Europe and the Changing Global Order 2013

The EURECO Distinguished Lecture Series 2013 explored the political, legal, economic, and societal aspects of Europe in the context of a changing global order.

The idea of an ever more integrated Europe is currently faced with a set of critical challenges that raise fundamental questions regarding the directions, dynamics, and viability of the European project.

17 September:

Ben Rosamond, Centre for European Politics, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen:

In this lecture Rosamond gives an introduction to the challenges facing Europe in a rapidly changing global order and address some of the unresolved tensions of European integration in that context.

1 October:

Ebrahim Afsah, Centre for European Constitutionalization and Security, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen:

"State-Building after Violent Conflicts: Problematic Preferences of European Normative Politics"

During the past twenty years, an ever larger number of violent conflicts have demanded political attention and led to an explosive rise in international pacification missions. Driven by both self-interest and normative convictions, the European Union and its member states have become major actors in these efforts. In this lecture we will look at how the relative success in managing the transition processes in Central and Eastern Europe contrasts with the failure in stabilizing non-European complex emergencies. Based on a decade of field experience, Prof. Afsah will offer a structural critique of European aspirations and policies in state-building, transitional administration, and crisis management.

8 October:

Stuart Ward, Institute for English, German and Romance Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen:

"Learning to Live in Europe, as mere Europeans: The European provenance of Decolonization"

This lecture examines the origins of the idea of decolonization as a way of making sense of the global geopolitical transformations of the twentieth century. It argues that Europe, too, went through a profound "decolonization" experience, which was a far more comprehensive process than relinquishing colonies, prompting a thorough overhaul of some of the major assumptions that had shaped western European political cultures for more than a century. Indeed it is argued that the idea of "decolonization" itself was originally conceived by Europeans, as a response to the metropolitan consequences of imperial decline.

22 October:

Ian Manners, Centre for European Politics, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen:

"EU's Normative Power"

The normative power approach to understanding the EU in a changing global order emphasises three aspects - the role of normative theory; the use of normative justification; and the characterisation of European communion. This lecture uses these three aspects to make sense of the EU's normative power in a changing global order by rethinking the nature of power and actorness in a globalising, multilateralising and multipolarising era. Based on two decades of analysis of the EU in global politics, the lecture will argue that rather than assuming the decline of the EU in the new multipolar order, much greater thought must be given to how the EU co-constitutes itself and changes global order in the 21st century.

5 November:

Morten Broberg, Faulty of Law, University of Copenhagen:

”The European Union, the Developing Countries, and a New Global Order”

Historically the European Union and its Member States have had close ties to developing countries; first of all in Sub-Saharan Africa. These ties have been influenced by the ruling world order. Thus, prior to 1989 the Cold War formed the frame within which the European Union could act. With the end of the Cold War the USA emerged as the sole superpower – and arguably this allowed the European Union to take on the role of human rights and democracy promoter. However, with the ascendance of first of all China the tide may be changing anew. These developments the present EURECO lecture will sketch out.

12 November:

Hans-Jörg Trenz, Centre for Modern European Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen:

"Europe after the crisis: The making or the unmaking of a political union?"

In this lecture Trenz will explore how the Eurocrisis poses a challenge to the stability of an integrated European social, economic and political space. Instead of economic and social harmonization, the Eurocrisis has exposed the asymmetries of the European political space and the seemingly insurmountable differences that divide the peoples of Europe. Yet, the people of Europe, who are unequally affected by the Eurocrisis, are at the same time bound together by a constitutional framework of substantial social and political rights that apply indistinguishably across the European space. This raise the questions of how the Europe of rights and citizenship confronts the Europe of increasing inequalities? Does the formal equality underlying the EU regime of citizenship impact on the development of citizens’ capacities to confront crisis across the existing socio-economic divides?

Final Honorary Lecture:

Mark Blyth, Professor of Political Science, Brown University

"Austerity: the History of a Dangerous Idea"

The current on-going global financial crisis invited a reading of its inception that was based upon 'runaway government spending' that had to be tempered with a firm diet of austerity. The problem was that 'runaway government spending' - at least in the form of government debt - was an effect rather than a cause of the crisis. The actual cause, both in the US and the EU, lay in banking systems that were 'too big to fail' and 'too big to bail' respectively. While the US was able to delever and recapitalize its banks, the EU has not been able to do so, which has resulted in a continent-wide game of 'extend and pretend' regarding the balance sheets of European banks paid for by slashing the public budgets of Southern European sovereigns. Meanwhile those states that have cut the most have in fact seen their debts increase the most. Why then is such a self-defeating policy still so eagerly pursued. The History of a Dangerous Idea offers us a clue.