips is a Visiting Fellow at LSE’s Department of International History. She specializes in Cold War history, United States cultural diplomacy, and international relations. Her book with Oxford University Press, Martha Graham’s Cold War: The Dance of American Diplomacy (2020),
explores the export of modern dance as American soft power to over twenty-five contested nations between 1955 and 1989. Her articles have appeared in publications from the New York Times and American Communist History, to Ballet News and Dance Research Journal.
Transnational Organised Crime in the Western Balkans: Effects in the Region and Beyond
Thursday 7th October at 4.30pm - 6.00pm GMT / 6.30pm - 8.00pm EET
Researchers and policy experts discuss how Western Balkans organised crime groups came to dominate the global criminal underground from North America to South Africa.
In addition to being a hotspot of organised crime itself owing to the infamous Balkan Route, over the previous decades organised crime groups from the Western Balkans region have extended their operations on a global scale. From having presence in the Americas, being heavily involved in smuggling cocaine to Europe, to the series of assassinations in South Africa linked to the Balkan criminal underground, these groups have become some of the most notorious criminal enterprises in the world. Having grown from small-scale crooks to leading distributors of drugs in the Western Hemisphere, Balkan criminal gangs manage to punch far above their weight.
This event aims to shed light on the reasons behind their success, the push and pull factors in the Balkans and the wider region that have enabled their rapid expansion and the socio-economic factors that played a major role. The violent dissolution of Yugoslavia resulted in successor states with links between the governments and organised crime, an endemic peculiarity of the Western Balkans that exists to this day. On the other hand, shared linguistic and cultural traits between the organised crime groups brought them closer together and facilitated cooperation in an environment where law enforcement agencies were unable to confront them.
We have gathered a group of academics, civil society activists and policy experts to share their views on these issues with the intention to unpack the playbook of Western Balkans organised crime groups and the reasons behind their global prominence.
Vanja Ćalović Executive Director MANS
Bojak Elek Senior Researcher, Belgrade Centre for Security Policy
Assoc. Prof. Dr Anna-Maria Getoš Kalac Balkan Criminology Network, Zagreb Faculty of Law
Walter Kemp Director of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime
Dr William Bartlett Deputy Director of LSE Research on South-Eastern Europe (LSEE), European Institute, LSE
The Politics of the Far-Right in Central and South-East Europe
Friday 25th June, 18:00-19:30 EET / 16.00-17.30 GMT
What must the European Union learn from authoritarian threats to democracy? Can cross-national dialogue curtail the rise of far-right politics in the region? Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe has for much of the last decade been regarded as a ‘hotspot’ for authoritarian threats to democracy and the rule of law. But the trends present in these states are far from unique. They reflect global issues and challenges. In recent years, many countries in the region have seen a new wave of civic and democratic protest. In several cases, mobilisations widely reported as the ‘biggest since 1989’ have taken place. These events and experiences therefore provide a lens through which to view the global, interconnected contest between democratic and authoritarian practices. What must the European Union learn from these cases? How can democratic systems of government be strengthened? What common features and differences do we find across these examples? Drawing together a panel of experts the event will seek to address these questions and create a cross-national dialogue on how the democratic, anti-corruption and human rights agenda can be advanced across the region and beyond.
Luke Cooper is a consultant and associate researcher at LSE IDEAS. He is the author of the new report, Authoritarian Protectionism in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe (LSE IDEAS, 2021) and Authoritarian Contagion; The Global Threat to Democracy (Bristol University Press, 2021).
His podcast documentary series, Between Dream and Tragedy; Europe’s story after 1989, will be released shortly by the Europe’s Futures programme at the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna.
Bilyana Gyaurova-Wegertseder is one of the founders of the Bulgarian Institute for Legal Initiatives foundation (BILI) and its Director. Bilyana holds a M.A. in Law from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridsky” and is a fellow of the European Foundation Centre and an alumni of the International Visitor Leadership Program of the US Department of State. Before founding BILI she worked as a Senior Staff Attorney at the American Bar Association Central and Eastern European Law Initiative (ABA CEELI currently ROLI).
