2021 Conference Plenaries & Presidential Panel

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Europe is changing rapidly, and European studies is changing along with it.  The pandemic has only accelerated trends that already existed. Challenges to democracy and the welfare state are everywhere apparent. Some of these stem from developments within European societies and economies. Others reflect the impact of migration, innovation, and climate change. The rise of China, the growth of emerging markets, and the evolution of globalization also have a powerful influence, and so does the transformation of the transatlantic relationship. Making sense of this complex situation is no easy task. The whole community scholarship focusing on Europe needs to participate. This roundtable is meant to open the conversation, to highlight important developments—both new and ongoing, and to suggest where researchers in different disciplines should focus and are focusing their attention.

  • Chair’s Welcome: Erik Bleich, Middlebury College
  • Moderator: Erik Jones, Johns Hopkins University
  • Panelists: Michele Lamont, Harvard University; Cathie Jo Martin, Boston University; Sheri Berman, Barnard College; Jan Willem Duyvendak, University of Amsterdam

Erik Jones is Professor of European Studies and International Political Economy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.  Starting September 1, 2021, he will be Director of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute.

Michèle Lamont is Professor of Sociology and of African and African American Studies and the Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies at Harvard University. She served as the 108th President of the American Sociological Association in 2016-2017 and she chaired the Council for European Studies from 2006-2009. She is also the recipient of a 1996 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the 2014 Gutenberg research award, and the 2017 Erasmus prize (for her contributions to the social sciences in Europe and the rest of the world). She is also the recipient of honorary doctorates from five countries (Canada, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK). A cultural and comparative sociologist, Lamont is the author or coauthor of a dozen books and edited volumes and over one hundred articles and chapters on a range of topics including culture and inequality, racism and stigma, academia and knowledge, social change and successful societies, and qualitative methods. Her most recent publications include the coauthored book Getting Respect: Responding to Stigma and Discrimination in the United States, Brazil, and Israel (Princeton University Press 2016); the 2017 ASA Presidential Address “Addressing Recognition Gaps: Destigmatization and the Reduction of Inequality” (American Sociological Review 2018); and a special issue of Daedalus on “Inequality as a Multidimensional Process” (coedited with Paul Pierson; summer 2019). Lamont is Director of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University. An Andrew Carnegie Fellow for 2019-2021, she spent 2019-2020 on sabbatical at the Russell Sage Foundation. She is working on a book on social change and repertoires of hope, to be published by Simon and Schuster (US) and Penguin (UK).

Cathie Jo Martin is professor of Political Science at Boston University, former chair of the Council for European Studies and former president of the Comparative Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. Her book with Duane Swank, The Political Construction of Business Interests(Cambridge 2012) received the APSA Politics and History book award. In 2013-2014, she co-chaired with Jane Mansbridge an APSA presidential task force on political negotiation, which produced Negotiating Agreement in Politics (Brookings 2015). Martin is also author of Stuck in Neutral: Business and the Politics of Human Capital Investment Policy (Princeton 2000), Shifting the Burden: the Struggle over Growth and Corporate Taxation (Chicago 1991), and articles in the American Political Science ReviewWorld PoliticsBritish Journal of Political ScienceComparative Political Studies and Socio-Economic Review among others. Martin has held fellowships at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Russell Sage Foundation, Boston University Center for the Humanities and University of Copenhagen. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, German Marshall Fund, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Danish Social Science Research Council, Boston University Hariri Institute for Computing and National Science Foundation.

Sheri Berman is Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia University. She is the author of numerous books and scholarly articles on European politics and political development, the left, fascism, populism, and the fate of democracy.  Her latest book is Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe: From the Ancien Régime to the Present Day (2019).  She has also published in a wide variety of non-scholarly publications, including the New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalWashington PostForeign Affairs, VOX, The Guardian and Dissent. She is on the boards of Dissent, The Journal of Democracy, Political Science Quarterly and Persuasion. She holds an Honorary Doctorate from Uppsala University in Sweden. 

Jan Willem Duyvendak is Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam. His main fields of research currently are the transformation of the welfare state, belonging and ‘feeling at home,’ and nativism. He has published numerous articles and books, including The Politics of Home. Belonging and Nostalgia in Western Europe and the United States (2011), Crafting Citizenship. Negotiating Tensions in Modern Society(2012, co-authored with Menno Hurenkamp and Evelien Tonkens), and The Culturalization of Citizenship. Belonging and Polarization in a Globalizing World (2016, edited with Peter Geschiere and Evelien Tonkens). Since January 1st 2018 he has been rector of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (NIAS-KNAW).

Populism in Europe and North America—and the contentious issues that animate it—have transformed the political landscape and political practices in the last two decades. Our plenary panel brings together three leading voices in the study of contemporary politics to debate the future of populism, and what further developments in advanced liberal democracies we might expect in the aftermath of Brexit and Donald Trump.

