The Ratiu Dialogues on Democracy

The Ratiu Dialogues on Democracy is an event held annually, organized by The Ratiu Forum in partnership with LSE IDEAS. The overall purpose of this lecture series is to strengthen discussions and visions on democracy. We aim to have the Dialogues develop as a meeting place for professionals with diverse backgrounds who share an interest in current challenges facing Balkan nations, with a particular emphasis on Romania.

The 2022 Ratiu Dialogues on Democracy will take place on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th June in Cluj-Napoca.

2022 SCHEDULE

Free event with required registration.
Please consider the Privacy Note here (document in Romanian). 

Saturday, 4th June

WELCOME

10.00 - 10.15

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cluj-City Plaza, Sindicatelor 6-9, Cluj-Napoca

Speaker:
Mr. Nicolae Ratiu, Chairman of the Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation

Panel: Corruption and the rule of law

10.15 - 12.30

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cluj-City Plaza, Sindicatelor 6-9, Cluj-Napoca

Speakers:

Dr Anna-Maria Getoš Kalac, University of Zagreb

Mr Victor Constantinescu, Kinstellar

Dr Alexander Evans, Visiting Senior Fellow at LSE IDEAS

Mr Bogdan Zawadewicz, Centre for Eastern Studies, Poland

Session Chair: Dr. Leon Hartwell, Sotirov Fellow LSE IDEAS

Presentation: Winner of the Ion Ratiu Journalism Award 2022

14.30 - 15.00

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cluj-City Plaza, Sindicatelor 6-9, Cluj-Napoca

Including an introduction by Mr Nicolae Ratiu

Panel: Journalism and the media in Central Europe

15.00 - 17.00

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cluj-City Plaza, Sindicatelor 6-9, Cluj-Napoca

Speakers:

Mr John Lloyd, The Financial Times

Mr Wojciech Prybylski, Visegrad Insight

Ms Emilia Sercan, University of Bucharest

SEE EVENT PHOTOS – DAY 1

Sunday, 5th June

Panel: Challenges to European Values

10.30 - 12.30

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cluj-City Plaza, Sindicatelor 6-9, Cluj-Napoca

Speakers:

Professor Janne Matlary, University of Oslo

Professor Christopher Coker, LSE

Professor Spyros Economides, LSE

Ms Tania Latici, European External Action Service

Panel: Populism and nationalism

14.30 - 16.30

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cluj-City Plaza, Sindicatelor 6-9, Cluj-Napoca

Speakers:

Dr Luke Cooper, LSE

Professor Slobodan Markovich, University of Belgrade

Dr Natasza Styczynska, Jagellonian University

Closing keynote address: The use and misuse of History

17.00 - 19.00

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cluj-City Plaza, Sindicatelor 6-9, Cluj-Napoca

Professor Margaret MacMillan, Emeritus Professor of International History at the University of Oxford, will speak in conversation with John Lotherington (Chair)

Session Chair: John Lotherington, 21st Century Trust

SEE EVENT PHOTOS – DAY 2

Speakers

Margaret MacMillan is Emeritus Professor of International History at the University of Oxford and former Warden of St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. She specializes in the history of the British Empire and the international history of the 19th and 20th centuries. Her book Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War won the Samuel Johnson Prize.

In 2021, Margaret won the Pritzker Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. Her most recent book is War: How Conflict Shaped Us, looking at the ways in which war has influenced human society and how, in turn, changes in political organization, technology, or ideologies have affected how and why we fight.

Dr Anna-Maria Getoš Kalac holds a tenured associate professorship at University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Law, where she has been conducting criminological research and teaching criminology, victimology, penology and basics of criminal law since 2006. In 2018 she has been appointed Professeur Invité at University of Lausanne’s School of Criminal Sciences, whereas in 2020 she has also been appointed Professeur Invité at Sciences Po in Paris. 

She has thus completed an extended research stay at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg as foreign visiting professor (09/2017-10/2019). Dr Getoš Kalac back in 2012 initiated the Max Planck Society funded Balkan Criminology research group and has meanwhile managed to revive criminological research in Croatia and the Balkans, thereby re-focusing European criminological attention back to Southeast Europe.