She is also a mediator and a trainer in mediation. Bilyana has a substantial experience in the field of Rule of Law, anti-corruption and policy reforms. Most recently she has participated in the podcast series of the CEELI Institute in Prague “Safeguarding the Rule of Law” and their spotlight series “Judiciaries in peril in Central Eastern Europe”.
Rafal Pankowski is a Professor at the Institute of Sociology of Collegium Civitas in Warsaw, Poland. Pankowski received his MA in Political Science from the University of Warsaw. He also studied at the University of Oxford as an undergraduate. Prof. Pankowski received his PhD and Habilitation in Sociology of Culture from the University of Warsaw, Institute of Applied Social Sciences.
He has published widely on racism, nationalism, populism, xenophobia and other issues including the books ‘Neo-Fascism in Western Europe: A Study in Ideology’ (Polish Academy of Sciences, 1998), ‘Racism and Popular Culture’ (Trio, 2006), and ‘The Populist Radical Right in Poland: The Patriots’ (Routledge, 2010).
Louisa Slavkova is director of the Sofia Platform Foundation. She is advisory board member of the European Network for Civic Education (NECE). In 2021 she co-founded the pan-European platform for civic education – THE CIVICS Innovation Hub. Since 2019 she is co-head of the Capacity Building Program at Civic Europe, a program for locally rooted civic actors in so called civic deserts in Hungary, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.
Prior to that, Louisa has been a Ronald Lauder Visiting Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, NYC, programs manager at ECFR and adviser to Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov. She is author and editor of several books and publications on foreign policy, democracy development and civic education, as well as co-author of a text book on civic education in Bulgaria.
Jonathan White is the Deputy Head of the European Institute and Professor of Politics.
17+1: China’s Foreign Policy in Central Europe
Friday 28th May, 18:00 to 19:30 EET / 16:00 to 17:30 GMT
Once the beacon of Chinese influence in Central and Eastern Europe, the 17+1 project has largely proved ineffective. How will Chinese diplomacy fare in a post-Covid world where transatlantic cooperation seems to be re-emerging?
Inaugurated in 2012 and expanded in 2019, the 17+1 is a cooperation mechanism between China and Central, Eastern and Southern European countries, which has provoked considerable debate in academic and policy making circles. Although Beijing tries to paint the initiative as a successful example of Chinese diplomacy, reflecting a more pro-active diplomatic posture adopted under General Secretary Xi Jinping, observers in- and outside the region have held strongly diverging views.
While the EU is concerned about any potential ‘divide & conquer’ strategy deployed by Beijing to weaken the bloc, regional state
leaders have lamented the empty promises of growing Chinese investment and improved trade balances, which have largely failed to materialise. Spanning from Greece to the Baltic states, the future of 17+1 holds important insights into China’s overall influence in Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe in the context of complex regional politics and European integration. Against the backdrop of the last 17+1 summit in February 2021, this panel will review the current state of the 17+1 mechanism and discuss likely ways forward in the context of post-COVID recovery, evolving regional political landscapes, and a gradual revitalisation of transatlantic cooperation between the U.S. and its European allies.
Ivana Karásková is a founder and a project leader of MapInfluenCE, an international project mapping China’s influence in Central Europe, and China Observers in Central and Eastern Europe (CHOICE) platform, which gathers more than 40 China watchers from Central and Eastern Europe. Ivana has been an in-house China Research Fellow at the Association for International Affairs (AMO), Prague-based foreign policy think tank, since 2007. She is currently a European China Policy Fellow at MERICS, Berlin. She holds Ph.D. in International Relations and other university degrees in Journalism and Mass Communication, European Studies and International Relations.
Besides her think tank activities and advocacy, she also lectures on EU-China relations, China’s geopolitics and security in Northeast Asia at Charles University, Czech Republic. Ivana completed research and study stays in China, Taiwan and US (Fulbright scholar at Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University). She is an alumna of the US State Department’s International Visitors Program on Investment Screening Mechanism and a member of China expert pool at the European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Hybrid CoE) in Helsinki.
Dr Yu Jie is senior research fellow on China in the Asia-Pacific Programme at Chatham House, focusing on the decision-making process of Chinese foreign policy as well as China’s economic diplomacy. She regularly briefs senior policy practitioners from the G7 member governments,
the UK Cabinet Office and the Silk Road Fund in Beijing, as well as major FTSE 100 corporates. Yu Jie has testified at the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee and International Trade Committee, and was also head of China Foresight at LSE IDEAS.
Edward Lucas is a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). He was formerly a senior editor at The Economist and has covered Central and Eastern European affairs since 1986, writing, broadcasting, and speaking on the politics, economics, and security of the region. A graduate of the London School of Economics and long-serving foreign correspondent in Berlin, Vienna, Moscow, and the Baltic states, he is an internationally recognised expert on espionage, subversion, the use and abuse of history, energy security and information warfare.
He is the author of four books: The New Cold War (2008, newly revised and republished); Deception (2011); The Snowden Operation (2014), and Cyberphobia (2015). He is the author of four books: The New Cold War (2008, newly revised and republished); Deception (2011); The Snowden Operation (2014), and Cyberphobia (2015).
Professor Michael Cox was appointed to a Chair in International Relations at the LSE in 2002. He is a Founding Director of LSE IDEAS as well as Senior Academic Adviser to the China Foresight Forum. He directed and taught on the LSE-PKU Summer School for several years and has published widely on China’s relationship with the West.
His most recent books include a new second edition of E.H Carr’s, The Twenty Years’ Crisis (2016), a collection of his own essays The Post-Cold War World (2018), a centennial edition of J.M.Keynes’s, The Economic Consequences of the Peace (2019) and a reissue with his introduction to E.H.Carr’s 1945 classic Nationalism and After (2021).
Clientelism and state capture in the EU and EU-accession countries
Friday 23 April 2021 6:00pm to 7:30pm EET/4:00pm to 5:30pm GMT
Patron-client relations, rule of law weakness, state capture: how different are these concepts, and in which way do they play out across European countries?
While state-capture-like developments are often discussed in specific (especially East) European contexts, there have been few meaningful attempts to put these dynamics into conversation with those occurring in nominally more established European democracies. To these ends, the event will explore the patterns of grand corruption in the Balkans and in selected EU member states (e.g. Hungary, Italy, Croatia or Bulgaria) through a comparative lens. By so doing, it will reassess clientelism and state capture as new-old forms of politics, raising questions on the utility of the current framework.
Andrea Lorenzo Capussela is the author of Declino Italia (Einaudi, 2021), The Political Economy of Italy’s Decline (Oxford University Press, 2018), and State-Building in Kosovo. Democracy, Corruption and the EU in the Balkans (Bloomsbury, 2015). He served as the head of the economics unit of the International Civilian Office, which supervised Kosovo after its independence.
Liz David-Barrett is Professor of Governance and Integrity and Director of the Centre for the Study of Corruption at the University of Sussex. Her research focuses on the interfaces between government and business, particularly with regard to corruption in government contracting, lobbying and the revolving door.
Tena Prelec is a Research Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR), University of Oxford, and a Research Associate at LSEE-Research on South Eastern Europe, LSE.
Dr Abby Innes is Assistant Professor in Political Economy. Before joining the European Institute in 1997 she was a Visiting Scholar at MIT and was a Jean Monet Fellow at the European University Institute.
Resetting Transatlantic Relations: Central Europe and the USA
Friday 19 March 2021
The United States’ policy approach towards Central and Eastern Europe will be discussed within a broader context of American foreign policy objectives in Europe and neighbouring regions. Two such goals – repairing ties with European partners and NATO allies, and deterring Russia from further destabilising Eastern Europe – will most likely shape the unique dynamics of the Biden administration’s policy towards Central and Eastern Europe. Special focus will be given to Polish-American relations and how they
might change (or not) under the new administration. Given the current political climate in the United States and Europe, the main points will be countering Russia’s influence, focusing on energy security cooperation (i.e. through the Three Seas Initiative), and addressing liberal democratic values in the region.
Wojciech Michnik, Jagiellonian University
Christopher Reeves, Jagiellonian University
Lauren Speranza, CEPA
Christopher Coker, Director of LSE IDEAS.
