'Conversations On Europe' Videoconferences

COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 Response: Learn how the European Studies Center is working under the current operational posture at ucis.pitt.edu/esc/covid.

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.  A complete library of video resources to enhance transatlantic conversations is also now available.  In addition, you can veiw the full Playlist for Conversations on Europe on the Pitt Global Channel of YouTube. Please note, however, that the supplemental materials are only available by clicking on the topics listed below.

  • The list of upcoming topics and links to register are available on the AY20-21 Schedule 

The series is intended to present a broad range of views and opinions about topics relevant to Europe. The views expressed are those of the presenters and cannot be taken to represent the views or opinions of the U.S. Government nor the European Union.

We would appreciate your feedback on these videos and the Conversations on Europe series. Please take our survey.

Creating Europe Through Crisis

The ESC and the European Union Studies Association (EUSA) collaborate to explore how several crises – including financial, Brexit, migration, democratic backsliding, and public health – have shaped the European Union over the past decade.


  • Catherine De Vries
    Bocconi University, Milan

-       De Vries, Catherine E., Sara B. Hobolt, Sven-Oliver Proksch & Jonathan Slapin (2021) Foundations of European Politics: A Comparative Approach.  Forthcoming with Oxford University Press.

-       De Vries, Catherine E. & Sara B. Hobolt (2020) Political Entrepreneurs: TheRise of Challenger Parties in Europe. Princeton University Press.

-       De Vries, Catherine E., Bert N. Bakker, Sara B. Hobolt & Kevin Arceneaux (2021) Crisis Signaling: How Italy’s Coronavirus Lockdown Affected Incumbent Support in Other European Countries. Forthcoming in Political Science Research and Methods.

  • Sara Goodman
    Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva

-       Sara Wallace Goodman (2010) Integration Requirements for Integration's Sake? Identifying, Categorising and Comparing Civic Integration Policies, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 36:5, 753-772, DOI: 10.1080/13691831003764300

-       Schilde K., Goodman S.W. (2021) The EU’s Response to the Migration Crisis: Institutional Turbulence and Policy Disjuncture. In: Riddervold M., Trondal J., Newsome A. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of EU Crises. Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-51791-5_25

  • R. Daniel Keleman
    Rutgers University

-       https://www.politico.eu/article/the-eu-is-undermining-its-democracies-while-funding-its-autocracies-coronavirus-covid19-rule-of-law/

-       https://www.politico.eu/article/time-to-call-hungary-and-polands-bluff/

  • Matthias Matthijs
    Johns Hopkins University

-       The Future of the Euro (co-edited with Mark Blyth), New York: Oxford University Press, Published Hardcover/Paperback 2015.

-       “Mind the Gap: Southern Exit, Northern Voice, and Changing Loyalties since the Euro Crisis” (with Silvia Merler), JCMS: Journal for Common Market Studies 58 (1), January 2020, pp. 96-115.

-       “Lessons and Learnings from a Decade of EU Crises – Introduction to Special Issue,” Journal of European Public Policy 27 (8), July 2020, pp. 1127-1136.


  • Jae-Jae Spoon
    University of Pittsburgh


Additional Resources on Brexit and Immigration:


The Scandinavian Model

The so-called “Nordic” or “Scandinavian Model” embraces both the welfare state and globalization and emphasizes society-wide risk sharing. Citizens in countries such as Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland exhibit high levels of trust in government institutions.


  • Grete Brochmann
    University of Oslo
    -       Brochmann, Grete & Midtbøen, Arnfinn Haagensen (2020). Philosophies of integration? Elite views on citizenship policies in Scandinavia.  Ethnicities.  ISSN 1468-7968. doi: 10.1177/1468796820950453 Full text in Research Archive.

