'Conversations On Europe' Videoconferences

Conversations On Europe connects top experts from around the United States and Europe to discuss contemporary issues facing Europe and the Transatlantic relationship. Using both personal and institutional videoconference technology, panelists take questions and interact with audiences at Pitt and at remote sites in the US and Europe. Conversations On Europe is free and open to the public. All sessions will be held from 12-1:30 PM (EST) in Posvar Hall, Room 4217, unless otherwise stated.

Tuesday January 17, 2017
Calling Foul: Electoral Interference in the US and Europe

Tuesday February 21, 2017
Transgender Europe

Tuesday March 21, 2017
The Dutch Bellweather: What is the Forecast For a “Nexit” or “Frexit?”

Tuesday April 11, 2017
Portuguese Identity:  Iberia, Europe, and the World (in Portuguese)

Wednesday May 3, 2017
Transatlantic Relations After the First 100 Days

Earlier Conversations:

Tuesday December 6, 2016
12-1:30 P.M., 4217 Posvar Hall 

Migrant Experience in Germany (in german)
What has been described in the media as a migration crisis in Europe is being characterized by many aid workers as a reception crisis. The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has taken the lead among European heads of state in advocating for a safe and effective process of resettling migrants. Taking Germany as an example, a panel of experts discusses the migrant experience in that country. What are the legal processes for applying for asylum or settling as an economic migrant? What is the pathway to citizenship? What has been the public response? How does Germany's experience compare with other European countries? Randall Halle, Chair of the German Department, moderates the discussion, conducted entirely in German by native-level speakers.

Tuesday November 15, 2016
12-1:30 P.M., 4217 Posvar Hall 

Black Lives Matter: The Movement in Europe
In Europe, the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S. has struck a chord with some. Issues of procedural inequalities and police violence have been made more public in Black Lives Matter marches in cities throughout Europe. Howdoes the movement in Europe differ from its American inspiration?  Howdo issues of ethnicity and religion inform understandings of race in Europe? And what has been the response of authorities? Join our panel of experts for an in-depth exploration of this timely topic.

Felix Germain, Assistant Professor, Africana Studies
Toyin Agbetu, Community Educator , UK
Kehinde Andrews, Assoc. Professor, Birmingham City University

Thursday October 20, 2016
12-1:30 P.M., 4217 Posvar Hall

An Uncertain Future:  US Elections and Transatlantic Relations
In this installment of Conversations on Europe, our panel of experts from both sides of the Atlantic will examine the potential impact of upcoming elections in both the U.S. and Europe and to explore significant transnational trends in electoral politics, including the rise of populism and the polarization of the electorate as well asthe increasing importance of issues related to immigration, the economy, and trade. How might the US elections in November impact European politics and the transatlantic relationship?  What electoral contests in Europe are likely to have the greatest impact on the U.S.? These questions and others will beexplored via multi-point videoconferencing.

Jae-Jae Spoon, Associate Professor, Political Science, Moderator & Panelist
Miguel Simon, Visiting Scholar, European Studies Center
Larry LeDuc, Professor, Political Science, University of Toronto
Jan Rovny, Assistant Professor, Sciences Po

Tuesday September 20, 2016
12-1:30 P.M., 4217 Posvar Hall   

Free Trade or Protectionism?  Isolationism amidst globalization
or the first installment of the Conversations on Europe series for 2016-17, our panel of exper t s will discuss the debate over free trade that has gained political traction in both the EU and the U.S. of late. What are the arguments being made for or against protectionism or fair trade on both sides of  the Atlantic? How do we account for the rising hostility to NAFTA and TPP here in the U.S. and to TTIP and continued economic union in Europe? What are the post-Brexit vote implications?

Alasdair Young , Professor & Co-Director for the Center for European  and Transatlantic  Studies, Georgia Tech
Elvire Fabry, Senior Researcher, Notre Europe -Jacques Delors Institute
David Cleeton, Professor of Economics & Department Chair, Illinois  State University


Tuesday April 19, 2016
12-1:30 P.M., 4217 Posvar Hall   

The Continent is Cut Off! British Referendum on the EU
This June citizens in the United Kingdom will vote on that country’s place in Europe. At a time of rising Euroscepticism there and across Europe, Great Britain will decide if it is better off facing the range of challenges to the European project—economic growth, migration, terrorism, conflict on its borders—by itself or as part of the EU. The results of the referendum will have implications for the entire UK (including Northern Ireland and Scotland), for the economic and political integrity of the EU, and for Great Britain’s ties with key continental countries and with the US. Panelists will address these aspects and many others and will respond to each other and to questions posed by the audience. To join the Conversation and for more information, please contact Kate Bowersox at kal68@pitt.edu.