Europe's Frozen Conflicts: Kosovo, Transnistria and Eastern Ukraine
Friday 26 February 2021
State disintegration at the end of the Cold War led to a surge in identity-based violence from the Balkans to the Caucasus. Despite some successful conflict-resolution in the former Soviet bloc, problems continue to simmer below the surface across much of Eastern Europe. Kosovo, Transnistria and eastern Ukraine are stark examples. All three remain frozen in ethnic competition and power-claims, spurred on by paramilitary groups with the backing of larger powers – most particularly by Russia.
How can these entrenched conflicts be brought to long-term resolution? This discussion will explore the complexities of these three regions and ask how external powers such as the USA and the EU might work to bring about peace and stability in Europe’s most troubled territories.
Panellists and Chair
Cristina Gherasimov is Foreign Policy Advisor to the Moldovan President.
Julia Himmrich is Associate at LSE IDEAS.
James Sherr is based at the International Centre for Defence and Security.
Mary Kaldor is a Professor of Global Governance and Director of the Conflict Research Programme at LSE IDEAS.
TURKEY, ISRAEL AND THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES IN THE BALKANS
Friday 22 January 2021
What should we make of the growing geopolitical interplay between Turkey, Israel, the UAE and the Balkans?
The list of non-Western powers who have engaged with the Balkans does not end with Russia and China. Turkey has upped the ante on its Balkan policy, returning to what used to be the European territories of the Ottoman Empire. Besides Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Israel have also boosted their ties with the Balkans.
Our panellists will discuss what strategic considerations guide the foreign policies of these three geopolitical players in the Balkans, what benefits the local nations expect to gain when engaging these countries, and the growing geopolitical interplay between the Balkans and the Middle East.
This LSE IDEAS and Ratiu Forum event is being held in partnership with the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy.
Dimitar Bechev is a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna. He is an Adjunct Professor in European Studies and International Relations at the University of Sofia.
Tena Prelec is a Research Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR), University of Oxford, and a Research Associate at LSEE-Research on South Eastern Europe, LSE.
Vuk Vuksanovic is a PhD researcher in international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), an associate of LSE IDEAS, and a researcher at the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP).
Christopher Coker is Director of LSE IDEAS.
The Impact of the US Presidential Election on Central and
South-Eastern European Security and Defence
Friday 27 November 2020
Will US foreign and defence policy change in Central and South-Eastern Europe under Joe Biden’s presidency?
President Trump’s foreign policy struck a radically different note to previous US administrations, with dramatic consequences in Central and South-East Europe. During his presidency the USA showed unprecedented warmth towards Russia, withdrew large numbers of troops from Germany and brokered an economic deal between Serbia and Kosovo, while threatening the strength and cohesion of NATO and the UN.
President-elect Joe Biden’s attitudes to foreign policy and transnational organisations differs markedly to that of Donald Trump. How will his administration’s security and defence priorities impact on the Central and South-East Europe region? Join us for an in-depth discussion of the security challenges and possibilities across the region presented by the USA’s change of administration.
Wojciech Michnik is currently an assistant professor of International Relations and Security Studies at Jagiellonian University and contributing editor for the New Eastern Europe. He is a former Eisenhower Defense Fellow at NATO Defense College in Rome and Fulbright visiting scholar at Columbia University. In 2014 Mr. Michnik worked as a foreign and security policy analyst at the Department of Americas in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.
Corina Rebegea is CEPA’s Director for Democratic Resilience, leading the center’s programming on the future of democratic governance and disinformation. Her expertise includes democracy and rule of law issues, good governance, and public sector leadership, as well as transatlantic security cooperation and Black Sea security.
Ivan Vejvoda is a Permanent Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), Vienna. Prior to this, he was Senior Vice President for Programs at the German Marshall Fund (GMF) of the United States. From 2003 until 2010, he served as Executive Director of GMF’s Balkan Trust for Democracy, a project dedicated to strengthening democratic institutions in South-Eastern Europe. Vejvoda came to GMF in 2003 after distinguished service in the Serbian government as a senior advisor on foreign policy and European integration to Prime Ministers
Zoran Djindjic and Zoran Zivkovic.
Christopher Coker is Director of LSE IDEAS.
Russia and China in South-East Europe
Friday 02 October 2020
What are Russia’s and China’s strategies and ambitions in South-East Europe?
