Europe’s Futures Colloquium I

Monday, 9 September 2019, 4:00pm - 6:00pm, IWM library

Illiberal Regression of Democracy as an Opportunity for Political Extremism: The Case of post-Communist Slovakia

The working hypothesis of the project is a consideration that no less important factor of the growth of right-wing radicalism in Slovakia is – besides ethno-politics and social deprivation – a  illiberal regression in the execution of power by mainstream political forces: tyranny of the majority, efforts to limit the fair electoral competition, marginalization of the opposition (especially of liberal-democratic orientation), selective justice, attacks on independent media and civil society, state capture, nourishing the illiberal public discourse on democracy, freedom, human rights, universal values, migration, the future of the EU, etc.

Grigorij Mesežnikov is a political scientist, president of the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO). He is an author of studies on party systems’ development, political aspects of transformation and illiberal politics in post-communist societies in Central Europe.


Where does Europe end? The Political Significations of Europe’s Uncertain Geographies

Whilst the idea of Europe can have an ambivalent attitude towards borders, it is less clear that Europe as a set of political institutions can: ‘where does Europe end?’, ‘who is a member and who is not?’ are connected questions that have accompanied the European Union in every stage of its development. They have been posed usually in terms of enlargement, but recent years has seen discussions of how the European Union would deal with succession from its member states (Catalonia, Scotland…), and how it deals with the reintroduction of borders for people or goods, whether that be the suspension of the Schengen agreement or the problems Brexit potentially creates at the border of Northern Ireland. Far from being a ‘post-territorial’ actor, the European Union seems to be involved in governing territory and borders in multiple ways that are directly political. What is more, the status, rights and identities of European citizens and third-country nationals are all directly affected by these questions. Do these actions reveal underlying principles of the relationship between the EU, its territory and its population, or are they ad-hoc and pragmatic? Can we develop a political theory of the EU’s relationship to its territory?

Niccolo Milanese is a founding director of European Alternatives and author of  Citizens of Nowhere (Zed books 2018) and Wir heimatlosen Weltbürger (Suhrkamp 2019)

Europe’s Futures – Ideas for Action
A strategic partnership initiative of IWM and ERSTE Foundation