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COMMENTS 

Migration, the lightning rod of the EU referendum

The EU-Turkey deal should have no role in the Brexit debate, yet it brings the crucial question of the European Union and migration into focus at an inopportune time.
14 April 2016
Uta Staiger
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Starts: Apr 14, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Unsettling times for a settled population? Polish perspectives on Brexit

Many Poles have lived, worked, and settled in the UK for up to 12 years now. Anne White, Professor of Polish Studies at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, says it’s no longer so easy for them to pick up and leave.
14 April 2016
Anne White
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Starts: Apr 14, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Some thoughts on the psycho-geography of Europe’s free movement

Eastern European migration takes place in a very different context than it once did. Eva Hoffman, author and essayist, asks what drives people to leave, and what drives them back again? This piece is part of the UCL European Institute’s commissioning partnership with openDemocracy.
7 April 2016
Eva Hoffman
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Starts: Apr 7, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Research Grant awarded: Passionate Politics

6 August 2014

24 July 2014
The UCL European Institute, the UCL Centre for Transnational History and UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies have been awarded £10,000 seed funding for a new interdisciplinary research project on “Passionate Politics” from CHIRP.


Passions play a fundamental role in shaping political movements and ideologies, providing the emotional basis of individual and social identities. Our historical understanding of key moments of social change remains impoverished if we fail to take into account the importance of grief, for example, as a response to social upheaval, the role of love and empathy in the creation of political and social solidarities, or the roots of political dissent in anger. The tradition of thinking about politics, stretching from the Stoics to Kant and Rawls, has tended to view the passionate nature of human beings with suspicion if not outright hostility. The passions sit uncomfortably with the idea of a social contract, for example, that is meant to be the product of reason. Until recently, the passions drew the attention of political theorists and philosophers above all because of their capacity to wreak havoc in the social order. Interdisciplinary approaches to conceptualizing affects have recently opened up a new way of understanding the human. Our project will draw on the unique opportunity that this ‘affective turn’ has brought to other fields by returning the passions to the study of politics.

The core group of the project consists of Tim Beasley-Murray (SSEES), Dina Gusejnova (CTH), Axel Körner (CTH) and Uta Staiger (EI). Over the next three years, the group will run a number of workshops, a reading group and an international conference. To support its research as well as public engagement with the project, the team will create a digital archive “Collecting Emotions”, featuring text, images, music, film and interviews.

We are grateful to the UCL Centre for Humanities Interdisciplinary Research Projects (CHIRP) for its support.