Europe Lecture Series

slnsw logoThe Europe Lecture series is an annual event led and hosted by the History Research Initiative at the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, Western Sydney University.We are delighted to announce that the State Library of NSW has now joined us in sponsoring this event. Leading scholars engaging with the history and politics of Europe are invited to share their thoughts and knowledge with the academic and broader community on issues that lie at the heart of contemporary Europe. All lectures are recorded and aired on ABC Radio National's Big Ideas program.

History at Western Sydney University, in conjunction with the State Library of NSW, is proud to present:

Europe Lecture 2015


Can the European Union Defend Ukraine?

Professor Jan Zielonka

Wednesday, 23 September 2015, 6.00 pm Dixson Room, State Library NSW

The EU is a largely civilian power promoting universal norms in its vast neighbourhood and beyond. The EU has no army, no clearly defined centre of authority and no evident geo-strategic interests. However, it would be a mistake to dismiss the EU as having no role in foreign policy. Its policy of enlargement has generated security and prosperity in parts of post-communist Eastern Europe. EU regulatory regimes have imposed extra-territorial scrutiny on numerous trading partners across the world. The EU has not shied away from power, but has broken away from the traditional exercise of power.

Nevertheless, the EU's normative power is today being tested in Ukraine, and it looks like it is failing the test. Russia not only annexed Crimea and ignited a rebellion in much of eastern Ukraine, but also confronted the EU with cyber-attacks, energy-supply blackmail, covert intelligence operations, military actions endangering civilian flights and vicious propaganda. The EU response to the unfolding events was slow, mild and reactive. The real punch for Putin came not from the EU but from financial and commodity markets: falling prices of oil and of the value of the ruble, combined with the flight of capital away from Russia, have imposed serious economic constraints on Putin .

This lecture will analyse the EU's foreign policy in Eastern Europe and beyond. How can the EU help Ukraine to be free, prosperous and democratic?

Jan Zielonka is Professor of European Politics at the University of Oxford and Ralf Dahrendorf Professorial Fellow at St Antony's College. He has published numerous works in the field of international relations, comparative politics and the history of political ideas. His books include Europe as Empire: The Nature of the Enlarged European Union (Oxford University Press, 2006), Europe Unbound: Enlarging and Reshaping the Boundaries of the European Union (Routledge, 2002) and Explaining Euro-paralysis. Why Europe is Unable to Act in International Politics (Macmillan, 1998). His latest book, Is the EU doomed?, was published by Polity Press in 2014.

Please register for this lecture here

For all enquiries please contact Dr Margarite Poulos 

Europe Lecture 2014

The 2014 Europe Lecture was delivered by Professor Richard Bosworth, a renown scholar of Italian facism.
The lecture was recorded by ABC for their Big Ideas series and can be listened to here (opens in a new window)

Europe Lecture 2013

The inaugural Europe Lecture was delivered by Yanis Varoufakis, now a member of the new Greek government. 

The Europe Lecture series is supported by the Research Infrastructure Program, School of Humanities and Communication Arts, Western Sydney University.

Please contact Dr Margarite Poulos or Cath Bishop for more information.