A rising China and resurgent Russia have become two unavoidable benchmarks of international politics. The Balkans are not isolated from these trends as both Russia and China are present in the region. Russian foreign policy in the Balkans mostly revolves around soft power, energy, and unresolved Kosovo dispute. Unlike Russia, which is a historical great power in the region, China is a newcomer that in the past ten years has expanded its regional clout thanks to its global macro-project Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Our panellists will discuss what factors drive Russia and Chinese policies in the region, what are the strategic implications and what impact do these two countries have on the state of governance, economic development, and environmental standards.
Dimitar Bechev is a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna. He is an Adjunct Professor in European Studies and
International Relations at the University of Sofia.
Tena Prelec is a Research Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, and a Research Associate at LSEE-Research on South Eastern Europe, LSE.
Vuk Vuksanovic is a PhD researcher in International Relations at LSE and an associate of LSE IDEAS
Megan Palmer is Programme Manager of the Central and South-East Europe Programme, LSE IDEAS
Immigration into Eastern Europe: new challenges
Monday 27 July 2020
Central and Eastern Europe must address a new phenomenon: it is now a place of immigration. How is the region responding?
Central and Eastern Europe is increasingly a place of immigration as well as emigration – of returning migrants, of increasingly dynamic movement by EU citizens, and of non-EU economic migrants and refugees.
The arrival of larger numbers of immigrants into the CEE region presents challenges to infrastructure, labour markets and social dynamics. Our panellists will draw on their own research carried out in Poland, Romania and Croatia to examine the impact of the social and economic capital introduced by these incoming peoples – and the political, economic and social responses of the receiving countries. In doing so, they will also unpack some of the widespread assumptions and problems around how we talk about, and conceptualise, migration and peoples.
Remus Anghel is Director of Migration Studies Center, Babeş-Bolyai University.
Michal Garapich is based at the University of Roehampton.
Caroline Hornstein Tomić is from the Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Croatia.
Inta Mieriņa is from the University of Latvia, and the Director of the Centre for Diaspora and Migration Research.
Megan Palmer is Programme Manager of the Central and South-East Europe Programme, LSE IDEAS
Geopolitics in the Balkans
Monday 29 June 2020
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.
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.
Megan Palmer is Programme Manager of the Central and South-East Europe Programme, LSE IDEAS
Tiberiu Anghelis a co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of CyBourn. Tiberiu leads the development of industry partnerships, managing organisational development and client engagement. Prior to co-founding CyBourn, he worked with the Romanian National Computer Emergency Response team, where he was involved in policy development, crisis communication and pan-European cybersecurity exercises.
He also was part of ENEVO Group, an Industrial Internet of Things start-up now active across 3 continents, where he coordinated innovation and security projects. Tiberiu is Board member of ISACA’s Romanian Chapter and holds a CISM certification. He has a Masters from the University of Amsterdam on Innovation Management and International Entrepreneurship and a Bachelors in International Business from Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest.
Euan Grant is a Partner at Grant and Gutsell, a leading consultancy in Border Control, Tax and Customs matters. Euan was a Strategic Intelligence Analyst for HM Customs and Excise and has many years experience working with customs, police and military organisations.
At Grant and Gutsell, he consults for the EU and other international organisations on border security, taxation and economic crime, and has worked extensively across the former Soviet States.He is a regular commentator on LBC Radio in the UK on strategic organised criminality.
Corina Rebegea is CEPA’s Director for Democratic Resilience, leading the center’s programming on the future of democratic governance and disinformation. Her expertise includes democracy and rule of law issues, good governance, and public sector leadership, as well as transatlantic security cooperation and Black Sea security. Rebegea has extensive experience in the non-profit sector and has led rule of law and justice reform focused projects in the Western Balkans and South East Europe.
She has also led research projects focusing on good governance, regional security, and countering disinformation. A former Fulbright and Open Society Institute Scholar, Rebegea holds an MPA degree from Syracuse University, an MA in Human Rights from the University of Manchester, and a BA in Political Science from the University of Bucharest. She is fluent in Romanian, English, French, and Spanish.
WILL DEMOCRACY SURVIVE IN POLAND, HUNGARY AND SERBIA?
Monday 8 June 2020
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.
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.
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 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.