    -       Brochmann, Grete (2019). Investigating Immigration and the Sustainability of the Norwegian Welfare State: The Role of Government Commissions., In Martin Ruhs; Kristof Tamas & Joakim Palme (ed.),  Bridging the Gap. Linking Research to Public Debates and Policy-Making On Migration and Intergration. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-883455-7. 

    -       Brochmann, Grete & Dølvik, Jon Erik (2018). The welfares state and international migration. The European challenge., In Bent Greve (ed.), Routledge Handbook of the Welfare State, Second Edition. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-63164-9. 44. s 508 - 521

  • Frank Martela
    Aalto University
    -       Martela, F., Greve, B., Rothstein, B., & Saari, J. (2020). The Nordic Exceptionalism: What Explains Why the Nordic Countries are Constantly Among the Happiest in the World. In J. F. Helliwell, R. Layard, J. Sachs, & J.-E. De Neve (Eds.), World Happiness Report 2020 (pp. 129–146). Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
  • Christian Albrekt Larsen
    Aalborg University
    -       Breidahl, K. N., Hedegaard, T. F., Kongshøj, K., & Larsen, C. A. (Accepted/In press). Migrants' Attitudes and the Welfare State: The Danish Melting Pot. Edward Elgar Publishing.

    -        Larsen, C. A. (2020). The institutional logic of giving migrants access to social benefits and services. Journal of European Social Policy30(1), 48-62. https://doi.org/10.1177/0958928719868443

    -        Larsen, C. A., Frederiksen, M., & Nielsen, M. H. (2018). European welfare nationalism: A democratic forum study in five countries. In P. Taylor-Gooby, & B. Leruth (Eds.), Attitudes, Aspirations and Welfare: Social policy directions in uncertain times (pp. 63-91). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-75783-4_3

    -        Larsen, C. A. (2017). Revitalizing the “civic” and “ethnic” distinction: Perceptions of nationhood across two dimensions, 44 countries and two decades . Nations and Nationalism23(4), 970-993. https://doi.org/10.1111/nana.12345

    -        Larsen, C. A. (2013). The Rise and Fall of Social Cohesion: The Construction and De-construction of Social Trust in the US, UK, Sweden and Denmark. Oxford University Press. http://www.amazon.com/Rise-Fall-Social-Cohesion-De-construction/dp/0199681848

  • Guy Peters
    University of Pittsburgh


  • Jae-Jae Spoon
    Director of European Studies Center, University of Pittsburgh



-       Bo Rothstein, Just Institutions Matter:  The Moral and Political Logic of the Universal Welfare State (Cambridge University Press, 1998).

-       Jon Pierre, "Introduction", Oxford Handbook of Swedish Politics (Oxford University Press, 2017)

-       Trägårdh, L. (2007) I. State and Society in Northern Europe: The Swedish Model Reconsidered (New York: Berghahn Books). 

-       Delhey, J., & Dragolov, G. (2016). Happier together. Social cohesion and subjective well-being in Europe. International Journal of Psychology51(3), 163–176.

-       Flavin, P., Pacek, A. C., & Radcliff, B. (2011). State intervention and subjective well-being in advanced industrial democracies. Politics & Policy39(2), 251–269.

-       Oksanen, A., Kaakinen, M., Latikka, R., Savolainen, I., Savela, N., & Koivula, A. (2020). Regulation and trust: COVID-19 mortality in 25 European countries. JMIR Public Health and SurveillancePreprint(08/04/2020:19218). https://doi.org/10.2196/preprints.19218

Cementing the Boundaries of Frenchness

In a focus on France, the panel casts a light on the utopia of a color-blind French Republic.


  • Jean Beaman
    University of California Santa-Barbara
    - Beaman, Jean. 2017. Citizen Outsider: Children of North African Immigrants in France. Oakland, CA: University of California Press (open access link - https://www.luminosoa.org/site/books/m/10.1525/luminos.39/)

    - Silverstein, Paul. 2018. Postcolonial France: Race, Islam, and the Future of the Republic. London: Pluto Press. 