Michelle Egan, Professor, School of International Service, American University
Amelia Hadfield, Jean Monnet Chair in European Foreign Affairs, Canterbury Christ Church University
Tim Oliver, Dahrendorf Fellow on Europe-North American Relations, London School of Economics
Alan Sked, Professor Emeritus of International History, London School of Economics (founder and former member of UK Independence Party)


Tuesday, March 22, 2016
12-1:30 P.M., 4217 Posvar Hall   

Greece and the EU:  A Way Forward?*
Greece is at a critical crossroads as a result of the economic and refugee crises. Join us for an interactive video conversation dealing with the increasingly precarious economic, political, and psychological relationship between the EU and one of its most stressed members. Audience participation is encouraged. For more information or to participate remotely, contactkal68@pitt.edu.

Despina Alexiadou, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh
Panagiota Manoli, Assistant Professor of Political Economy of International Relations, University of the Aegean
Rachel Epstein, Professor of International Political Economy and European Politics, University of Denver
Alexander Privitera, Executive Director, European Institute; Senior Fellow, AICGS at Johns Hopkins

* We regret that this conversation was not recorded due to technical difficulties.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016
12-1:30 P.M., 4217 Posvar Hall  

Whose Legacy? Museums and National Heritage Debates
In this month’s virtual roundtable Conversation on Europe, our panel of experts will discuss the ethical and legal questions museums in the Europe and North America face in the on-going debates over art repatriation, conservation, and national vs. universal heritage.  Please join us in person or remotely for what promises to be a wide-ranging examination of the topic from the various perspectives of museum curation, art history, anthropology, archeology, and law.  Audience participation is encouraged. For more information or to participate remotely, please contact Kate Bowersox at: kal68@pitt.edu.

Dr. Erin Peters, Joint Lecturer in Curatorial Studies in History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh and Assistant Curator in the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Dr. Neil Brodie, Trafficking Culture and writer of the blog www.marketmassdestruction.com
Dr. Susan R. Frankenberg, Program Coordinator, Museum Studies of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dr. Sophie Vigneron, Senior Lecturer, Kent Law School, University of Kent (invited)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
12-1:30 P.M., 4217 Posvar Hall  

The Rise of the Right: Comparing the American and European Political Landscapes
Across much of Europe, in Scandinavia, Austria, the Netherlands and Poland, rightwing parties have surged in the polls, in elections and in some cases to governing power. Far right parties gained a record number of seats in the European Parliament elections of 2014, which saw the French Front National come in first and the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn of Greece seated for the first time.  This month’sConversation will feature a panel of experts who will analyze these developments and offer analyses as to the causes and significance.  National assessments will be complemented with comparisons across the region, over time and with the political spectrum in the United States. Audience participation is encouraged.  For more information or to participate remotely, please contact Allyson Delnore at:adelnore@pitt.edu.

Lenka Bustikova, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Arizona State University
Jae-Jae Spoon, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of North Texas
Benjamin Haddad, Research Fellow, Hudson Instittute
Helga Druxes, Proferssor of German, Williams College


Friday, December 11, 2015

12-1:00 P.M., 4209 Posvar Hall  

The Climate for Climate Change Negotiations
The UN Climate Change Conference (COP 21 / CMP 11) taking place in Paris November 30-December 11, 2015 seeks to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2⁰C. This will not be an easy goal to reach, as many scientists say the gases we have already emitted into the atmosphere will inevitably lead to a 2 degree increase. Therefore, the largest emitters (the U.S. and China) must commit to both significant reductions and subsidizing developing countries’ commitment to sustainable energy sources. Expectations are high on all sides – with optimists and pessimists alike touting this as our last chance to avert catastrophe. This month’s session of our Conversations on Europe series of virtual roundtables will assemble a panel of experts to provide their views of what was accomplished and what was lost in the negotiations. Are the dire prognostications reasonable? And what are the next steps? Audience participation is encouraged. For more information or to participate remotely, contactadelnore@pitt.edu.

