Europe and the World
The project on Europe and the World is a multitier endeavor founded within the Liechtenstein Institute with the intent of developing a deeper understanding of how an ever-changing Europe is understood by its neighbors and the world, with a special focus on the EU and its role as a supranational organization, its geopolitical strengths and weaknesses, and its relation to broader Europe.
The project on Europe and the World began in 2015 with the arrival of The Honorable José Manuel Durão Barroso, former president of the European Commission. On February 1, 2015, Mr. Barroso was appointed to the Frederick H. Schultz Class of 1951 Visiting Professor of International Economic Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a policy fellow of LISD. His work with LISD on the EU was focused primarily on its relations with Russia, Africa, the US, and China. Barroso still serves as a nonresident senior fellow with LISD.
Wolfgang Danspeckgruber and Barroso co-taught three courses during his tenure at Princeton. The first, Topics in International Relations: The European Union and International Relations, in the fall of 2015, explored the complexities, challenges, and achievements of the EU in international relations over the past decades. Instructors and students discussed relations between EU and nonmember states, great powers, international organizations, and lessons from leading the EU in a globalized interdependent system. Also discussed was how the EU copes with ethnic rivalries, terrorism, financial and nuclear crises, power interests, energy markets, revolutions, conflict on its borders, and environmental and health challenges. This same theme was taught again in the spring of 2016.
The second course, Leadership and International Relations, in the spring of 2015, was built on the extensive personal experience of the two instructors and explored the intricacies and importance of (personal) leadership in global affairs. It assumed that the quality of leadership, in addition to charisma and personality, exerts considerable influence—positive or negative, constructive or destructive, individual or as a leader of a group. After a theoretical, psychological, and historical introduction, the seminar analyzed select areas in which leadership matters. It also examined the postwar and independence negotiations in Angola, Mozambique, and East Timor, the case of the Iran nuclear negotiations, and the crises in and around Europe. Specific focus was offered to humanitarian and environmental issues, the dimensions of gender and culture, and e-/social media challenges. A concluding workshop was held to develop intergenerational key elements of successful leadership in today’s challenging world.
Building on the student research and intellectual output from those two seminars, the project on Europe and the World emerged as a multitier endeavor founded within LISD with the intent of developing a deeper understanding of how an ever-changing Europe is understood by its neighbors and the world. The Europe in the World project addresses how one should assess if Europe is strong or weak, which institutional reforms could promote greater effectiveness, and how Europe can augment its effective contribution and prepare for a more stable, sustainable world in a time of apparently fundamental challenges.
The project provides core theoretical, historical, and policy literatures on Europe, its foreign relations, and an opportunity to engage in sophisticated, realistic, and differentiated analysis and discussion. Special case studies will address Brexit, Russia, Iran, China, Korea, migration, and values. The Europe in the World Project is dedicated to answering such questions as: What is Europe today? What does “European mean? How should one assess whether Europe is strong or weak? Which and what Europe is one talking about? Which institutional reforms could promote greater effectiveness, and how can Europe augment its effective contribution and prepare for a more stable and sustainable world in a time of apparently fundamental challenges?
The conventional wisdom views Europe as relatively weak and ineffective at pursuing its own interests and ideals internationally. Critics point to recent and ongoing crises inside Europe like Brexit, emerging nationalism and populism, economic issues, generational change, great-power politics, and potential re-nuclearization, as well as Europe’s challenges with a reasserting Russia, an increasingly forceful and influential China, and a US/transatlantic relationship with President Trump. Many lament and criticize the lack of efficiency, response, and effective reach of the EU, but Europe today possesses considerable diplomatic, economic, scientific, technological, and soft-power resources. It is active diplomatically—even with military operations—and economically, and remains attractive because of its legal framework, human rights, culture, and environmental standards.
The Europe and the World program is dedicated to identifying the nuance in these relationships and to finding insight, given the intensity of new challenges and crises. Central to this approach is the role of guests and collaborators on specific programs and events within the project, including HE Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; José Manuel Durão Barroso, former President of the EU Commission; and Joschka Fischer, former German Foreign Minister, and other representatives.
Emerging Foreign and Security Dimensions Fellowship and Seminars:
The project on Europe and the World developed its core programming in September 2018, when the LISD launched two fellowships and seminar series:
- Emerging Foreign and Security Dimensions I
- Emerging Foreign and Security Dimensions II
The first fellowship, Emerging Foreign and Security Dimensions I, launched from September to December 2019 and was divided into three interrelated modules. The series discussed emerging security challenges from strategic developments, inter- and intrastate perspectives, self-determination, climate, and environmental issues to migration and leadership challenges in the region spanning Vancouver to Vladivostok. It offered an overview about some of the key institutions in security and foreign relations in the Northern Hemisphere: the EU, the OSCE, and ASEAN. The seminar addressed the institutional setups, looked at the origins and institutionalizations, and examined security challenges through the prism of the organizations; offered specific insights on negotiations and interactions, and pursued a comparative perspective with an emphasis of involving diplomatic and political practitioners from within and outside of the organizations.
The second fellowship, Emerging Foreign and Security Dimensions II, ran from February to June of 2019 and took a more specific look at the European continent. It explored the complexities, challenges, and achievements of the EU in international relations over the past decades; discussed relations between EU and nonmember states, great powers, international organizations as well as lessons from leading this organization in a globalized interdependent system. The fellowship addressed the way Europe copes with ethnic rivalries, terrorism, financial and nuclear crises, power interests, energy market, revolutions, conflict on its borders, and environmental and health challenges. Fellows tackled such issues as how the EU reacts to the global crises; how global crises affect the mechanisms of European foreign and security response systems; and how new challenges will shape the future of European integration.