    - Keaton, Trica D., 2010. The politics of race-blindness:(anti) blackness and category-blindness in contemporary France. Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race7(1), pp.103-131.

    - Simon, Patrick., 2008. The choice of ignorance: The debate on ethnic and racial statistics in France. French Politics, Culture & Society26(1), pp.7-31.

  • Cécile Evers
    Pomona College
    -       2019 “Views from Within and Without: Youth from Marseille’s Housing Projects Enact Belonging Through Marseillais French and Arabic.” Journal of Multicultural and Multilingual Development. DOI: 10.1080/01434632.2020.1724121.

    -       “Alienated at Home: The Role of Online Media as Young Orthodox Muslim Women Beat a Retreat from Marseille.” In C. Cutler & U. Røyneland (Eds.), Multilingual Youth Practices in Computer-Mediated Communication (pp. 27-50). Cambridge University Press. (2018)

  • Zsuzsanna Fagyal
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    -       Fagyal, Zsuzsanna, and Eivind Torgersen. "Prosodic rhythm, cultural background, and the performance of adolescent urban vernaculars in Paris: case studies and comparisons." Journal of French Language Studies, vol. 28, no. 2, 2018, p. 165-179.

    -       L’Accent des banlieues. Aspects prosodiques du français populaire en contact avec les langues de l’immigration. Paris: L’Harmattan, Séries “Espaces discursifs”, 2010.

  • Christina Horvath
    University of Bath
    -       Carpenter, Juliet & Christina Horvath, Regards croisés sur la banlieue, Bruxelles : Peter Lang, 2015. Collectif (dir) Nous … la cité, Paris, Zones, 2012 

    -       Horvath, C. (2020) The banlieue: realities, myths, representations 2020, in Demossier, M. et al. (ed) Routledge Handbook of French Politics and Culture, Routledge.  

    -       Horvath , C 2018 , ' Riots or revolts? The legacy of the 2005 uprising in French banlieue narratives ' , Modern and Contemporary France , vol. 26 , no. 2 , pp. 193-206 . https://doi.org/10.1080/09639489.2018.1440197ISSN:0963-9489 

    -       Horvath , C 2018 , ' Banlieue narratives : voicing the French urban periphery ' , Romance Studies , vol. 36 , no. 1-2: Banlieue Narratives: Voicing the French Urban Periphery , pp. 1-4 . https://doi.org/10.1080/02639904.2018.1457820 ISSN:0263-9904 

    -       Horvath , C 2020 , Literary festivals as Co-Creation? Challenging territorial stigmatisation in alternative ways . in Co-Creation in Theory and Practice : Exploring Creativity in the Global North and South . Policy Press , Bristol , pp. 155 . https://doi.org/DOI: 10.2307/j.ctv161f375.15

          -       Horvath , C 2018 , ' Conceptualizing peripheral urban literature in France and Brazil ' , Romance Studies , vol. 36 , no. 1-2: Banlieue Narratives: Voicing the French Urban Periphery , pp. 46-62 .                           https://doi.org/10.1080/02639904.2018.1457826 ISSN:0263-9904  


  • Jae-Jae Spoon
    Director of European Studies Center, University of Pittsburgh
Cultural Diversity and Inclusive Community Building in Germany

In celebration of German Campus Week, this video focuses on the topic of cultural diversity in Germany and how the European nation has aimed to create inclusive community building. The virtual roundtable discusses successes, failures, and the future of Germany’s diverse communities.



  • Danny Choi
    University of Pittsburgh
    -       Parochialism, Social Norms, and Discrimination Against Immigrants (with M. Poertner and N. Sambanis) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2019. 116 (33), 16274–16279.
    -       Linguistic Assimilation Does Not Reduce Discrimination Against Immigrants (with M. Poertner and N. Sambanis) Journal of Experimental Political Science. 2020. Forthcoming.


