Ivan Krastev

International order as a hall of broken mirrors

Join #KAPTalks lecturer Ivan Krastev, Chairman of Liberal Strategies in Sofia to discuss development prospects in the world shattered by war. Register here

Tuesday 07.03.2023

In 1995, in a lecture delivered in IWM in Vienna American anthropologist Clifford Geertz predicted that, contrary to the prevailing consensus at the time, the international order born out of the end of the Cold war would be defined not by convergence and the wholesale adoption of Western models but by an obsession with identity and difference in which “a stream of obscure divisions and strange instabilities” will rise to the surface” and we will be haunted by the questions: “What is a country if it is not a nation?” and “what is a Culture if it is not a consensus?”

The most recent outburst of violence in Eastern Europe is a proof to his intuition. While many tend to frame it as a return of the Cold war, it is my argument that the ideological politics characteristic of the Cold War has yielded to identity politics on a global scale. While the conflict between democracy and authoritarianism continues to have an impact on the foreign policy of the states, it will be the cultural war between states and within states that will be of bigger importance for defining how will states behave in international politics. Spread of misinformation, domestic polarization and fragmentation that we witness today in many parts of the world means that navigating international politics today makes it necessary to re-conceptualize the complex link between domestic and foreign policy. This poses a risk to development gains of the last decades and test the limits of the global multilateral system and puts a heavy strain on the global multilateral system.

The event is organised under the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.

When: 7th March 2023 at 17:00 CET / 16:00 GMT 

Where: Charles University, Hall of Patriots, Carolinum, Prague & online 

You can join the lecture by:

  • coming to the event 
  • coming to the online event on Zoom register here
  • following livestreaming from the event at kapuscinskilectures.eu
  • asking your questions to Ivan Krastev via Zoom or Twitter using #KAPTalks hashtag

Organized in partnership with:

Ivan Krastev is the chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies and permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences, IWM Vienna.

He is a founding board member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the Board of Trustees of The International Crisis Group and member of the Board of Directors of GLOBSEC. He was a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times (2015-2021) and currently is an Financial Times contributing editor. Ivan Krastev is the author of "Is it Tomorrow, Yet? How the Pandemic Changes Europe" (Allen Lane, 2020); The Light that Failed: A Reckoning (Allen Lane, 2019), co-authored with Stephen Holmes - won the 30th Annual Lionel Gelber Prize; “After Europe” (UPenn Press, 2017); “Democracy Disrupted. The Global Politics on Protest” (UPenn Press, 2014) and “In Mistrust We Trust: Can Democracy Survive When We Don't Trust Our Leaders?” (TED Books, 2013). Ivan Krastev is the winner of the Jean Améry Prize for European Essay Writing 2020. Photo Credit: IWM/Klaus Ranger&Zsolt Marton

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