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UCL's European Politics Series

21 October 2020–25 May 2021, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

UCL's European Politics Series

A series of online talks from the UCL European Institute and the Department of Political Science / School of Public Policy.

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Organiser

Co-organized by the Department of Political Science / School of Public Policy and the European Institute

This is a series of online talks of leading scholars and practitioners in European affairs that present novel ideas, works and best practices to engage with a broad audience including students, faculty and the general public. Topics range from current election and party politics, Brexit and international trade to democratic backsliding and the EU's foreign policy capabilities. In the keynote format, one speaker gets 45 minutes to present a major idea, insight or method that allows us to better understand or tackle key challenges of contemporary European politics. The presentation is followed by a 30 minutes Q&A session. In the panel format, two to three speakers from academia and practice get 75 minutes to discuss a topic from different perspectives in the search for practical solutions. Audience questions are admitted at any time and will be introduced by a moderator. Moreover, we will use polls to engage the speakers with their audience in both formats.

The series is convened by Drs Christopher Wratil and Nicholas Wright, Department of Political Science, and Drs Uta Staiger and Claudia Sternberg, European Institute.

Most events will take place from 6-7.15 pm GMT. For registration and access details, see each individual entry.

21st October, 2020: Stefanie Walter, Professor for International Relations and Political Economy (University of Zurich)

Jumping ship: What Brexit means for international cooperation: 

The seminar is based on Prof. Walter's paper The Accommodation Dilemma: How voter-endorsed disintegration challenges the remaining member states.

In the past few years, the world has witnessed an unprecedented popular backlash against international institutions. This paper presents a framework for analyzing the challenges that unilateral, voter-endorsed attempts by one member state to withdraw from existing international institutions pose for international cooperation. It argues that the remaining member states are faced with an “accommodation dilemma”: not accommodating such unilateral attempts is costly, yet accommodating the revisionist country’s disintegration bid carries large contagion risks. The paper studies dynamics in detail by focusing on Brexit and leveraging original survey data from approximately 1.800 British and 60.000 EU-27 Europeans. It also highlights the generalizability of the argument with comparative case studies of four voter-endorsed withdrawal episodes. The paper shows that this framework can help us better understand the ability of foreign governments’ to intervene in domestic disintegration referendum campaigns, the existence of contagion effects across member states and variation in the responses of the remaining member states to voter-endorsed disintegration bids.

Chair: Christopher Wratil

More information and registration details

4th November 2020: David Henig, Director, the UK Trade Policy Project (European Centre for International Political Economy) and Dr Anna Jerzewska, Founder, Trade & Borders international trade consultancy

The Fate of European and International Trade after the US Elections: What do the US election results imply for international and European trade? How will they influence trade talks between the US and the UK? What do they mean for the prospects of a UK-EU trade deal?

Chair: Nicholas Wright

Please note that unlike other events in this series, this discussion will be from 6:30 to 7:45 pm

More information and registration details

25th November 2020: Daniel Kelemen, Professor of Political Science and Jean Monnet Chair in European Union Politics (Rutgers University)

Europe's Autocracy Trap... and How to Escape It: While the European Union (EU) claims to be committed to pluralist democracy, in recent years it has allowed some member governments - most notably Hungary and Poland - to backslide toward authoritarianism. Now the EU has become stuck in an "autocracy trap" or "authoritarian equilibrium", in which hybrid authoritarian regimes are able to thrive within the Union, making a mockery of its professed values while benefiting from its subsidies. In this talk, R. Daniel Kelemen will examine the political factors behind this autocracy trap, outline the steps EU leaders would need to take to escape it, and assess the prospects of their doing so.

Chair: Christopher Wratil

More information and registration details

16th December 2020: David O'Sullivan, former EU Ambassador to the US and Chief Operating Officer of the European External Action Service

How we do Foreign Policy in the EU: In this talk, David O’Sullivan, former EU Ambassador to the US and Chief Operating Officer of the European External Action Service, reflects on how the EU engages with an increasingly turbulent international environment, how it can respond to challenges to the multilateral system and what it needs to do to achieve international impact in a world of increasing great power rivalry.

Chair: Nicholas Wright

More information and registration details

27th January 2021: Sara Hobolt, Sutherland Chair in European Institutions and professor in Dept of Government and the European Institute (London School of Economics)

Political Entrepreneurs: The Rise of Challenger Parties in Europe: Sarah Hobolt discusses her new book (with Catherine De Vries), which examines how challenger parties, acting as political entrepreneurs, are changing European democracies. 

Chair: Christopher Wratil

More information and registration details

10th February 2021: Julia Gross, Deputy Head of Mission, German Embassy in London

Reflections on the German EU Council Presidency: As the holder of the 6-month rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2020, Germany had the responsibility of guiding the Union through a range major political and policy challenges including managing the economic and financial response to Covid and the impact of the end of the UK’s post-Brexit transition period.

In this session, Germany’s Deputy Ambassador to the Uk reflects on the achievements of the German presidency and its hopes and ambitions for European integration in the coming years. 

Chair: Nicholas Wright

More information and registration details

3rd March 2021: Carlos Moedas, Visiting Professor (UCL European Institute), and former European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science

Europe and the future of Innovation (Abstract TBC)

Chair: Uta Staiger

More information and registration details

17th March 2021: Toni Haastrup, Senior Lecturer in International Politics (University of Stirling)

Abstract TBC

Chair: Uta Staiger

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25th May 2021: Emergency politics beyond the state: Europe's exceptional transformation

Crises often provoke political reactions that bend or suspend established rules and norms. While this phenomenon has found constitutional expression in the ‘state of exception’ at the domestic level, contingencies that cross borders, such as the Euro crisis or Covid-19, incite new forms of emergency politics beyond the state. This panel discussion explores the dynamics, drivers and consequences of today’s exceptional politics in the European Union. Departing from two recent books by Kreuder-Sonnen and White, the speakers examine how the script of emergency rule gets transferred to the transnational setting, how it shapes the public communication of EU actors, and what questions of legitimacy arise. The discussion builds on a Debate Section forthcoming in the Journal of European Public Policy. In conjunction with LSE's European Institute.

Chair: Claudia Sternberg

More information and registration details