Rethinking European Development and Security (REDS)
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FEATURED Talks from 2023-2024
Daniel Treisman | How great is the current danger to democracy? Assessing the risk with historical data | November 30, 2023
Influential voices contend that democracy is in decline worldwide and threatened in the US. Using a variety of measures, I show that the global proportion of democracies is, in fact, at or near an all-time high. The current rate of backsliding is not historically unusual and is well-explained by the income levels of existing democracies. Historical data yield extremely low estimated hazards of democratic breakdown in the US—considerably lower than in any democracy that has failed.
Hilary Appel | Populism and the Durability of the Liberal Order in Europe: EU and NATO Enlargement Reconsidered | October 12, 2023
Given the rise of Euroscepticism, illiberalism, and economic nationalism expressed by populist leaders in Eastern Europe over the past decade, did the EU and NATO enlargement support or detract from establishing and sustaining a commitment to liberalism? How will Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shape the trajectory of liberalism in the region?
FEATURED Talks from 2022-2023
April 13, 2023 | Identity and Religion at Times of War in Ukraine with Oxana Shevel
Ukraine has long been considered a divided society, split between Russia-leaning Russian-speaking south and east and west-leaning and Ukrainian-speaking west and center. This talk will explain why the “divided Ukraine” paradigm no longer captures Ukrainian political and social realities, focusing on profound identity transformation within the Ukrainian society that began following the Euromaidan revolution and the start of Russian aggression against Ukraine in 2014, and further accelerated after the February 2022 full scale Russian invasion.
March 16, 2023 | The Rebirth of the High-Dominance Liberal with Steve Fish
Over the past decade, illiberal demagogues around the world have launched ferocious assaults on democracy. Embracing high-dominance political styles and a forceful argot of national greatness, they hammer at their supposed superiority as commanders, protectors, and patriots. Bewildered left-liberals have often played to the type their tormentors assign them. Fretting over their own purported neglect of the folks’ kitchen-table concerns, they leave the guts and glory to opponents who grasp that elections are emotions-driven dominance competitions.
March 9, 2023 | Is Popular Support for Liberal Democratic Decline a Problem of Information? The Case of Hungary with Jason Wittenberg
A wealth of recent political science research focuses on how media consolidation under state rule can exacerbate democratic erosion, among other things by limiting access to narratives that counter the government's viewpoint. Hungary is one of the most frequently cited examples of this corrosive media effect. We disagree with the corrosion hypothesis, and seek to test the individual-level effects of providing information that counters the government narrative through a survey experiment. This lecture will describe the problem, our proposal, and what we expect to discover.
November 10, 2022 | The Good Deep State: How the Global Patrimonial Wave Endangers our Future, with Jeffrey Kopstein
The past decade has witnessed a resurgence of patrimonial rule not only in the developing world but also, more surprisingly, in the developed West. This resurgence carries potentially dire consequences for responding to a range of pressing problems. Understanding the sources of contemporary patrimonialism is hindered by assimilating the phenomenon into the familiar democracy/autocracy typology or by assuming that it is a function of failed modernization.
November 3, 2022 | Has the Russian Invasion Strengthened the Liberal World Order? with Lucan Way
Over the last decade, responses to the crisis of democracy have been hampered by the fact that challenges to liberalism have often been subtle and ambiguous. All this changed on 24 February 2022. Two factors made Russia’s invasion a watershed moment in Europe’s battle for democracy: the stark moral clarity of Ukraine’s cause and the existential security threat presented by a newly aggressive Russia. As a result, the West has responded in a far more unified manner than anyone expected.
October 13, 2022 | European Security: Past, Present, Future with Stephen Kotkin
Has Russia's full-scale war in Ukraine forced an enduring correction back to traditional notions? Or are some changes predating the war destined to persist? Can geopolitics return if it never went away? What is the future of the fiscal-military state? Is the modern state fit for purpose anymore? What is technology actually doing to governance, if anything? How might security depend on new or reinvented institutions? Is China an even bigger game-changer than Russia for European security? Is there, could there be a pivot, to Asia, or is that nonsense? So many questions — how do we begin to sift them, and order them, to establish a workable framework with which to build notions of security that could last?
ABOUT REDS: RETHINKING EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENT AND SECURITY
The Rethinking European Development and Security (REDS) Seminar Series seeks to develop a more sophisticated understanding of Europe in all its geographic, political, economic, and security aspects. We will focus on the “lands-between,” such as Ukraine, the Baltics, Balkans, and East Central Europe, whose experiences and preferences have all too often been ignored or dismissed. We seek both to rectify the failure to appreciate the diversity of European interests and perspectives, and to develop a bold new interdisciplinary agenda that focuses on issues critical to all of Europe, such as the role of imperial powers, internal divisions, national identity, erosion of democracy, and the integrity of both the European Union and NATO.
REDS is sponsored by The Europe Center, the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, and the Hoover Institution, and co-sponsored by the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies.