Budapest – ESI talk at CEU: The Rhetoric of Reaction - Pessimism, Complacency and Newspeak in 2014
ESI's Gerald Knaus has been invited to deliver the keynote speech for the opening of the academic year 2014/2015 of the School of Public Policy at the Central European University in Budapest. He spoke about lessons to be learnt from recent events in international relations, from Iraq and Lybia, to Syria and Ukraine. Gerald was invited and introduced by Wolfgang Reinicke and John Shattuck frrom the CEU. Thomas Carothers, Vice President of the Carnegie Foundation, was in the audience and took part in the debate that followed.
This year has seen a cascade of crises and a bonfire of assumptions about the post Cold War world. It is a time for hard questions.
What remains of the commitments of November 1990 – the Paris Charter for a New Europe – in light of current events? Of the promise of peaceful regime change and color revolutions? Of the hopes of liberal interventionists, in light of news from Libya and Iraq? Of the moral authority of the Council of Europe, when the country chairing it is putting its human rights defenders in jail? Was the grand project of European enlargement – and the US vision of "one Europe, whole and free" – hopelessly naive and recklessly overoptimistic? Does 2014 mark the end of an era: the moment when the West returns from a strategy of enlargement to a strategy of containment?
Are we condemned to chose between complacency and pessimism: the belief that liberal democracy and human rights are the wave of the future or the fatalistic view that the law of the world will always remain the law of the jungle?
Recent presenations by Gerald Knaus:
- ESI newsletter: The LIST and arrests in Baku – Sakharov prize 2014 – Black Sea in Budapest – Capacity building in Kosovo (4 September 2014)
- ESI conference: Debate on campaign "For a Europe without political prisoners"(2 June 2014)
- Open letter to 125 current and former members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (23 April 2014). Translations of the open letter are available in: Azeri, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, French, German, Greek, Italian, Polish, Spanish, and Turkish
- ESI newsletter: Hunger strike, European values and an Open Letter (23 April 2014)
- ESI report: Disgraced – Azerbaijan and the end of election monitoring as we know it (5 November 2013)
- ESI report: Caviar Diplomacy. How Azerbaijan silenced the Council of Europe (24 May 2012)
- ESI report: Generation Facebook in Baku – Adnan, Emin and the Future of Dissent in Azerbaijan (15 March 2011)
- ESI country section on Azerbaijan
- Can Intervention Work?
- Rumeli Observer blog
- Return to Europe documentaries