Victor Constantinescu is the Managing Partner of Kinstellar’s Bucharest office and the Co-Head of the firm-wide real estate practice. Kinstellar is a leading law firm in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, with offices in 10 countries and over 300 lawyers. Victor focuses on all aspects of real estate transactions in the region for a range of international investment funds and local developers and has over 15 years’ experience locally and regionally. His particular emphasis is on transactional work: acquisitions and sales of commercial real estate, as well as joint ventures, across all asset classes: retail, office, logistics, and agricultural. Since joining Kinstellar in 2017, Victor has led transactions whose combined value exceed EUR 500 million.

Leading international legal directories such as Chambers, Legal 500 or other benchmark publications all rank him among the top three real estate lawyers in the country. Recent editions of the guides recommend him as “an outstanding practitioner for his commercially-oriented approach”, as well as for “his commercial and precise advice, flexibility and international experience”. He is further described as “experienced, active and well connected’’, with clients appreciating the “very easy communication” with him. Born in Canada, he is a native English speaker. He began his career practicing in the United States before moving to Romania full-time in 2004. He is admitted to the New York and Bucharest Bars.

Dr Alexander Evans OBE is a Visiting Senior Fellow at LSE IDEAS. He is also Strategy Director in the Cabinet Office. A career British diplomat, his previous roles include serving as an adviser to the Prime Minister in 10 Downing Street, Deputy and Acting High Commissioner to India and later (briefly) Pakistan, the Foreign Office Director Cyber, and a senior adviser at the U.S. Department of State. 

He led the U.N. Security Council expert mission on Daesh, Al Qaida and the Taliban. He has held academic posts at Yale and Nuffield College Oxford and was Henry Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy at the Library of Congress. He has also been research director at Policy Exchange and Director of Studies at the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation.

John Lloyd co-founded The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford in 2006, where he was Director of Journalism and a Senior Research Fellow. He is a Contributing editor at The Financial Times, and Chairman of the School of Civic Education (Russia). Lloyd was a freelance reporter in Belfast in the early 1970s. He was a reporter on LBC 

Radio, worked at London Weekend TV as a reporter on the London Programme and producer on Weekend World. At the Financial Times he has been Labour Editor,Labour and Industrial Editor, East Europe Editor, Moscow Bureau Chief; and founding editor of the FT Weekend Magazine. He has edited both Time Out and the New Statesman.

Mr Bogdan Zawadewicz is a research fellow, covering the Balkan region. Graduated from the Institute of Political Science, University of Warsaw. Prior to joining the Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW), he worked as a research associate at the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) in Regensburg, where he was a member of the research group “Frozen and Unfrozen Conflicts”. During his academic career, he carried out the research at various institutions such as London School of Economics IDEAS, Higher School of Economics (Moscow), Centre for Southeast European Studies (Graz), Central European University (Budapest), University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and the universities in Novi Sad and Nis (Serbia). 

Served as a consultant on the project “Negotiations Matter” established by the Goethe Institute in Tel Aviv. In 2017, he started his doctoral project at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU). His main area of research includes the political cleavages in the Balkans, rule of law, separatists’ strategies among peripheral elites, the impact of external actors in the Balkan region and socio-political developments in Post-Soviet Space. He speaks fluent English and Serbo-Croatian.

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.

Emilia Șercan is an investigative journalist with 24 years of professional experience. She is also a lecturer at the Faculty of Journalism and Communication Sciences (University of Bucharest). In national media, she worked for Curierul Naţional and Evenimentul Zilei newspapers, and also for the Realitatea-Cațavencu media trust. As of 2015, her investigations can be read on PressOne. She has signed over 4.000 investigations, interviews and columns on various topics of public interest in Romania (Mătuşa Tamara, Afacerile din energie ale “băieţilor deştepţi”, Afacerile de după FNI ale lui SOV, Averea lui Dan Ioan Popescu, Dosarul Bancorex, Ziarişti – foşti informatori ai Securităţii, Afacerile lui Puiu Popoviciu). In the last five years she covered extensively the topic of plagiarism in doctoral theses, publishing investigations about the works of several Romanian politicians or public figures. In 2013 she obtained her PhD in Communication Sciences with the distinction “excellent”, publishing her doctoral thesis – Cultul secretului. 

