Please follow the links above for further details if you would like to attend.
Please follow the links above for further details if you would like to attend.
David Vogel was in London earlier this month and gave a public lecture at the London School of Economics where he discussed the issues he raises in his new book The Politics of Precaution. A podcast of the event is now available to listen to.
Paul Seabright gave a fascinating and typically wide ranging talk “On Lying, Risk Taking and the Euro” for our second annual Princeton University Press
in Europe lecture on 18th April. The talk, which is open to the public, honours our European Advisory Board. In the lecture, Seabright argued that many of the factors which led to the Euro crisis were in plain sight from its launch. The challenge is that in many different ways we are hard wired not to notice. We tend for example to like to tell a morality tale with good guys and bad guys; we tend not to notice slow creeping crises; and we succumb to the very human desire not to rock the boat. Drawing on a wealth of economic data and the insights of neuroscience and behavioural economics, Seabright’s analysis is both compelling – and chilling.
David Scheffer author of ‘All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals’ was in London this week and spoke at Chatham House. An audio recording of his talk is now available on their website. His trip coincided with the conviction on Wednesday 14th March of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo in what was the first verdict delivered by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. In an appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme (please scroll down to 0824 for the clip) he was interviewed about this and the relationship of the United States to the court.
Michael Ross whose new book, ‘The Oil Curse: How Petroleum Wealth Shapes the Development of Nations’, is published on 19 March will be visiting London later this month. He will be delivering one of the King’s Lectures in Ethics, organised jointly by The School of Law and the European Centre for Energy and Resource Security (EUCERS). The talk will be on 19 March from 6 – 8pm at the Safra Lecture Theatre, Kings College London, Strand Campus, London WC2R 2LS . The talk is unticketed and open to all.
David Scheffer, author of the recently published ‘All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals’ will be touring Europe from 12 – 24 March, speaking in London, The Hague, Berlin, Cologne, Vienna, Budapest, Sarajevo and Brussels. While in London he will be talking at the Society for Oriental and African Studies on 12th March and at Chatham House on 13 March. Both these events are free and open to the public so please follow the links if you would like to sign up. For more detailed information on any of the other events in Europe please contact Caroline Priday firstname.lastname@example.org or @crpriday
David Scheffer, the first US ambassador for war crimes, has recently published All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals with Princeton University Press. In the book, he discusses bringing some of the most notorious war criminals to justice. David was interviewed on BBC Radio 3 NightWaves on 25th January and the interview is now available to listen again here.
In Europe, the increasing presence of Islam has often provoked concerns about a threat to security and liberal democracy. Jonathan Laurence’s The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims challenges these ideas and shows how the transformation of a new generation into European Muslims has consisted of a complex mix of achievements and tensions. The book recently received a terrific review in The Economist. Jonathan was kind enough to answer a few questions about his unique look at European Islam, the debates surrounding it, and the connection to the Arab awakening:
Q: Anders Breivik was recently declared insane by the court. His act of violence is widely condemned, but aren’t his anti-multiculturalist views fairly widespread?
For Breivik, the year is 1683 and an Islamic empire is storming the Gates of Vienna. Some of the views in his Internet-age manifesto are popular, although what he did in Oslo and Utoya is of course condemned. An Italian politician from a party in government spoke approvingly of the Norwegian’s belief that Europe had “given up on its cultural identity without a fight.” In December, a poll showed 76% of the French public thinks Islam is “progressing too much.” So the vocal concern over Islam’s growth and Muslims’ integration is no longer the exclusive domain of the far right. It has become ritual for heads of government to declare the failure of multiculturalism, a catchall description increasingly taken to mean the arrival of Muslims in Europe. Breivik may be legally insane, but he is not alone in thinking that Europe is at a turning point vis-à-vis its growing Islamic minorities.
Q: What does this mean for integration policy in European countries, and how have Muslim groups reacted? Is this what the Minaret and Burka bans were about?
On the one hand, the focus on religious fundamentalism led to several well known bans on Islamic symbols in public spaces, from headwear to architectural design. It also provoked acrimonious debate about whether Islam “belongs” and if its associated practices –in all their diversity—can be reconciled with national identity. On the other hand, history tells us this is fairly standard treatment for a new minority entering the crucible of the nation state and joining the general citizenry. Increasingly, however, Muslim communities perceive the sum total of public debate as something akin to religious persecution or a kulturkampf against Islam. It’s not just the religious conservatives or the pious, but Muslims as a “group” who increasingly feel stigmatized. Last month, community eminences in France, Germany (and the US) independently cited the Nazi era and the gradual marginalization of German Jews to describe the political environment. It is not the most encouraging sign, obviously, if the main icebreaker between Muslims and non-Muslims is whether it’s 1683 or the mid-1930s outside.
