06 Nov

1989 in a Day

This is a series of conversations spanning various Eastern and Central European societies between someone, who was an active participant, or a close observer, of an event on a crucial date in 1989, and a person, who was still very young in 1989. Both speakers will start with personal reflections that will be followed by …
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05 Nov

1989 – Jeder Aufbruch verlangt nach Geschichten, Teil II

Vor 30 Jahren ist der „Eiserne Vorhang“ gefallen, viele Grenzen sind verschwunden. Doch oft scheint es, als seien sich Kulturen, Literaturen und Mentalitäten in »Ost« und »West« nach wie vor fremd. Während die wirtschaftlichen Verflechtungen längst eng geworden sind, hängt zwischen den Lebensrealitäten oft ein „gläserner Vorhang“. An guten Tagen ist er immerhin durchsichtig; am …
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28 Oct

The Soviet Abortion Decree of 1920 and the Next Hundred Years of the Abortion Controversy

In the early 20th century, doctors turned abortion into a highly politicized topic that allowed them to debate the essential “illness” and large-scale “cures” of the late Russian Empire. In 1920, the Bolshevik decree “On the Protection of Women’s Health” was the first in the world to legalize abortion, and it became the hallmark of …
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21 Oct

Deus Malignus

In the context of what is called digitalization we are witnessing a stunning renaissance of an uncritical, almost metaphysical understanding of thinking machines. Alan Turing, however, in his famous article “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”, made it quite clear from the outset that the metaphysical question of whether machines are capable of thinking must be replaced …
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14 Oct

How Could Art Reflect on Trauma?

How do you make art about someone else’s traumatic past? What would you say to explain the victim’s experience to others, and where would you stop your story? And what would change if you yourself belong to the traumatized group whose story you are telling? Would your evidence be credible, or will it automatically be …
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07 Oct

Recollections of the American Half-Century

Now a Visiting Scholar at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Ambassador Simons spent most of his U.S. Foreign Service career (1963-1998) working in East-West relations.  In October 1986 he was part of the U.S. team at the Reagan-Gorbachev meeting in Reykjavik: he was in fact the U.S. notetaker on the Sunday afternoon …
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30 Sep

Illiberal Democracy: Contradiction, Ideology or Characteristic of our Age?

Since Viktor Orbán used the term in 2014 to propose a new model for Europe, debates have raged over whether ‘illiberal democracy’ is a coherent concept at all, what distinguishes it from liberal democracy, and what its relationships are with terms such as populism, authoritarianism, state capture, nationalism and majoritarianism. Whilst academic circles have been …
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30 Sep

Europe’s Futures Colloquium IV

The Many Faces of Sustainable Work, Wealth, Health, and Welfare The project will deal with a topic I have been working on long since – The Varieties and Fragility of Sustainable Work, Wealth, Health, and Welfare. It will focus on public lectures and new publications aimed at translating complex findings from theory and comparative empirical research into …
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23 Sep

Europe’s Futures Colloquium III

The EU’s strategic sovereignty in times of contestation Ten years ago, the Lisbon Treaty promised a stronger, more coherent and more effective EU foreign and security policy. This anniversary comes at a time when the Union is confronted with rising internal and external obstacles as well as expectations. The EU’s neighbourhood is characterised by conflict …
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19 Sep

American Diplomacy in a Disordered World

In the fifth event of the series “Geopolitical Talks” IWM Permanent Fellow Ivan Krastev will talk with Ambassador William J. Burns, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, about America’s changing role in the world and the purpose of American diplomacy. William J. Burns is president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and …
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