  • Kai Unzicker
    Bertelsmann Stiftung


  • Jae-Jae Spoon
    Director of the European Studies Center, Univeristy of Pittsburgh
70 Years of Creating Europe: United in Diversity?

In this first installment of the ESC's 2020-2021 series of virtual roundtables, we used the 70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration as a springboard to discuss diversity within the EU. Our panel of experts traced the origin and current meaning of the EU's motto, "United in Diversity," exploring both its goals and its limitations.


  • Androula Vassiliou
    Former European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, and Youth
  • Johan Fornäs
    Professor Emeritus of Media and Communication Studies, Södertörn University
  • Susannah Eckersley
    Senior Lecturer in Media, Culture, and Heritage, Newcastle University
  • Michal Friedman
    Jack Buncher Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies, Carnegie Mellon University


  • Jae-Jae Spoon
    Director of the European Studies Center, Univeristy of Pittsburgh


Dr John Fornäs 

Dr Susannah Eckersley 

Dr Michal Friedman 



Borders and Contested Memory in Northern Ireland

Conversations on Europe: Discussion explores borders and contested memory in Northern Ireland. Our panel of experts explores the conflict over territory and identity in Northern Ireland and how that has played out at the border and in other spaces. We will discuss what has changed since the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement and what may happen as a result of Brexit and the recent elections in the Republic of Ireland.


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Relevant Publications from the Panelists

Jonathan Blake, RAND

Katy Hayward, Queen's University Belfast

Jennifer Keating, Carnegie Mellon University

Connal Parr, Northumbria University

Additional Books and Articles

Podcasts and Videos





Monuments and Contested Memory in Europe

Conversations on Europe: A discussion on contested monuments in the U.S. and Europe - some which have generated lots of public  notice, while others may be less familiar. Our panel of experts consider and compare recent controversies over Confederate and Communist statues, colonial monuments, and memorials to WWII and the Holocaust. What is the role of public art in creating a shared history and whose history is being displayed?


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Relevant Publications from the Panelists

Brian Kwoba, University of Memphis

Kirk Savage, University of Pittsburgh

Jennifer Sessions, University of Virginia

Katja Wezel, University of Göttingen

Additional Books and Articles

Podcasts and Videos





An Update on Brexit

The British withdrawal from the EU deadline is scheduled for January 31, 2020, but after so many postponements and delays, it is anyone's guess whether or not that will happen.

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Relevant Publications from the Panelists

Pablo Fernandez-Vazquez, University of Pittsburgh

Timothy G. McMahon, Marquette University

Anand Menon, King’s College London

Additional Books and Articles

Podcasts and Videos


Democratic Backsliding: Poland and Hungary

Conversations on Europe: Discussion about how Poland and Hungary transitioned to democracy nearly 30 years ago and the evidence that the actions of their leaders are working to erode democracy in their respective countries.

PANELISTS: Iza Ding, University of Pittsburgh Zsolt Enyedi, Central European University Milada Vachudova, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Anna Grzymala-Busse, Stanford University


Want More Info About This Topic?


Relevant Publications from the Panelists

Iza Deng, University of Pittsburgh

Zsolt Enyedi, Central European University

Anna Grzymala-Busse, Stanford University

Milada Vachudova, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Additional Books and Articles

Podcasts and Videos

Germany Since 1989: Do Differences Persist After Reunification?

Conversations on Europe: Discussion of the legacies of the two Germanies that existed between 1949 and 1990, thirty years after the fall of the Iron Curtain.


Hope M. Harrison, George Washington University

Jonathan Olsen, Texas Woman's University

Jan Musekamp, University of Pittsburgh

Consul General David Gill, German Consulate General New York


Relevant Publications from the Panelists

Hope M. Harrison, George Washington University

Jonathan Olsen, Texas Woman's University

Jan Musekamp, University of Pittsburgh

Additional Books and Articles

Podcasts and Videos