Michaël Aklin, Assistant Professor, Political Science
Wil Burns, Co-Executive Director, Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment, American University
Thomas Pellerin-Carlin, Research Fellow, European Energy Policy, Jacques Delors Institute
Leah Stokes, Assistant Professor, Political Science, University of California, Santa Barbara

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
12-1:30 P.M., 4217 Posvar Hall  

Rescue & Prevent:Responses to Europe's Migration Crisis
The 28 member states of the European Union have faced considerable challenges of late as hundreds of thousands of migrants flood the land and sea borders to enter Europe. It is clear that the members do not all agree on how to handle the crisis. But the movement of people continues unabated. And with no end in sight to the conflicts that prompt many people to make their way to Europe at any cost, it is likely to continue for some time. With this installment of our virtual roundtable series, Conversations on Europe™, we have assembled a panel of journalists, filmmakers, and aid agencies to look more closely at how this crisis is playing out on the shores and on the borders. With pressure shifting from the sea route to the land borders, are there lessons that Balkan nations can learn from their Italian and Greek counterparts? How are aid agencies responding? Audience and school participation (both at Pitt and via remote connection) is welcome. To join remotely, please contact kma69@pitt.edu.

Joanna Kakissis, Foreign Correspondent for National Public Radio.  She has also written for Time magazine, Foreign Policy, and the New York Times.
Martin Xuereb, Director of Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS).Founded in 2013, MOAS is a humanitarian search and rescue operation assisting vessels in distress inthe Mediterranean Sea.
Alessandro Bertani, Vice-President of Emergency. Founded in 1994, Emergency provides free, high quality medical and surgical treatment to the victims of war, landmines and poverty.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015
12-1:30 P.M., 4217 Posvar Hall  

Europe’s Jews: Past, Present, Future?

By all accounts, the number of anti-Semitic incidences—including violent attacks on synagogues, businesses and individuals—has reached a postwar high across Europe. Official responses and those of community leaders have varied, as have explanations. Some point to the re-emergence of age-old European attitudes or populist political parties while others suggest a link to Europe’s changing demographic or a reflection of the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This Conversation will explore the current situation of Jewish communities in light of Europe’s past and with a view toward the future. Center Director Ron Linden will moderate. 


Gunther Jikeli of Indiana University, author of Muslim Antisemitism in Europe.
Ben Judah, author and journalist, who has written on Britain’s Jews for Politicoand Tablet.
Andrew Srulevitch, Director of European Affairs and Assistant Director of International Affairs for the Anti-Defamation League
David Weinberg, Professor Emeritus, Wayne State University and author ofRecovering a Voice: West European Jewish Communities after the Holocaust.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015
12-1:30 P.M., 4217 Posvar Hall 

Conversations Sur l’Europe: La Langue et l’Identité dans le Monde Francophone

Dans le monde francophone, quelles sont les relations entre l’identité linguistique, l’identité nationale, le sexe, et la sexualité?

Dans cette séance de Conversations sur l'Europe, on discute cette question avec le panel d’experts suivant:

-Abdellah Taïa, écrivain marocain d’expression française
-Denis Provencher, professeur de français et de la communication interculturelle à l’Université de Maryland Baltimore County
-Nadia Fadil, professeur au Centre de recherches sociologiques, KU Leuven

Animée par Jeanette Jouili, professeur d’études religieuses à l’Université de Pittsburgh

Cette conversation est entièrement en français.

Thursday, September 17, 2015
12-1:30 P.M., 4217 Posvar Hall 

Back to School ... at What Cost: Comparing Higher Education Models in the US and Europe

In this installment of the University of Pittsburgh's European Studies Center's monthly virtual roundtables series, a panel of experts reflects upon some of the most significant differences between the US and European models of higher education. In particular, they look at the question of who pays for students to go to University, and how much it costs both the individual and society. The panel participants include: Dr. John Weidman (Professor of Higher and International Development Education, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh), Professor Liudvika Leisyte (Professor of Higher Education, Center for Higher Education at TU Dortmund, Germany), Dr. John Douglass (Senior Research Fellow in Public Policy and Higher Education at the University of California at Berkeley), and Goldie Blumenstyk (Senior Writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education). European Studies Center Director Ron Linden moderates.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Before There Was Ebola: European Responses to Diseases in Africa - Past and Present

U.S. and European news coverage of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa highlighted the urgency of the public health crisis, focusing often on the need to contain the outbreak to prevent its spread to “our shores.” Implicit (and often explicit) in these stories, however, were long-standing xenophobic and racialized attitudes toward African diseases that can be traced back to European imperial and pseudo-scientific ideas of the nineteenth century.  This month’s Conversation will ask historians, political scientists, and public health experts to discuss the extent to which contemporary European and U.S. representations of Ebola borrowed from representations of earlier diseases occurring on the African continent and to speculate on the possible implications that such representations had and continue to have on mounting an effective response to an ongoing public health crisis.  How much has news coverage contributed to what one political scientist described as the “long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place” and what can be done about it?  Participants include Deborah Neill, Associate Professor of History, York University; Mari Webel, Assistant Professor of History, University of Pittsburgh; Guillaume Lachenal, Lecturer, Université Paris Diderot; and Jessica Pearson-Patel, Assistant Professor of International and Area Studies, University of Oklahoma.  Audience participation is welcome and encouraged.