Mecanismele cenzurii în presa comunistă (Polirom). In 2017 she published another book – Fabrica de doctorate: Sau cum se surpă fundamentele unei nații (Humanitas). Emilia Șercan won several scholarships, both as a teacher and as a journalist. She was thus a US State Department Fellow at Ohio University (2016), a scholarship holder at Standhal University Grenoble 3 (2012 – 2013) and at Freedom House Scholarship in the USA (2004). Over the years, he has won several professional and academic awards: Journalist of the Year – SuperScrieri Awards (2016), Freedom of Expression Award – Active Watch (2016), Ion Ratiu Journalism Award (2016 ), Professor of the Year – ANOSR (2017), “Nicolae Iorga” Award of the Romanian Society of Historical Sciences, European Network for Academic Integrity Award (2019) and the Award the Group for Social Dialogue – GDS (2020).

Janne Matlary is a professor of international politics, Department of Political Science, University of Oslo, and professor at the Norwegian National Defence University College. Her main academic fields are European foreign policy and international security policy as well as human rights/rule of law. She is a member of Oslo Militære Samfund (The Oslo Military Society) and Agder  Vitenskapsakademi (Agder Academy of Science). She received the St. Benedict prize for 2007, conferred by the Benedictine Community of Subiaco, Italy, for her work on European culture and politics. She is a Dame of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. She was State Secretary (Deputy Foreign Minister) for Foreign Affairs of Norway, representing the Christian Democratic Party in the Bondevik government, from 1997-2000. She was an expert member of the Norwegian parliament’s commission tasked with proposing changes to the Norwegian Constitution for the 200th anniversary of the latter in 2014. She was inter alia a member of the national defence commission of Norway and is on the board of trustees of the Oslo Center for 

Peace and Human Rights. She was the Norwegian member of the High-level Task Force on Belarus, a group of ex-ministers and ex-presidents who try to engage with Belarus. She was a member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Family in the Vatican and has acted as head or member of Holy See delegations to international conferences. She was a foreign policy advisor to the government and Furst von und zu Liechtenstein as a member of their
Expertenrat für Aussenpolitik, 2002-2009, and member of the “Global Agenda Council” at the Davos World Economic Forum. She led the Norwegian Research Council’s programme on petroleum research PETROPOL in the period 2000-2006. She was a member of the Norwegian government’s expert commission on ethical guidelines for the national Petroleum Fund and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ commission on profiling Norway (“Omdømmeutvalget”), 2003-2006 and the National Defence Commission, 1996-97.

Christopher Coker is Professor of International Relations at LSE. His publications include The Rise of the Civilizational State (2019); Rebooting Clausewitz (2018); Men at War; what fiction tells us about conflict from The Iliad to Catch 22 (2014); Warrior Geeks: how 21st century technology is changing the way we fight and think about war (Oxford University Press 2013) and Barbarous Philosophers: reflections on the nature of war from Heraclitus to Heisenberg (Columbia University Press 2010). 

He has written for The Times, Times Literary Supplement, The Financial Times, The Spectator, the Independent and The Wall St Journal. He has been a Visiting Fellow at National Institute of Defence Studies (Tokyo); the Rajaratnam School National technological University (Singapore), the Institute for Security Studies (Chulalongkorn University Bangkok) and is a regular lecturer at staff colleges and academies around the world. He is at present Visiting Professor in War Studies at the Swedish National Defence College.

Dr Spyros Economides is Associate Professor in International Relations and European Politics at the London School of Economics and Deputy Director of the Hellenic Observatory.     He was a Research Associate of the Centre for Defence Studies at King’s College and at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. He has also served as Visiting Professor at Dartmouth College, USA, and in the Faculties of Political Science at the Universities of Zagreb, Croatia and Belgrade, Serbia.       He was also a Visiting Fellow at the EU Centre in Singapore.

His current research concentrates on the external relations and security policies of the EU; Europeanisation and foreign policy, and the EU’s relationship with the Western Balkans.                   Dr Economides is also a regular commentator in national and international media on issues relating to Greece and those of the Western Balkans. His latest publication is Economides and Sperling (eds.) EU Security Strategies: Extending the EU System of Security Governance (2018).

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.

