UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


The Light That Failed: A Reckoning

30 October 2019, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

The light that failed book cover

Join the Central Europe Seminar Series for a book talk by Ivan Krastev, co-author of 'The Light That Failed: A Reckoning'

This event is free.

Event Information

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Masaryk Room
16 Taviton Street

In an unflinchingly honest explanation of what has gone wrong in the west – and the east - since 1989, Ivan Krastev proposes that the post-1989 world order has been characterised by thirty years of what he calls the Age of Imitation - a period of Western democratisation in which Eastern European values would be bent to the liberal fiscal, cultural and moral politics of ‘integration’. But, as each of those imperatives has failed to deliver, what we are seeing now is a series of withdrawals from this cultural contract, evoked, in part, by feelings of shame and resentment and stoked by fears of cultural erasure. In a bracing analysis of Trump, Russia and China’s role in this period of history, Krastev also shows finally how Western interests are helping to charge the rise of China as a global authority, marking the end of the Age of Imitation.  

'One of the great European minds of today. This is a book about copying that makes an original argument. In doing so, it reminds us that liberal democracy depends not on mechanical processes but on human originality’ – Timothy Snyder

About the Speaker

Ivan Krastev

at Institute for Human Sciences (IWM)

Ivan Krastev is a political scientist, a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), Vienna and Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia. As a university student in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1989, he witnessed the Communist regime collapse and his country transform overnight.