The World in Pieces

Vienna Humanities Festival 2024

The theme of this year's Vienna Humanities Festival is “Uncharted.” Navigating our way through the challenges climate change, new forms of warfare, global health crises, and artificial intelligence pose, will require more creativity, exploration, and experimentation than humans have ever demonstrated before. The Vienna Humanities Festival 2024 will contribute to the discussion of these impediment and the questions they give rise to, by inviting the public to reflect with intellectuals, scientists, writers and artists.

In this talk, one of the greatest geopolitical thinkers of today, author of groundbreaking books on the history of the Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe, and most recently the monumental biography of Joseph Stalin, Stephen Kotkin, will set out a series of propositions to help us understand the contemporary world order, the key trends, the inflection points, and the ways that policymakers could intervene to shape the direction in which the world will go. In conversation with IWM Permanent Fellow Ivan Krastev, he will look at the current geopolitical moment in historical perspective.

Stephen Kotkin is an American historian, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, as well as professor emeritus of history and international affairs at Princeton University. His publications include Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929–1941 (Penguin, 2017) and Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878–1928 (Penguin, 2014); Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization (University of California 1995); Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse 1970–2000 (Oxford, 2001; rev. ed. 2008) and Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment (Modern Library, 2009). Kotkin’s publications and public lectures also often focus on communist China.

Ivan Krastev, IWM Permanent Fellow, will moderate the discussion.

This event is a cooperation with the Volkstheater.

Program of the Vienna Humanities Festival 2024


This event is part of the Vienna Humanities Festival 2024.

The Vienna Humanities Festival is curated by the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM Vienna) and "Time to Talk" (TTT).

In cooperation with FALTER, the Open Society Foundations, the City of Vienna, ERSTE Foundation, the Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien, the Wien Museum, and the Volkstheater.