Podcasts / Vienna Coffee House Conversations with Ivan Vejvoda

Vienna Coffee House Conversations with Ivan Vejvoda

“Europe is made up of coffee houses or cafes… Draw the coffee-house map and you have one of the essential markers of the ‘idea of Europe’.”

George Steiner

Vienna Coffee House Conversations podcast series are brought about by Ivan Vejvoda, IWM’s Permanent Fellow and director of Europe’s Futures – Ideas for Action project.

As Europe finds itself confronted with challenges of a magnitude it has not experienced since the crises of the 1930s, it is of the essence to create a space to understand the current dynamics and to bring people from the different corners of Europe to speak and listen to each other on many challenges: rule of law, democratic deterioration, depopulation and migration, unity and solidarity, the wake of Brexit, the enlargement prospects in the Western Balkans.

Expanding that space, Europe’s Futures Fellows and other prominent European experts join Ivan Vejvoda in 30-min episodes with succinct discussion on issues with lines sometimes blurred but importance always clear for the success of the European project.

China, Europe and the Belt and Road Initiative with Valbona Zeneli

In this episode Ivan Vejvoda talks with Valbona Zeneli, professor of national security studies at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch, Germany. Born in Albania, Dr. Zeneli is an economist with an interest in international economics, good governance and international security politics. In a complex discussion, Zeneli and Vejvoda trace the web of Chinese economic influence and address the geopolitical impact of China's global infrastructure development strategy - often called the 'Belt and Road Initiative' - on the countries of Southeastern Europe. Is the allure of Chinese investment disrupting the economic relevance of the EU in the Western Balkans and beyond?

America's Pivot to Asia with Soli Özel

In this first podcast of our second season, Soli Özel and Ivan Vejvoda discuss the ongoing refocusing of the US's attention on the Indo-Pacific region and the attendant disengagement of the Superpower from the theaters that defined its international relationships during the cold war. Tracing the line of recent history from the so-called 'Obama doctrine' through the Trump presidency and up to the Biden administration's withdrawal from Afghanistan, the furore in Europe surrounding the AUKUS pact and the role that the shifting balance of power has played in Turkey, Syria, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Wider Europe and beyond - Özel and Vejvoda wrestle with the implications of a truly epochal shift in the geopolitical status quo.

Episode 7: Precarity, Risk and Safe Speech with Albena Azmanova

Focusing on the arguments in her latest book “Capitalism On Edge: How Fighting Precarity Can Achieve Radical Change Without Crisis or Utopia?“ Ivan Vejvoda and Albena Azmanova discuss the future of Guy Standing’s “precariat”, that class of people whom late capitalism has condemned to live without predictability or security and who are asked to take ever greater risks with ever diminishing prospects of reward. They look at the possibilities for change, the insufficiency of “inequality” as an explanatory narrative and the challenges around the conflict between the desire for safety in academia and the imperatives of free speech and inquiry.


Episode 6: The Regression of Democracy with Judy Dempsey

Judy Dempsey and Ivan Vejvoda consider the world-wide sense that democracy has been in regression these last years in a wide-ranging conversation that takes in media oligarchy, the roles of threat perception and values in forming a common European purpose, the legacy of the enlightenment and much more.

Judy is currently a Europe's Futures fellowa at the IWM and is a Senior Fellow at Carnegie Europe and editor-in-chief of its Strategic Europe blog. Formerly a columnist for the International New York Times, Germany Correspondent for the International Herald Tribune and Eastern Europe correspondent for the Financial Times - she has borne witness to the tribulations of European democracy over many years covering the NATO and European enlargements and reporting from the ground during the world-shaking transformations of 1989 and 1990

The Missing Pages of European History with Teresa Reiter

In the latest Vienna Coffee House Conversation, Ivan Vejvoda speaks to political activism expert, Head of Communications at Forum Alpbach and Europe’s Futures fellow Teresa Reiter about the way that history is taught, utilized and remembered in twenty-first century Europe. From the ways that national foreign policy shapes curricula to the tendency to write the recent history of the Western Balkans out of a mainstream narrative that sees the creation of the EU as a successful project to end war in the continent – Ivan and Teresa bring their personal and academic perspectives to an issue that is central to how Europe sees itself.

Find Teresa Reiter on twitter @schwindelfrei  or on her website at http://www.teresareiter.com

Political Narrative and the Stories of Europe's Futures with Julia De Clerck-Sachsse

In this fortnight’s Vienna Coffee House Conversation, Ivan Vejvoda speaks to EU diplomat and academic Julia De Clerck-Sachsse about the power of narratives to shape policy and the future of the European project. Was Barack Obama right to say that “perhaps [Europe needs] an outsider, somebody who is not European, to remind [it] of the magnitude of what [it has] achieved”? As enlargement proceeds and threats to the democratic order arise, is Europe able to tell itself the stories that it needs to face up to new challenges?

A diplomat and an academic, Julia De Clerck-Sachsse served as the speechwriter and communications adviser to EU High Representatives for Foreign and Security Policy, Lady Catherine Ashton and Federica Mogherini. She is leading a research project at Oxford University on the EU’s geopolitical narrative and works on transatlantic relations, EU foreign and security policy; also a foreign-policy Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She is a 2020/21 “Europe’s Futures”fellow of the Institute for Human Sciences and ERSTE Foundation.