This conference was the second in a series of three jointly organized by the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna, and the Open Society Institute in New York.
The EU’s recent crisis has shown that contrary to what the classic notion of the “ever closer Union among the peoples of Europe” suggests, the process of Europe’s integration is not irreversible. The spectre of disintegration is haunting the European Union. It is in light of the eminent challenges facing the integration project that IWM organised in October 2012 the conference „The Political Logics of DisIntegration II: The Habsburg and Yugoslav Experiences”. Bringing together senior policy makers, disintegration experts and renowned public intellectuals, the aim was to arrive at a more thorough, historically grounded understanding of the risk of disintegration of the European project and to reflect on strategies to cope with or even halt the fracturing dynamics that have engulfed the EU. The idea of the conference was to figure out the psychological dimension of the disintegration process in the light of the Habsburg and Yugoslav experience, and to focus on the relevant lessons that European policy makers can learn from the disintegration of the Habsburg Empire and Tito’s Yugoslavia. What, if anything, should Europeans be afraid of? What are the tipping points in the process of disintegration? Were there policy roads not taken that might be deployed for the current European debate?