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Seminar series

Europe’s long twentieth century

Add to calendar 2023-11-16 15:30 2023-11-16 17:00 Europe/Rome Europe’s long twentieth century Sala Belvedere Villa Schifanoia YYYY-MM-DD


16 November 2023

15:30 - 17:00 CET


Sala Belvedere

Villa Schifanoia

Join Peo Hansen, Linköping University, in the next 'Europe in the World' seminar series
The lecture takes its point of departure in the EU’s current geopolitical turn. For many scholars and commentators, this turn is hugely significant since it supposedly marks a shift away from the EU’s uniquely liberal approach to world affairs. Equally important, by openly embracing 'hard power' Brussels is also severing the continuity between the present rhetoric and its founding narrative about the EU as an anti-geopolitical peace project. But as will be shown, what appears to be a break with the past is, in fact, a reunion with the past. The current debate is thus not new but echoes earlier calls for a geopolitics of European unity that commenced already in the pre-World War I period. Indeed, today’s geopolitical affirmation follows in the very footsteps of the EU’s founders. Few contemporary scholars and policy makers know that the EU, when it was established in 1957, constituted a vast imperial polity that annexed France’s and Belgium’s African colonies and fully incorporated French Algeria. The founders stressed the community’s huge extra-European scope and natural sphere of influence, which was designated as 'Eurafrica'. By bringing present and past into dialogue, the lecture explains why the EU’s turn to geopolitics – its quest for 'strategic autonomy', its attempt stem Europe’s declining global power – remains stuck in what has proven to be a very long twentieth century.


Alessandra Caldini


Peo Hansen (Linköping University)

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