Co-sponsored by the University of Illinois' European Union Center (EUC), Center for Global Studies (CGS), Center for African Studies (CAS), Global Health Initiative, and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Global Studies Program

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

12 noon, Room 4217 Posvar Hall 

TTIP-Ping Point? The Present and Future of the Transatlantic Trade Agreement

The negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Treaty, formally begun in 2013, have attracted a great deal of attention within the EU, individual member states and in the US. The subject—and the talks—are complex and involve trade and investment in both goods and services across the full spectrum of economic activity of the world’s two most active trading partners. Proponents argue that the treaty will strengthen economic ties and create jobs; domestic producers on both sides of the Atlantic focus on market penetration; and others worry about public access to key decisions. The panel will include Dan Hamilton of Johns Hopkins--SAIS, Elvire Fabry of the Jacques Delors Institute in Paris, Evgeny Postnikov - Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Glasgow, and Dan Beachy of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch in Washington. Panelists will assess where negotiations stand now, how the treaty relates to politics within the US and EU and what the consequences might be for a completion, or failure to achieve, a final treaty.

Panelists will be linked to audiences at Pitt and elsewhere and faculty and class participation is welcome. 


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

12 noon, Room 4217 Posvar Hall

Whose Pivot Now? Implications of Growing EU-China Ties

In recent months the Chinese have greatly increased their visibility and economic involvement in Europe. China is now the EU’s second leading trading partner and the EU is China’s first.  EU leaders are increasingly attentive to Chinese views on a number of issues, including a range of economic and strategic topics.  Panelists on this Conversation will explore both the current state of EU-China relations, the implications for Transatlantic ties and future directions of this dynamic relationship. The panel will include: Gemma Marolda, Lecturer in the Department of Political Science and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at Pitt (and an affiliated faculty member of our Center); Isabel Hilton, Editor at chinadialogue.net and former journalist for The Sunday TimesThe IndependentThe Guardian, and theNew Yorker; David Scott, former Lecturer at Brunel University London and a frequent speaker at EU Parliament on the EU-China relationship, and at the NATO Defence College in Rome on Indian foreign policy and on Asia-Pacific international relations; and Jing Men, an InBev-Baillet Latour Professor of European Union-China Relations and InBev-Baillet Latour Chair of European Union-China Relations at the College of Europe, Brugges.

Panelists will be linked to audiences at Pitt and elsewhere and faculty and class participation is welcome.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

12:00 p.m., 4217 Posvar Hall

Dear Madam High Representative:Tasks for EU Foreign Policy

In our first Conversation on Europe for 2015, panelists will consider the demands on and capabilities of the European Union as a major global actor. Panelists will use a Carnegie Europe “Memo to the European Union Foreign Policy Chief” as a starting point. The panel will include: Sir Michael Leigh of the German Marshall Fund (and former European Commission Director General for Enlargement); Stefan Lehne, Carnegie Europe (and former Director General for political affairs at the Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs); Ulrich Speck, Carnegie Europe (and Editor of the weekly Global Europe Brief newsletter); Nathalie Tocci, Deputy Director of the Instituto Affari Internazionali (and advisor to EU Foreign Policy Chief, Frederica Mogherini); and Kostas Kourtikakis, political scientist and affiliate of the European Union Center of Excellence at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne

Panelists will be linked to audiences at Pitt and elsewhere and faculty and class participation is welcome.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Displaced: The Refugee Crisis in the Mediterranean Basin

12PM, 4217 Posvar Hall

The number of refugees entering the EU and Turkey has risen dramatically as a result of conflicts and crises in North Africa and the Middle East. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHRC) reported that European countries recorded 264,000 asylum applications during the first six months of 2014, an increase of 24 per cent from the same period the year before. The largest increase – 73 per cent – in asylum seekers was reported by countries in Southern Europe, in particular Italy and Turkey. Refugees originated primarily from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea, and Serbia/Kosovo and North Africa. With conflict and destabilization in these regions continuing, European policy makers seek solutions that respond to both humanitarian concerns and an increasingly radicalized voting public. Join us for the next session of Conversations on Europe for a discussion of EU and Turkish responses to this growing crisis. Audience participation is welcome.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

