Podcasts / Between Dream and Tragedy: Europe’s story after 1989

Between Dream and Tragedy: Europe’s story after 1989

Luke Cooper, academic and scholar of international relations and politics from the United Kingdom, he is also the co-host of the “Another Europe” podcast.

Luke was a Europe’s Futures Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna in 2018-2019. One of the projects that he worked on during his tenure was a series on Europe after 1989.

He traveled Europe widely in happier pre- COVID19 times interviewing a great number of people thus amassing a substantive amount of documentary material.

The episodes of around 30 minutes apiece are made up of narrative script by Luke Cooper, interviews and archive material.

Intended for a broader intellectually engaged general public and undergraduate students looking at the history of Europe for the first time, it gives numerous certain insightful views of the making of the EU and the challenges Europe confronted during this period of three decades. Through events such as the post-communist transition, the violent collapse of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, or the creation of the single market in Maastricht, to the economic and financial crises of the late 2000s, Luke Cooper interviews actors who were involved as well as analysts studying these events. It is at moments a riveting listen.

Episode 4: The Euro Crash

Speakers: Luke Cooper

It was the disaster that nearly broke Europe. As the world looked on aghast, the European Union’s totemic and preeminent project, the Euro, lurched from crisis to crisis. In the fourth episode in the series, Luke Cooper investigates the travails of the Eurozone. Focusing on the origins of the Greek tragedy, he argues that we need to place the crisis in its proper context –specifically, the globalisation of financial markets – to understand what went wrong and why.

Episode 3: Maastricht

Speakers: Luke Cooper

What’s the price of a currency in the political market? The creation of the Euro was the most fateful step ever made in the great experiment of European integration. In the third episode of the series, Luke Cooper looks at how the events of 1989 hastened forward the ‘project of Europe’. The European Union would be shaped by the conflicting ideas of two of Europe’s most important leaders and personalities, François Mitterrand and Margaret Thatcher. But rather than the start of a process of political unity, Maastricht is, Cooper argues, best seen as a defeat for the once popular idea of a fully sovereign, and federally united, European project.


Dr Luke Cooper is an associate researcher and consultant at LSE IDEAS, the foreign policy think tank of the London School of Economics. He was previously a visiting fellow at the Institute of Human Sciences (IWM), Europe’s Futures programme (2018 – 2019). His book, Authoritarian Contagion, will be published by Bristol University Press in June 2021. He is the co-founder of Another Europe Is Possible and co-host of the Another Europe podcast.

Between Dream and Tragedy is hosted by the Europe’s Futures programme at the IWM and was supported by the ERSTE Foundation and the European Cultural Foundation

Episode 2: Shock Therapy

Speakers: Luke Cooper

The dream seemed over in a flash. After the triumph of 1989 came the disappointment and hardships of the 1990s. In the second episode of the series, Luke Cooper explains how a Western economic experiment in free markets came crushing down in the post-communist world with often disastrous results. Could it have gone differently or was the break with statist economics always likely to push the pendulum back too far in the other direction?

Dr Luke Cooper is an associate researcher and consultant at LSE IDEAS, the foreign policy think tank of the London School of Economics. He was previously a visiting fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), Europe's Futures programme (2018 - 2019). His book, Authoritarian Contagion, will be published by Bristol University Press in June 2021. He is the co-founder of Another Europe Is Possible and co-host of the Another Europe podcast. Between Dream and Tragedy is hosted by the Europe's Futures programme at the IWM and was supported by the ERSTE Foundation and the European Cultural Foundation. For more information on Europe's Futures go to EuropesFutures.EU.

Producer: Caroline Thornham (SPG Media)

Featuring Marci Shore, Alena Ivanova, and Mary Kaldor. Archive sourced for non-commercial educational purposes for critique and review from YouTube and Learning On Screen. Music from Artist platform covered by SPG Media commercial license.

Episode 1 - 1989

Speakers: Luke Cooper

Europe, 1989. The old divides come crashing down. And a new and different Europe takes shape. Over three decades on from the fall of the Berlin Wall what do we make of the Europe born, or rediscovered, in 1989? In the first episode of the series, Luke Cooper investigates the dreams and myths that drove the project of European integration and explores the role that the desire for national self-determination played in the downfall of communism.