  • Chair’s Welcome: Erik Bleich, Middlebury College
  • Moderator: Adrian Favell, University of Leeds
  • Panelists: Catherine de Vries, Bocconi Univeristy; Anand Menon, Kings College London; Milada Vachudova, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Adrian Favell is Chair in Sociology and Social Theory at the University of Leeds, where he directs the Bauman Institute. He is also a research associate of the Centre d’études européennes et de politique comparée (CEE), Sciences Po, Paris. He is the author of various works on migration, immigration politics, cosmopolitanism and cities, including Philosophies of Integration (1998), Eurostars and Eurocities (2008), and a collection of essays, Immigration, Integration and Mobility: New Agendas in Migration Studies (2015). He is currently the PI of the UK ESRC project “‘Northern Exposure: Race, Nation and Disaffection in ‘Ordinary’ Towns and Cities after Brexit.”

Catherine E. de Vries is a Dean of Diversity & Inclusion and Professor of Political Science at Bocconi University. She is a political scientist who examines the key challenges facing the European continent today, such as Euroscepticism, political fragmentation, migration and corruption. Among her many books and articles, Euroscepticism and the Future of European integration (Oxford University Press) received the European Union Studies Association Best Book in EU Studies Award and was listed in the Financial Times top-5 books to read about Europe’s future. Her most recent book is Political Entrepreneurs: The Rise of Challenger Parties in Europe, co-authored with Sara Hobolt (Princeton University Press).

Anand Menon is Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at Kings College London. He also directs the UK in a Changing Europe project. His areas of research interest include the policies and institutions of the European Union, European security, and British politics. He contributes regularly to both print and broadcast media. He is co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of the European Union (OUP, 2012), and co-author of Brexit and British Politics (Polity 2018). He is a trustee of Full Fact a member of the Strategic Council of the European Policy Centre, a Council member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and an associate fellow of Chatham House. 

Milada Anna Vachudova specializes in European integration and political change in post-communist Europe. She is the author of Europe Undivided: Democracy, Leverage and Integration After Communism (Oxford University Press), which was awarded the Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Science Research. Her recent articles explore the trajectories of European states amidst strengthening ethnopopulism and democratic backsliding – and how these changes are impacting the European Union. She is a Jean Monnet Chair and an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also part of the core team of the Chapel Hill Expert Survey (CHES) on the positions of political parties across Europe.

Europe’s past is an imperial and colonial past. Often presenting itself as a cosmopolitan continent of nations, it is, in fact, one of national projects buttressed by colonial endeavours. These have included colonial emigration and settlement, dispossession, appropriation, extraction, and enslavement. While particular national governments have played a central role – Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, for example –  populations from across the European continent have also participated. This panel sets out the ‘varieties of colonialism’ at the heart of the European project and asks what a decolonial project of Europe might look like.

  • Chair’s Welcome: Jean Beaman, University of California-Santa Barbara
  • Co-Chair & Moderator: Richard G. Whitman, University of Kent
  • Co-Chair: Toni Haastrup, University of Stirling
  • Keynote Speaker: Gurminder Bhambra, University of Sussex

Gurminder K Bhambra is Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies in the Department of International Relations at the University of Sussex and a Fellow of the British Academy. Her research addresses how the experiences and claims of non-European ‘others’ have been rendered invisible to the dominant narratives and analytical frameworks of social science. Professor Bhambra’s current projects focus on concerns with epistemological justice and reparations and on the political economy of colonialism. She is author of Connected Sociologies (2014) and the award-winning Rethinking Modernity: Postcolonialism and the Sociological Imagination (2007). She is also co-editor of Decolonising the University (2018) and has a co-authored book forthcoming, Colonialism and Modern Social Theory (2021).

Richard G. Whitman is Director of the Global Europe Centre and Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent. He is also an Associate Fellow and former Head of the Europe Programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House). His current research interests include Brexit and especially the future foreign and security and defence policies of the UK and the EU. He is the author and editor of eleven books, published over sixty articles and book chapters, on European integration and UK foreign and security policy. He is a lead editor of the Journal of Common Market Studies(JCMS) – the longest established international academic journal covering the politics and economics of European integration and comparative regionalism. He is an Academician of the UK Academy of Social Sciences and was the 2017-2018 elected Chair of the British International Studies Association (BISA). He is also an Academic Fellow of the European Policy Centre (EPC). Whitman is a regular international media commentator. Recent coverage has included BBC radio and television, Sky, ITV, CNN, Bloomberg, CNBC and he has been quoted by print publications including The Economist, The Financial Times, Newsweek, Reuters, the International Herald Tribune and the Wall Street Journal. He has regularly been called to give evidence to the UK Parliament on UK and EU foreign and security issues.

Toni Haastrup is Senior Lecturer in International Politics at the University of Stirling, in Scotland. Her research broadly explores the nature of global power hierarchies (between the Global North and South) in knowledge and practice. Her work in the area of global governance of security has focused on regional institutions – the African and European Unions. Her current research agenda draws on critical feminisms to understand the foreign policy practices of both institutions. Dr Haastrup has published on the relationship between the AU and the EU, including the monograph, Charting Transformation through Security: Contemporary-EU Africa Relations (Palgrave, 2013) and published in several leading international journals. She is a lead editor of the Journal of Common Market Studies (JCMS), an executive committee member of Women Also Know Stuff, and co-convener of the UACES Research Network, Gendering EU Studies. Dr Haastrup is an occasional media commentator for radio, television and print media.