She is also doing a part-time PhD on transatlantic defence cooperation at the University of Ghent and with the European Security and Defence College. Distinctions include being a Young Leader at GLOBSEC, at the Warsaw Security Forum, and at GMF, as well as a Transatlantic Denton Fellow at CEPA. In 2020, she was appointed by Secretary General Stoltenberg to co-coordinate the NATO Young Leaders advisory body to assist the NATO2030 strategic reflection process. Previously, Tania held the security and defence portfolio in the European Parliamentary Research Service – the in-house think tank of the European Parliament and worked for the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, among others.

Dr Luke Cooper is a consultant and associate researcher at LSE IDEAS. He is the author of 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.

Michael Burleigh is a historian and commentator. His books include the best-selling; The Third Reich: A New History; Small Wars, Far Away Places: The Genesis of the Modern World 1945–65, which was long-listed for the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize which he won in 2001, and The Best of Times, The Worst of Times: A History of Now. This book, Populism: Before and After the Pandemic was published in February 2021. In May 2021 his latest book Day of The Assassins: A History of Political Murder was published.

He has also been active in bringing history to television audiences and won the British Film Institute Award for Archival Achievement. He writes regularly for The Times, Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday on international affairs. A Professor of Modern History, Michael was the first appointed Engelsberg Chair in History and International Relations at LSE IDEAS, an annual distinguished visiting professorship, delivering public lectures to LSE’s foreign policy think tank.

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 Natasza Styczyńska is assistant professor at the Institute of European Studies of the Jagiellonian University. Currently, she is a researcher in two H2020 projects: Populist rebellion against modernity in 21st-century Eastern Europe: neo-traditionalism and neo-feudalism (POPREBEL) and EU Differentiation, Dominance and Democracy (EU3D). 

Her academic interests include transformation processes in Central and Eastern Europe, party politics, nationalism, populism and euroscepticism in the CEE region and the Balkans.

John Lotherington is director of the 21st Century Trust in London, which in 2009 forged a long-term partnership with Salzburg Global Seminar where John also leads the health and health care innovation programs. He began his career in history education and maintains an interest in that area. His publications as editor and author include The Communications Revolution; Years of Renewal: European History 1470 to 1600; The Seven Ages of Life;

The Tudor Years; and introductions to The Florentine Histories by Niccolò Machiavelli, The Book of the Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione, and the Divine Comedy by Dante. He is an associate board member, and former Chair, of the Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development, a trustee of Cumberland Lodge, and a governor of Goodenough College, London.

THE RATIU DIALOGUES ON DEMOCRACY 2021

EVENT PHOTOS 2021

2021 SCHEDULE

WELCOME

10.00 - 10.15

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cluj-City Plaza, Sindicatelor 6-9, Cluj-Napoca

The Dialogues on Democracy conference will be opened by the Chairman of the Ratiu Family Foundation, Mr Nicolae Ratiu, with a brief overview of the Ratiu family’s history and interest in democratic resilience that will be covered. He will introduce the internationally renowned speakers from academia and government who will share their expertise with us over the two-day event.

Panel: Corruption and the rule of law

10.15 - 12.30

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cluj-City Plaza, Sindicatelor 6-9, Cluj-Napoca

Speakers include Professor Peter Balazs, CEU, Dr Tena Prelec, University of Oxford, Dr Eric Beckett Weaver, University of Debrecen, Dr Radu Albu-Comănescu, Babeș-Bolyai University.

Corruption occurs in every part of the world, but few regions have witnessed such stark challenges to the rule of law in recent years than Central Europe – in Hungary most clearly, and also in Poland, Bulgaria and elsewhere. Measures by NGOs such as Freedom House and Transparency International indicate that many Central European countries are experiencing a marked decline in the transparency and independence of judiciaries, and growing clientelism in the political sphere.

What are the characteristics of contemporary threats to the rule of law in the region? What mechanisms exist, or should exist, to resist growing corruption and threats to independent legal oversights? Our experts will bring insights from their work in academia, politics, and policy analysis to consider how best to hold governments and people in power to account within a liberal democratic, EU-wide framework.

Péter Balázs held numerous senior diplomatic and government positions in Hungary, including as Foreign Minister (2009-2010) and Hungarian Ambassador to the EU (2003-2004). He was the Government Representative of Hungary in the European Convention drafting the Constitutional Treaty which has become, after several modifications, the Lisbon Treaty. In 2016 he received the Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award by Tufts University and the Institute for Global Leadership “in recognition of his integrity and valor as Foreign Minister, encouraging respect for humanities values and rule of law and fighting discrimination.”