Q: How did it come to this point, and is this a dead end? Or are there trends in other directions?
The competing narratives of victimization –and self-affirmation—are not new. But Muslims and non-Muslims do seem to be talking past one another at a moment when they need to be in constructive conversation. Nonetheless, it’s important to recognize the degree of cooperation that already exists between community leaders and European governments. A recent stunt to name Europe’s “tallest minaret” (35 meters) after Nicolas Sarkozy is not as ironic as it first appears. In many ways, European Islam has flourished in the past decade. When Sarkozy was interior minister in 2002–4, he helped forge the still-running French Council for the Muslim Religion and started a trend among his European colleagues to guarantee equal religious rights to Muslims. “State-mosque” relations have advanced by leaps and bounds. A thousand Islamic prayer spaces have opened in France in the last ten years. One hundred and thirty schools in Germany’s most populous state (North Rhine Westphalia) now offer Islamic instruction alongside existing religious classes, and the first class of German Muslim theologians began their doctoral program this fall. The list goes on. European governments and Muslim organizations have gotten to know one another better, and community leaders have been brought into a context that encourages their continued adaptation to life as a minority in Europe.
Q: You argue in the book that it’s not 1683 or 1938, but that European countries are at a crucial “nation-building” moment in between. What does your book have to say about the Arab awakening?
The book shows how Europeans responded to the same questions now confronting North African governments: how to balance religious freedom and the democratic rule of law? Can Islamist movements behave “moderately and democratically”? The first generation of European Islamists fled political persecution at home, and some of the religious tension in European countries is rooted in their old political battles. Perhaps the “settling” of Islam’s status in their countries of origin will engender a new dynamic and allow integration to proceed in Europe. On the other hand, European Muslims have made their home in Europe and are not as personally involved in 2011’s events as could be assumed. Nonetheless, the image of Muslim masses protesting peacefully and organizing themselves democratically could contribute in the long run to a continuing “normalization” of how Islamic populations and societies are perceived in Western democracies.
Jonathan Laurence is associate professor of political science at Boston College.
The ideas in David Marquand’s book ‘The End of the West: The
Once and Future Europe’ were the subject of a panel event at the British Academy on 29 November.
In front of a capacity audience David and his fellow panellists Rt Hon
Professor Shirley Williams and Professors Paulo Pombeni and Christopher Hill
addressed a range of issues, from how Europe should respond to the
changing global balance of power, to the growing demands for recognition by the
ethnic communities within its borders and the legitimacy deficit of its
politicians. There were also a variety of suggestions as to how the
current crisis in the Eurozone might be resolved. To hear this event in
full follow the link below.
Congratulations to authors Ian Goldin, Geoffrey Cameron and
Meera Balarajan whose book ‘Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped our World
and will Define our Future’ was listed in the Economist’s Best Books of 2011.
Congratulations to Edwidge Danticat, author of Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work, who has been honored with the 2011 Langston Hughes Medal from City College of New York. The award recognizes the body of Danticat’s work.
“The Langston Hughes Medal is awarded to highly distinguished writers from throughout the African American diaspora for their distinguished contributions to the arts and letters. Among past recipients of this award are James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, Toni Cade Bambara, Paule Marshall, Toni Morrison, Ralph W. Ellison, Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, August Wilson, Chinua Achebe, Derek Walcott, and Octavia Butler, to name a few.”
Here is a video of a Q&A with the author at the 2011 Langston Hughes Festival:
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These are the best-selling books for the past week.
|Alan Turing: The Enigma, The Book That Inspired the Film The Imitation Game by Andrew Hodges|
|The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm edited by Jack Zipes|
|1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed by Eric H. Cline|
|Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age by W. Bernard Carlson|
|Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record by Errol Fuller|
|The Age of the Vikings Anders Winroth|
|The Future of the Brain: Essays by the World’s Leading Neuroscientists edited by Gary Marcus & Jeremy Freeman|
|On Bullshit by Harry Frankfurt|
|The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World by Adrienne Mayor|
|The Warbler Guide by Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle|