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Lucan Way, University of Toronto
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.
Stephen Kotkin, Stanford University
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?
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.
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