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.

Eric Beckett Weaver is a historian and political scientist at the Department of Political Science, University of Debrecen. Dr Weaver’s expansive research covers politics and history, international history and politics and comparative politics.

Radu Albu-Comănescu, PhD in History and Lecturer at the Faculty of European Studies of the Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Teaches “EU Governance and Theories of European Integration”, “European and International Negotiations” and “Cultural Heritage Management”. Fields of research extend to the history of Europe; history of political and religious thinking; cultural, economic and public diplomacy, as well as governance, state-building and networks of power.

Ion Rațiu Journalism Ceremony Award

14.30 - 15.00

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cluj-City Plaza, Sindicatelor 6-9, Cluj-Napoca

With an introduction by Nicolae Rațiu, Chairman of the Rațiu Family Foundation, and an address by this year’s recipient of the Ion Rațiu Journalism Award, Victor Ilie, who currently reports for Recorder.

In November 2020 Victor Ilie published the investigation that discovered and brought to the public’s attention the King of the pandemic, the main person responsible for purchasing vital medical equipment for the Romanian state and its citizens, a master of a “kingdom” dominated by corruption, defiance and incompetence.

According to the members of the Jury Committee that evaluated this year’s proposals, the article written by Victor Ilie is an example of quality journalism produced by an independent press project, an investigation carried out at a time when the access to information was often limited for journalists. Read the press release here

Panel: Journalism and the media in Central Europe

15.30 - 17.30

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cluj-City Plaza, Sindicatelor 6-9, Cluj-Napoca

Speakers include journalists Mr John Lloyd, Financial Times, Mr Alison Smale, Institute of Human Sciences Vienna, Mr Wojciech Przybyski, Visegrad Insight and Res Publica.

A free press is a hallmark of a free, liberal democracy: journalists hold governments to account, keep citizens informed, and expose wrongdoings by those who wield power and influence. The media, however, can also hold considerable influence itself, and is continually at risk of political and business interference. These tensions have come to particular prominence in Central Europe.

To discuss the state of the media in the region, this dialogue brings together journalists with a wealth of experience reporting in, and about, the Central European region:

John Lloyd is a Contributing Editor at the Financial Times, and Chairman of the School of Civic Education (Russia). He was based in the USSR and Central Europe in the 1980s and 1990s as East Europe Editor and the Moscow Bureau Chief

Wojciech Przybylski is the editor-in-chief of Visegrad Insight and chairman of Res Publica Foundation in Warsaw, and former editor-in-chief of Eurozine.

Alison Smale reported from Central Europe for many years, for the United Press International, the Associated Press, The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. She served as the Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, and is now researching Central European media at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.

Panel: Ideas, ideals and ideology in democracies

10.30 - 12.30

Ratiu Democracy Centre, Piata 1 Decembrie 1918, Turda

This panel discussion will include Professor Slobodan Markovich, Professor Christopher Coker and Doctor Erica Benner.

Do – or should – ideals, or ‘values’, matter in a democracy? What are the differences between values and ideology? Have post-cold war democracies lost sight of their ideals? Are we living in a post-ideological age?

In this wide-ranging discussion, Professor Christopher Coker, Professor Slobodan Markovich and Dr Erica Benner will explore the ways in which ideas, ideology, pragmatism, and realpolitik do – and should – influence domestic and international politics.

Christopher Coker is Director of LSE IDEAS, LSE’s foreign policy think tank. He was Professor of International Relations at LSE, retiring in 2019. He is a former twice serving member of the Council of the Royal United Services Institute, a former NATO Fellow and a regular lecturer at Defence Colleges in the UK, US. Rome, Singapore, and Tokyo. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the National Institute for Defence Studies In Tokyo, the Rajaratnam School for International Studies Singapore, the Political Science Dept in Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok and the Norwegian and Swedish Defence Colleges.

Slobodan G. Markovich, MBE is a 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 a 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 research interests include Construction of Ethnic/National and Religious Identities in the Balkans, British-Balkan Relations, psychoanalytic anthropology, and History of European Pessimism.

Erica Benner is a political philosopher who has held academic posts at Oxford University, the London School of Economics and Yale University. She was awarded a DPhil by Oxford in 1993. She is the author of the books Really Existing Nationalisms (Oxford University Press, 1995), Machiavelli’s Ethics (Princeton University Press, 2009), Machiavelli’s Prince: A New Reading (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Be Like the Fox: Machiavelli’s Lifelong Quest for Freedom (Penguin Allen Lane, 2017). Be Like the Fox was one of The Guardian newspaper’s best books of 2017 and shortlisted for the 2018 Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography. She is currently writing a book on democracy.

 

Closing keynote address: Global Challenges to European Values in the Contemporary Era

14.30 - 16.30

Ratiu Democracy Centre, Piata 1 Decembrie 1918, Turda

Professor Richard Higgott, Brussels School of Governance, VUB, will speak in conversation with Professor Christopher Coker, LSE IDEAS.

Are there values that are exclusively European? Values that are often attributed to Europe—and sometimes called universal values—are currently contested not only outside Europe but inside Europe too. If we can identify core European values, what are the challenges that Europe faces in both defending them and advancing them in the wider global context in the current era?

In this keynote address, Professor Higgott will embed the discussion of European values in a comparative global context, with reference to Asia in general and China and India in particular. 

Richard Higgott is Emeritus Professor of International Political Economy at the University of Warwick, Senior Researcher in the Brussels School of Governance, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Visiting Professor of Political Science at the University of Siena. He is currently Distinguished Professor of Diplomacy at Vesalius College at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel working on an H2020 project on European cultural and science diplomacy.

Christopher Coker is Director of LSE IDEAS, LSE’s foreign policy think tank. He was Professor of International Relations at LSE, retiring in 2019. He is a former twice serving member of the Council of the Royal United Services Institute, a former NATO Fellow and a regular lecturer at Defence Colleges in the UK, US. Rome, Singapore, and Tokyo. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the National Institute for Defence Studies In Tokyo, the Rajaratnam School for International Studies Singapore, the Political Science Dept in Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok and the Norwegian and Swedish Defence Colleges.

Closing remarks at the Transylvanian Night Gala Dinner

by Professor Gordon Barrass, LSE IDEAS

So here we are now, thirty years after the Cold War. Romania is one of the successful democracies in Eastern Europe and Post Brexit the UK is trying to establish ever closer bilateral relations with EU members. Both our countries have a very realistic view of the threat from Russia, which cannot be said of many other EU members. That bodes well for the future relations between our two countries. In this context it seems almost preordained that LSE and the Ratiu Foundation would have such a special relationship. That, however, was not the case.  So I would like, if I may, to take a few moments to reflect on the part that chance has played in our links here today. 

Ratiu Dialogues on Democracy 2021 - COMING UP

The international Ratiu Dialogues on Democracy conference returns on Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th September to Cluj-Napoca and Turda, Romania.
This prestigious two-day event will feature discussions on important topics relating to democracy in the region by internationally renowned speakers from academia and government. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions and to engage with some of the world’s leading thinkers on democracy and European identity.
The event will feature keynote speaker Professor Richard Higgott from the Brussels School of Governance, and there will be three panel discussions on the role of journalism and the media in Central Europe, authoritarianism and liberalism, and corruption and the rule of law.

This year we are delighted to announce that the line-up will include:

Professor Richard Higgott, Brussels School of Governance
Professor Christopher Coker, LSE
Professor Janne Haaland Matlary, University of Oslo
Professor Michael Burleigh, LSE
Dr Ivan Vejvoda, Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna
Dr Eric Weaver, University of Debrecen
Dr Spyros Economides, LSE
Ms Alison Smale, Fellow, Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna
Mr John Lloyd, Financial Times
Dr Tena Prelec, University of Oxford and LSE

More speakers will be announced in due course.

The Ratiu Dialogues on Democracy is an annual event held with the purpose of strengthening discussions and visions on democracy. The Dialogues event is a meeting place for diverse professionals who share an interest in current challenges facing Balkan nations, with a particular emphasis on Romania. Previous speakers have included Professor Michael Cox, Professor Michael Clarke and the Rt Hon. Lord David Owen CH FRCP.

This event is jointly organised by the Ratiu Forum, based in Turda, and LSE IDEAS, a foreign policy think tank affiliated with the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
The Ratiu Dialogues on Democracy conference is scheduled to take place in person, although it will be moved online if the coronavirus situation makes an offline event unsafe.

Read the press release here.