1914 Revisited? The EU-US-Russia Triangle

12PM, 4217 Posvar Hall

This Conversation is inspired by the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the “Great War” in Europe. We are aware of its devastating consequences, both short and long term, and in this discussion we will consider how such a catastrophe could have started and whether there are valid comparisons between the situation before “The Great War” and now. What are the major similarities and differences in global and national politics? Can we learn anything about effective conflict prevention from that earlier period? Do some see Putin’s Russia as the Kaiser’s Germany and Ukraine or the Baltics as the Balkans of 1914? Are the Balkans themselves still a flash point? Panelists will be Mark Steinberg, Historian of 19th century Russia at the University of Illinois and co-editor of a new book series at Yale University Press, Eurasia Past and Present; Carol Saivetz, Research associate at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and a research affiliate at the Security Studies Program at MIT; Gregor Thum, Historian of Central and Eastern Europe at the University of Pittsburgh and author of Uprooted: How Breslau Became Wrocław during the Century of Expulsions; Frank Furedi, Sociologist and author of First World War: Still No End in Sight; and Andrew Konitzer, Acting Director at the Center for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Audience participation is welcome.


Friday, October 3, 2014, *2pm start time

25 Years of the Berlin Republic

With the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

Presenters: Jack Janes (American Institute for Contemporary German Studies), Margaret Littler (University of Manchester), Georg Menz (Visiting Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh), Ruprecht Polenz (a German politician and former Chairman of the German Bundestag’s Committee on Foreign Affairs).

Time: 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Location: 4217 Posvar Hall

Join us for a special session of Conversations on Europe to commemorate German Unity Day on October 3rd.  Co-sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, the EUCE has organized a virtual roundtable discussion reflecting on Germany since 1989.  Steven Sokol, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, will moderate the discussion.  Audience participation is welcome. 


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Scottish Referendum: Results and Implications

Presenter: Alicia Henderson (University of Edinburgh), Guy Peters (University of Pittsburgh), and André Lecours (University of Ottawa)

Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Location: 4217 Posvar Hall

“Should Scotland be an independent country?” In a referendum scheduled for September 18th, voters in that country will have an opportunity to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on that very question. On Tuesday, Sepetember 23rd, the EUCE at Pitt will devote the first session of its award-winning Conversations on Europe virtual roundtable series to a discussion of the results of the referendum. What is the future of the Scottish National Party? How will this effect UK politics? What are the implications of the results for other nationalist movements in Europe and North America? Are there useful comparisons to be drawn between the 2014 Scottish Referendum and the 1995 Québeqois referendum? Please join us at noon in 4217 Posvar Hall for what promises to be a lively discussion. Ron Linden, Director of the EUCE and Professor of Political Science, will moderate.


  Thank you to our partners during AY 2013-2014:

· UCIS · European Union Centers of Excellence at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign · University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill · University of Miami/Florida International University · University of Texas-Austin · University of Wisconsin-Madison


    Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Parliament Against Itself?  The Far Right in the Upcoming European Parliament Elections

From May 22 to May 25, voters in 28 members countries of the European Union will elect some 751 members of a newly empowered European Parliament. Since the Treaty of Lisbon came into effect, the EP has gained “co-decision” rights in many policy areas, including agriculture, energy policy, immigration and EU funds.  The EP must approve the budget and most visibly, the European Parliament has gained the right to endorse (or not) the members states’ nominee to be President of the European Commission.  The Parliament also must give its approval to the Commission as a whole.

But it is the European Parliament’s role as a sounding board of public opinion —on the EU as well as on national governments—that will get the most attention this time. Across Europe—most recently in France—populist, nationalist and Eurosceptic parties have gained in elections, within mainstream parties and in public favor.  If this trend is reflected in these “European” elections, the European Parliament may find itself with a significant number of members who are hostile to the goals and aims of the European project.  Audience participation is encouraged.

