The Pursuit of Europe (2012)

The Engelsberg Seminar 2012

June 14th–16th 2012 at Avesta Manor, Sweden

In Greek mythology, Europa was the Phoe necian princess whom Zeus pursued and raped while dressed as a white bull. But if Europe was once a Greek dream, she has inspired several subsequent dreams in the aftermath of war and disaster – of unity, peace, national cooperation, a single market and latterly a single currency – which now seem to haunt the present. Will the modern European project be derailed by the sheer ambitions of those dreams? But what is Europe? Is it merely a continent, a geographical entity? And when did it come to have any sense of identity or political unity? Did Europe become a rallying cry to stay off the bellicose nature of Europeans as a misplaced peace initiative? The pursuit of the idea of Europe has been a story in itself. This conference will seek to probe Europe’s historical antecedents, and to establish the self-perceptions of Europeans across a wide range of her past. When did Europeans start to identify as European? Why has European unity been so elusive in history? And as the French historian of the 19th century, François Guizot, once remarked, that Europe’s strength and creativity is in its very lack of unity. Something, after all, needs to explain the sheer dimension of Europe’s creativity in the Arts, Music, Painting, Sculpture, Literature, Sciences, Physics, Philosophy, Political ideas and so much more: indeed it invented most of these spheres of learning and human expression. As the birthplace of Western civilisation, Europe invented much of the modern world. But the term Europe has in fact meant different things at different times. Herodotus spoke of the world being divided into three parts: Europe, Asia and Libya, with the Nile and the River Phasis forming their boundaries. By the 1st century, the geographer, Strabo, stated that the eastern frontier was at the River Don. A defi nition of Europe as the lands of Western Christianity arose in the 8th century, signifying the contrast with Byzantium and Islam. Europa often fi gures in the letters of Charlemagne’s cultural minister, Alcuin. In 1730, the Swedish geographer and cartographer von Strahlenberg proposed the Ural Mountains as the most significant eastern boundary (instead of waterways), a suggestion that found favour throughout Europe. Today, the word Europe is often used in a geopolitically limiting way, to refer only to the European Union, or even more exclusively, a particular culturally defi ned core. However, the Council of Europe has 47 member countries and only 27 member states are in the EU. Also, people living in outlying areas or islands such as Ireland, the United Kingdom, the North Atlantic and Mediterranean islands as well as Scandinavians may refer to “Continental Europe” or Europe simply as “the continent”. What were the intentions of the early founding fathers of the European Community? And what of Europe’s future in this respect? Will Europe stick together or will we once again be hearing the eerie cry evoking the spirit of british weather forecasts from the 1930’s: ”Fog in Channel; Continent Cut Off.”


Memories of Empires

Giulia Sissa
Professor of Political Science and Classics, UCLA
Lecture: Rediscovering Europe and Inventing Eutopia

Anthony Pagden
Professor of Political Science and History, UCLA
Lecture: The Idea of Europe: From the Great Republic to the European Union

John Elliott
Regius Professor Emeritus of Modern History, University of Oxford
Lecture: The Difficulties of Unity 1500–1750

Peter Alter
Professor of European History, University of Duisburg-Essen
Lecture: The Concert of Europe 1780–1830: Europe in an Age of Nationalism


War & Post-War

Agnès C. Poirier
Political Commentator, Writer and Broadcaster
Lecture: Victor Hugo and Greater Europe

Peter Jay
Former Economics Editor of The Times (UK) and of the BBC, Former British Ambassador to the USA
Lecture: Europe’s Association of Democracies: Third French Empire or Fourth Reich?

Patricia Clavin
Professor of Inter national History, Jesus College, University of Oxford
Lecture: Economic Crises and the Making of Europe

Kiran Klaus Patel
Professor of European and Global History, Maastricht University
Lecture: Foes Into Friends: Germany’s Role in Post-War European Integration


The European Record

José M. de Areilza
Professor of European Union Law and Jean Monnet Chair at IE Law School, Madrid, Spain, Secretary General of Aspen Institute
Lecture: The Challenges of European Integration

Argita Daudze
Latvian Ambassador to the Ukraine
Lecture: Expansion East and the Erosion of Memory

Oliver Kamm
Leader Writer and Columnist, The Times
Lecture: Creating Europe: The Achievements of Integration

Nigel Lawson
Former Chancellor of the Exchequer, UK and Member of the Economic Affairs Committee of the House of Lords
Lecture: The Disaster of European Monetary Union


Financial Turmoil

Alan Posener
Columnist, for Die Welt and Welt am Sonntag
Lecture: Germany’s Burden: Kohl, Thatcher and the Future of the Euro

David Rennie
Political Editor, The Economist
Lecture: Three Threats to Europe’s Internal Market

George Pagoulatos
Senior Advisor to the Greek Prime Minister & Professor of European Politics and Economy at the Athens University of Economics and Business
Lecture: The Eurozone Crisis: A View From Greece

Philippe Legrain
Economic Adviser to the President of the European Commission
Lecture: Prospects for the Euro



Pierre Hassner
Senior Research Fellow Emeritus, Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI)
Lecture: The Paradoxes of European Identity

Jan-Werner Müller
Professor of Politics University of Princeton
Lecture: Democratic Exclusion and Europe’s Political Identity

Ariane Chebel d’Appollonia
Associate Professor and Senior Researcher, School of Public Administration, Rutgers University
Lecture: United in Adversity? European Identity in Times of Crisis

Gunnar Hökmark
Swedish Member of the European Parliament, Vice-President of the EPP Group
Lecture: The Spirit of Europe



David Voas
Professor of Population Studies, University of Essex
Lecture: The Future of Europe: Secular but not Secularist; Diverse not Divided

Ahmet Evin
Jean Monnet Professor of European Policy Studies at Sabanci University
Lecture: Muslims in Europe: Integration or Isolation?

Eric Kaufmann
Professor, Department of Politics, Birkbeck College
Lecture: The Return of Religion


Foreign Relations

Robert Cooper
Counsellor, European External Action Service
Lecture: EU Foreign Policy in Times of Peace: Power Without Statehood

Jan Zielonka
Professor of European Politics, St Anthony’s College, University of Oxford
Lecture: Europe: The Model Power?

Pär Stenbäck
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Finland, ExCom Board member, International Crisis Group (ICG), Chairman, European Cultural Parliament
Lecture: Will Europe Prevail on the World Scene?


The View from Elsewhere

Yu Yongding
Lecture: The View From China

Konstantin von Eggert
Lecture: The View From Russia

Bruce Stokes
Lecture: The View From the US


European Futures

Hans-Olaf Henkel
Lecture: The Mistakes of Euromantics

Mark Leonard
Lecture: Make or Break: A New Europe?

Josef Joffe
Lecture: The Euro: Too Soon, Too Much, Too Bad

Watch interviews held with the speakers throughout the seminar