Dear friends and colleagues of the Kolleg-Forschergruppe,
Welcome to our latest newsletter edition!
Since the summer term has come to an end, we would like to take the opportunity to present you the past KFG events in detail. One of the most remarkable events of this summer has been the KFG & MAXCAP participation at the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften (Long Night of the Sciences) at the campus of Freie Universität Berlin in Dahlem. The relations between Europe and Russia in times of the Ukrainian crisis being at the center of the discussions, this event covered a very current and crucial topic of international politics. Moreover, there have also been a lot of other fascinating and insightful KFG events in these months. Inken von Borzyskowski’s Workshop and Roundtable “Elections in the Developing World” covered the challenge of free and fair elections in developing countries. Kiran Patel hold an author workshop on “Hidden Continuities: From Interwar to Postwar Forms of Cooperation and Integration in Europe”, which rounded up the first set of workshop series organized by Kiran Patel and Wolfram Kaiser. Last but not least, the volume “European Public Spheres. Politics is Back” edited by Thomas Risse was presented to a broad public in Berlin as well as in Brussels.
We wish you happy holidays and hope to see you around by the start of the upcoming autumn term!
While elections are held in almost every country nowadays, they are still often plagued by fraud and violence and are frequently administered by weak institutions. Democracy depends critically on free and fair elections and peaceful transitions – yet these essential first steps are regularly thwarted in developing countries. Why are some elections violent while others are not? When do elections facilitate democracy? And how does international election assistance influence elections in developing countries? These questions were addressed in a book workshop and panel discussion taking place on 18-19 May 2015 at the Political Science Department at Freie Universität Berlin.
Report 1: MAXCAP Student Debate on Ukraine: Discussions on how to Enhance Peace
The crisis in Ukraine has been on the pages of newspapers and on the agenda of world leaders for more than a year. Yet, a solution is no way near despite several high level meetings and roadmaps developed during negotiations in Minsk. To provide a fresh viewpoint on the crisis and its possible solutions, Nelli Babayan and Julia Langbein organized a student debate on the topic as part of the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften on 13 June 2015 at Freie Universität Berlin.
Report 2: KFG-Panel Discussion: Between Europe and Eurasia - The EU and Russia
The recent crisis in Ukraine and the resulting sanction policies between the EU and Russia took also center stage in the second panel of the KFG & MAXCAP event at the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften. In contrast to the student debate, the panel chaired by Tanja A. Börzel focused more on the broader regional level of 'Eurasia' which constitutes the neighborhood of almost all actors involved – EU, Russia and Ukraine – but also provides the backdrop to imbed the recent conflict into a larger picture.
"Hidden Continuities: From Interwar to Postwar Forms of Cooperation and Integration in Europe" was the third workshop organized by Kiran Klaus Patel (University of Maastricht) and Wolfram Kaiser (University of Portsmouth). Building on an earlier workshop in October 2014, the conference in June has been the final part in the first set of workshops led by Kiran Patel.
The Euro crisis has triggered an unprecedented politicization of European affairs: Since the beginning of the crisis, the European Union (EU) and its policies have become a prominent issue that is controversially discussed in the media of EU member states. But does this really mean that a ‘Europeanization’ of national public spheres is taking place? This question dominated the discussion on the newly published book “European Public Spheres. Politics is Back” which has been edited by Thomas Risse and was officially launched on 1 July 2015 in the premises of Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie.
Arie Krampf, former postdoctoral fellow at the KFG (now Senior Lecturer at the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo), and Barbara Fritz, Senior Research Scholar at the KFG “The Transformative Power of Europe”, edited a Special Issue of the journal “Contemporary Politics” (21:2, June 2015) on the topic “Coping with Financial Crises: Explaining Variety in Regional Arrangements”.