Catherine De Vries, University of Oxford

Kostantinos Kourtikakis, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne

Will Daniel, Francis Marion University


Join our panel of experts and audiences from EU Centers across the U.S. to engage in a discussion of the upcoming Scottish referendum on independence from Britain scheduled for September of this year, and the possibility of a UK referendum on EU membership that could occur as early as 2016.  How likely is Scottish independence?  What would be the prospects of an independent Scotland in the European Union?  How might the story be complicated by the specter of a British exit (aka “Brexit”) from the EU?  How likely is a British yes vote on exit and how might such a vote impact the EU going forward?  Audience participation is welcomed in what promises to be a spirited discussion!

John Curtice, Deputy-Director of Center for Research into Elections & Social Trends and Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde

Neill Nugent, Emeritus Professor of Politics and Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration at Manchester Metropolitan University

Andrew Strathern, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh

Pamela Stewart, Senior Research Associate and Co-Director of the Cromie Burn Research Unit, Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Spy Games: Technology & Trust in the Transatlantic Relationship

The Guardian first revealed the NSA's comprehensive surveillance program in early June of last year, working from information from the now-infamous Edward Snowden.  Two weeks later, a series of articles exposed NSA and British spying on European and South American officials at a G20 meeting and by the end of the month, Der Spiegel had published details of America’s electronic surveillance and bugging of European Union offices and the embassies of France, Italy, Greece, and others.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel was particularly upset over revelations that her personal cellphone had been compromised.    European, particularly German, outrage over what has been characterized as U.S. spying on its allies has exposed a number of differences in the European and American approaches to data privacy and protection, national security and surveillance.  But have the revelations significantly damaged the transatlantic relationship?  At a time when U.S.-European cooperation is becoming more formalized in talks to create a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), have the NSA spy scandals dampened European enthusiasm to work closely with American allies?  More generally, how have new technologies changed intelligence gathering practices?  And to what extent can comprehensive surveillance programs like PRISM be subject to legal limitations on a national or global scale?  The conversation will be moderated by EUCE Director and Professor of Political Science, Ronald Linden.
Ami Pedahzur, Professor of Government at the University of Texas-Austin
Pia Bungarten, Friedrich Ebert Foundation Representative to the U.S. and Canada
Annegret Bendiek, German Institute for International and Security Affairs
Anthony Glees, Professor of Politics and Director of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies, University of Buckingham
David Harris, School of Law, Pitt

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The “Big Bang” 10 Years Later: East Europe and the EU After Expansion

The European Union Center of Excellence & European Studies Center is pleased to present the first Spring 2014 Conversations on Europe Videoconference.  Panelists discuss the 2004 enlargement, which witnessed the growth of the EU from 15 member states to 25, and assess the impact of that expansion on the entering member states and the institutions of the European Union. Center Director and Political Science Professor, Ron Linden, moderated.

Geoffrey Harris, European Parliament Liaison Office

Zoltan Barany, University of Texas

Jacques Rupnik, Sciences Po, France

Carolyn Ban, Graduate School of Public & International Affiars, University of Pittsburgh

Andrew Konitzer, Center for Russian and East European Studies & the Department of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh


Thursday, November 21, 2013

"France as a Global Leader" (In French)

February 19, 2013, Newsweek published an article that was provocatively titled “France: Leader of the Free World.” Even more provocatively, the subtitle taunted U.S. leaders with “The French are a decisive, manly superpower. Unlike America.” Gendered rhetoric aside, French foreign policy in recent years has led other powers to take note.  Rather than waiting for collective decisions from NATO or the EU and citing historical interests in the region, the French intervened in Libya and the Ivory Coast under President Sarkozy and Mali under President Hollande.  As a result, the French have reaffirmed claims to a special role in Africa.  Is this a new assertion of Gaullism?  Or are claims of French world leadership exaggerated or even undermined by domestic concerns over rising unemployment, growing right-wing nationalism in response to immigration from North and West Africa, and increasing market instability?  In this Conversation on Europe, a panel of experts commented on recent developments in French foreign policy and how they relate to domestic and regional concerns. The Conversation was moderated by University of Pittsburgh Political Science Professor Pierre Landry, and was conducted entirely in French.  Audience participation was encouraged.  Venez nous joindre pour une discussion qui sera certainement informative et très animée!

Laird Boswell, Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison

David Pettersen, Department of French & Italian, University of Pittsburgh

Jean-Philippe Mathy, Department of French, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"Does Turkey Have a European Future?"

Turkey’s likely future and its relation to Europe can be seen in several dimensions. Probably best known and easiest to track is its long-running pursuit of membership in the European Union. But Turkey’s geographic and historic position has also drawn it into—and pushed it away from--the rapidly changing dynamics of the Middle East. It is one of NATO’s oldest members but has signed onto virtually all of Russia’s energy initiatives in the region. It is an enthusiastic diplomatic and economic entrepreneur in the Balkans but carries with it an Ottoman legacy that not everyone there welcomes. In addition, if Europe represents a mode of governance and norms of regime-society relations, where does Turkey lie along these dimensions of democracy and human rights protection? The unveiling of democratic reform packages must be seen against a background of widespreadprotests and fierce government response this past spring. Is the decade-long rule of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Law and Justice Party leading to a “European” future or something else? Panelists in this videoconference Conversation were invited to address whichever aspect of this question they see as most compelling and attendees were encouraged to participate.  Center Director and Political Science Professor, Ron Linden, moderated.  Presenters include:

Sinan Ülgen, Visiting Scholar, Carnegie Europe in Brussels

Henri Barkey, Professor of International Relations, Lehigh University

Uli Schamiloglu, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies, Professor of Languages and Cultures of Asia, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Thursday, September 26, 2013

"The German Elections: Outcomes and Impact"

The first of the EUCE/ESC’s 2013-2014 interactive Conversations on Europe Virtual Roundtable Series explore the outcomes and impact of the German Elections (which took place the Sunday before).  Experts on contemporary Germany give their assessment of the results.  Audience participation is encouraged.  The moderator will be Dr. Steven E. Sokol, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.  Presenters include:

Patrick Altdorfer, Department of Political Science, Pitt

Myra Marx Ferree, Department of Sociology, U of Wisconsin-Madison

Nils Ringe, Department of Political Science, U of Wisconsin-Madison

David Crew, Department of History, University of Texas – Austin

Per Urlaub, Department of Germanic Studies, University of Texas - Austin

Peter Rehberg, Department of Germanic Studies, University of Texas - Austin


April 18, 2013

“Sharing the Wealth: An EU-US Free Trade Agreement” 

12-1:30PM, 4217 WWPH

In February President Obama announced the beginning of negotiations designed to produce a US-EU Free Trade Agreement.  Mutual tariffs are already low and trade high; business and labor constituents seem supportive, and officials are eager to conclude this agreement “on one tank of gas,” i.e., quickly. But significant issues will be in play, including: opening markets for agriculture products, trade in services, and access to public contracts.  Regulation and non-tariff barriers-including, for example, “cultural exceptions” favored by some European countries and American restrictions on European airlines may constitute substantial obstacles.  More broadly, supporters of more global approaches to trade fear the impact of such an exclusive bilateral deal on the emerging and less developed markets.  Our Conversation on Europe will cover these and other related issues, with participants from several venues and input from university and community people.  This event is being held in collaboration with the American Council on Germany and the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.

Ambassador (ret.) J.D. Bindenagel, Special Advisor to the President at DePaul University in Chicago

Martin Staniland, Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh

David Cleeton, Professor of Economics at Illinois State University

Zaki Laïdi, Professor and the Director of Research at Sciences Po in Paris, France

Ben Beachy is a Research Director with Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch


February 19, 2013

“NATO: A Hammer in Search of a Nail.” 

12-1:30PM, 4217 WWPH

With its post-Cold War role in Europe behind it, an end to its role in Afghanistan planned for 2014, and new challenges in the Arab world, NATO is at yet another turning point in searching for a new role.  This conversation will focus on what that role might be and how it relates to the security perspectives (broadly conceived) of the United States and its European allies.

Marina Skordeli, Director of the Jean Monnet Center at the University of Athens, Greece

Taylor Seybolt, Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, The University of Pittsburgh

Ryan Hendrickson, Professor in the Department of Political Science, Eastern Illinois University

Gulnur Aybet, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Kent, United Kingdom


January 22, 2013

 “The Next Member State: Croatia’s Path to the European Union.” 

12-1:30PM, 4217 WWPH

The EUCE/ESC, in cooperation with the Center for Russian and East European History (REES) hosted the virtual roundtable on the subject of Croatia’s impending accession as the 28th member state of the European Union.  REES Associate Director Andrew Konitzer moderated.  Leaders from other EUCEs in conjunction with participants throughout the U.S. engaged in a discussion of the Europeanization process in the western Balkans, the impact on Croatia (and on the EU) of enlargement, and related topics.  

Robert Hayden, REES Center Director and Professor of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh

Natasa Besirevic, Professor of Political Science at The University of Zagreb

Laura Hastings, Political Science lecturer and Interim Director of the Global Studies degree major at the University of Illinois

Dominik Tolksdorf, TAPIR Fellow, Johns Hopkins University


November 13, 2012

"German Identity? European Identity?"

- a conversation IN German 

12:30-1:30pm, 4217 Posvar Hall

This event spoke to the concepts of German identity in German. It explored what it means to be German, and what it means to be a European.  Participants discussed where these concepts overlap and where they diverge.  All levels of German speakers participated.

Moderator, Dr. Patrick Altdorfer, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Political Science

Katrin Sieg, Georgetown University, Washington D.C., Department of German

Alexander Privitera, Senior Fellow and the Director of the Business and Economics Program at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS)

Kirsten Verclas, Senior Program Manager at AICGS

Stephanie Bennett, Executive Assistant/ Development Coordinator for AICGS


November 15, 2012

“Angela Merkel's Germany? Angela Merkel's Europe?” 

12:00-1:30pm, 4217 Posvar Hall

Experts on German politics and society engaged in an interactive multi-site discussion focusing on the German Chancellor, her politics and personality.  Topics covered included: How has she been represented in the press and popular culture throughout Europe?  To what extent has Chancellor Merkel (her preferences, style, skills, background) shaped contemporary Europe?  To what extent has she become a symbol of the current crises impacting Germany and other member states of the European Union?  

Myra Marx Ferree, University of Wisconsin – Madison.  Department of Sociology

Alexander Privitera, AICGS

Gregor Thum, University of Pittsburgh, Department of History

Konrad H. Jarausch, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Lurcy Professor of European Civilization


October 10, 2012

“An End to Soft Power:  The EU and the New Middle East” 

12:00-1:30pm, 4217 Posvar Hall

Top experts on EU Foreign Policy and Middle East Politics connected live via interactive videoconferencing across several sites.  Professor Ronald Linden, Director of the EUCE/ESC, moderated.  Audience participation included students and faculty at The University of North Carolina, Chapel-Hill, and The University of Pittsburgh.

Eva-Maria Maggi, Helmut-Schmidt University

Tal Sadeh, Tel Aviv University

Urfan Khaliq, Cardiff Law School

Beverly Crawford, University of California, Berkeley

Mohammed Bamyeh, University of Pittsburgh 


September 11, 2012

“Tiger in a Cage: Ireland and the New European Economy” 

12-1:30pm, 4217 Posvar Hall   

Stephen Kinsella, University of Limerick

James Donnelly, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Vincent Brown, Print and broadcast journalist

Klaus Lares, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Niamh Hardiman, University College


April 17, 2012

"Falkland/Malvinas Anniversary Panel- A Transatlantic Dialogue" 

12-1:30pm, 4217 WWPH

Top experts on the 1982 War between Argentina and Great Britain from both sides of the Atlantic joined specialists on the present-day relations between Latin America and the European Union via videoconferencing across several sites. Audience participation was welcomed.

Dr. Mark D. Szuchman, Professor of History, Florida International University

Sir Lawrence Freedman, Professor of War Studies, King's College London

Dr. Carolyn Dudek, Associate Professor of Political Science, Hofstra University

Dr. Daniel K. Gibran, Professor of Political Science, Tennessee State University


February 21, 2012

"A New Germany in a New EU?"

12-1:30pm, 4217 WWPH

The EUCE/ESC hosted the second in its ongoing series of Conversations On Europe. This session was devoted to the topic "A New Germany in a New EU?" and addressed, among other issues, ‘Is it a 'new Eu'? Is Germany the new dominant force? Has Germany's relationship with the EU and other members fundamentally changed?  Will we see further replication of the German economic approach at the EU level?  What will be the impact of recent developments in Germany?’

Dr. Gary Marks, Burton Craige Professor, UNC Chapel Hill

Dr. Sabine Hake, Texas Chair of German Literature and Culture, UT Austin

Mr. Alexander Privitera, Journalist, Special US News Correspondent

Dr. Steven Sokol, President, World Affairs Council, Pittsburgh


January 17, 2012

"Is the Future of the Eurozone the Future of Europe?"

12-1:30pm, 211 David Lawrence Hall

Dr. Alberta Sbragia, Vice-Provost of Graduate Studies, University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Christiane Lemke, Max-Weber Chair in German and European Politics, New York University and Professor of Political Science, Leibniz University, Hannover, Germany

Dr. Larry Neal, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Visiting Professor, London School of Economics