Political Salons

The Political Salon is a discussion forum on current political and social questions. Started in 2004 as a cooperation with the Austrian daily newspaper Die Presse, renowned scholars and politicians are invited to panel discussions at the Institute’s library.

In cooperation with DiePresse_Logo_Hochglanz and generously supported by 


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Previous Speakers:

November 24
Lubomir Zaoralek
Escaping the Trap of Radicalism: Reflections on Central Europe

October 10
Adam Daniel Rotfeld
Russia, Ukraine, Poland: Difficult Past, Uncertain Future

April 18, 2016
Madeleine Albright
Global Responsibility: Europe, the US and the Refugee Crisis

February 22, 2016
Alessandro Monsutti
Beyond the ‘Refugee Crisis’:

January 17, 2016
Zhanna Nemtsova
New Russian Nationalism

November 10, 2015
Sadik al-Azm
The Syrian Revolt: An Insider Perspective 

October 14, 2015
Shlomo Avineri

The Arab Spring and the Disintegration of the Middle East State System

May 7, 2015
Sergii Leshchenko
Ukraine Between Corruption and Reform

April 20, 2015
Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou
Understanding the Rise of the Islamic State

February 19, 2014
Mykola Riabchuk
Ukraine, Maidan, and the Future of Europe

December 17, 2013
Alexander Graf Lambsdorff
Die Qual nach der Wahl – Wie entwickelt sich Deutschland?

November 29, 2013
Nader Hashemi
Why Syria Matters: The Moral Case for Intervention

November 15, 2013
Gordon Bajnai
Hungary at the Crossroads

October 24, 2013
Giuliano Amato
Europe. What comes next?

June 27, 2013
Soli Özel
Popular Revolt, Populist Turn: Turkey’s Critical Turn After a Decade of AKP Rule

June 4, 2013
Martti Ahtisaari
Is Europe Losing Its Vision? Egalitarian Politics at Stake

March 12, 2013
Fyodor Lukyanov
Russian Foreign Policy: Transformation in the Era of Uncertainty

February 20, 2013
Avrum Burg
Israel after the Elections

September 9, 2012
Georg Soros
The Future of the Euro

May 31, 2012
Kristalina Georgieva
Humanitarian Crisis Response: The EU’s Role and Responsibility

May 15, 2012
Mark Lilla
The New Class Divide and the American Election

May 8, 2012
Irina Prokhorova
Between Dog and Wolf: Russian Society in Quest of its Path for Freedom

March 29, 2012
Christine Ockrent
The French Presidential Election: What is at Stake for France and for Europe?

December 12, 2011
Klaus Gretschmann
Aus der Krise geboren: Niedergang oder Wiedergeburt der EU?

November 8, 2011
Aryeh Neier
The Human Rights Movement as a Political Force

October 19, 2011
Charles Gati / György Schöpflin
What’s the Matter with Hungary?

October 10, 2011
Lilia Shevtsova
Russia’s Choice: Change or Degenerate

June 22, 2011
Marc F. Plattner
Media and Democracy: A Historical Perspective

May 12, 2011
Gabriela von Habsburg
´Go West´ – Georgiens Perspektiven für das 21. Jahrhundert

January 16, 2010
Gesine Schwan
Wider den Vertrauensverlust in die Politik

October 15, 2009
Miroslav Lajčák / Wolfgang Petritsch
European Prospects for the West Balkan

April 27, 2009
Karlheinz Essl / Bogdan Zdrojewski
Kunst, Geld und Politik

November 2016


Escaping the Trap of Radicalism

Außenminister Sebastian Kurz empfängt den tschechischen Außenminister Lubomir Zaoralek zu einem Gespräch. Außenministerium, Wien, 03.04.2014, Foto: Dragan Tatic
This Political Salon addressed the issue of radicalism in the context of European modernity as well as in light of the current crises engulfing the European Union. It makes the case for a new politics of moderation to safeguard an open and tolerant Central Europe as a key element of rebuilding the European project after …
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October 2016


Poland, Ukraine, Russia:
Difficult Past, Uncertain Future

In December 2015 Adam D. Rotfeld resigned as co-chairman of the Polish-Russian Group on Difficult Matters, a position which he held for 8 years. What were the achievements and the failures of the Group? Is there a return to an open discussion between Poland and Russia about their difficult past and uncertain future? Can and should …
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April 2016


Global Responsibility: Europe, the US and the Refugee Crisis

Livestream on Monday, April 18, 6:00pm: Madeleine Albright on 'Global Responsibility'
  Madeleine Albright was born in 1937 in Prague. As a child, she moved with her family to the United States. After studying at Wellesley College and Columbia University, Albright entered politics at the urging of a former professor. In 1993, Albright became the American ambassador to the United Nations, and three years later she …
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February 2016


Beyond the ‘Refugee Crisis’

The current mass influx in Europe of people fleeing violence and poverty is framed in public discourses in terms of ‘crisis’, with the figure of the ‘migrant other’ portrayed as a challenge to Europe’s security, identity and values. This narrative tends to obscure the longer social, political and economic dynamics that have led to such …
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January 2016


New Russian Nationalism

Throughout his time in power, Putin has been committed to (re-)inventing a Russian national idea. In the end, he opted for the worst possible version – revival of imperial glory. It proved to be the easiest method of securing his power, as imperial sentiments are still widespread. As a result, Russian society is now seen …
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