PRAGUE: Rector defends rights of anarchist student

The Rector of the Charles University, Professor Tomáš Zima, has stepped into a row over the threatened expulsion of a Russian anarchist student, whose student visa has been revoked by the Czech authorities. In an open letter to Interior the Czech Minister Milan Chovanc (ČSSD), the Rector argues that the move against the student, Igor Ševcov, was “totally disproportionate”. Ševcov was originally indicted for throwing ‘fire bottles’ at the House of the Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnický (ANO), though in the end he was charged only with keeping look-out for his colleagues who were spraying slogans. He was banned from public demonstrations for three years. According to supportive news sources, his visa was revoked due to an administrative error related to the earlier charges. The Rector is now appealing to return his visa, for fear that his life would be threatened in Russia. Professor Zima argues that Ševcov has already been politically persecuted in Russia, and would face further persecution for his political views, and lose his chance to finish his studies at the Faculty of Philosophy, where he is seen as a diligent student. In his recent annual University address, Professor Zima promised to defend truth, democracy and freedom.

 

Photo-of-the-Month June 2017

Steering Group members visiting Leiden

Steering Group members are pictured visiting the the hallowed Senate Room of Leiden University’s Academy Building, which is covered with portraits of past leading academics and scholars, shortly after their international meeting in May. Pictured left to right are Didier Gerogakakis from Paris 1, Professor Lenka Rovna from Charles, Prague, Dr Hartmut Mayer from Oxford, Wim van Doel of Leiden, Chair of the Steering Group, Professor Josep Ferrer from Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Andrew Graham, representing the Academic Council as Chair, and Professor Zdzlislaw Mach from the Jagiellonian, Krakow. The picture was taken by Dr Paul Flather.

Barcelona: Anti-LGBT phobia law

Pompeu Fabra has approved an initiative to allow transexuals, transgenders and intersexuals, to change their names on internal University documents, “to guarantee their right to be called by the name corresponding to the gender they identify with.” The move allows use of a different name to the one that appears on their official IDs in all internal, non-legal, matters, such as student cards, intranet practices, emails, and class lists. It is part of a wider inter-university project being coordinated by UPF, to apply the 11/2014 ‘anti-LGTBIphobia law’ into higher education. The law establishes conditions to enacts the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexual people in all areas of social life, and “contribute to the overcoming of stereotypes that negatively affect the social perception of these people.”  For more on the law, see here, and on the UPF initiative, see here (Spanish sources).

Estoril Political Forum : Europaeum graduates debate liberty and democracy

International scholars, policy experts, businessmen, opinion leaders, journalists and students, have met annually since 1993 for open debate on current themes in politics and international relations. These conferences, widely recognised for their excellence and liveliness, probably unique in Portugal, are run by the Institute for Political Studies of the Catholic University of Portugal, have established a significant Euro-American network of leading scholars and institutions exploring studies of democracy, liberty, security and responsibility. Each Estoril Political Forum, s they are now known, is closely related to the IEP’s own MA and PhD degree programmes with students participating, meeting senior scholars, sometimes as discussants or guest speakers, and basing evaluation papers on the theme. The meetings are now associated with The International Forum for Democratic Studies, the Europaeum, Jagiellonian University, NATO, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Real Instituto Elcano, Royal Institute of Philosophy, The Abigail Adams Institute and The Catholic University of Mozambique. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Catholic University’s Institute for Political Studies, set up in the wake of those early meetings hosted in the Arrábida meetings. This year’s theme is Defending the Western Tradition of Liberty Under Law (Please see programme details here.) For a list of convenors see: João Carlos Espada (Directo, IEP-UCP and Editor, Nova Cidadania, Lisbon), Paul Flather (Secretary General, EUROPAEUM, London), Anthony O’Hear (Director, Royal Institute of Philosophy and Editor, Philosophy, London), Raymond Plant (King’s College, House of Lords, London), Marc F. Plattner (Editor, Journal of Democracy, and Director, IFDS, Wahsington, D.C.) and Susan Shell (Boston College, Boston).

Quotes

“This week was without a doubt one of the most enriching experiences of my life.”

Melissa Gerard, 2015 Summer School Participant
(MA in European Governance, Jagiellonian, Krakow)

“Of course the door remains open, always open until the Brexit negotiations come to an end'”

Emmanuel Macron on June 13th in Paris to UK PM Theresa May

Profile of the Month

Professor SALLY MAPSTONE is joining the Europaeum’s Academic Council as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of our newest member, the University of St Andrews. She was previously Professor of Older Scots Literature at Oxford, where she also served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Personnel (2009-11) and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education (2011-16). She is on the international advisory board of Helsinki, and of one of the steering groups at the League of European Research Universities. She read English Language and Literature at Oxford, where she also gained her doctorate on Older Scots literature, examining literature and book history in Scots and in Latin before 1707. She remains an Emeritus Fellow of St Hilda’s College, and Honorary Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford, as well as Honorary President of the Scottish Text Society, Honorary Fellow of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies, and a Fellow of the English Association.

Publications & Media

The media review ‘Refuge’ by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier
Media including The Economist, The Sunday Times, and The Times Literary Supplement have now reviewed the book Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System.

“Agon” at Sixty

The New York Review of Books Foundation is mounting a special symposium to mark the 60th anniversary of the iconic  Stravinsky–Balanchine ballet, Agon, and once again it is recognising the Europaeum as one of its linked supporters. The event takes place in new York on June 26th. Please see more details, and the programme,  and how to register to participate here.

International scholars, policy experts, businessmen, opinion leaders, journalists and students, have met annually since 1993 for open debate on current themes in politics and international relations. These conferences, widely recognised for their excellence and liveliness, probably unique in Portugal, are run by the Institute for Political Studies of the Catholic University of Portugal, have established a significant Euro-American network of leading scholars and institutions exploring studies of democracy, liberty, security and responsibility. Each Estoril Political Forum, s they are now known, is closely related to the IEP’s own MA and PhD degree programmes with students participating, meeting senior scholars, sometimes as discussants or guest speakers, and basing evaluation papers on the theme. The meetings are now associated with The International Forum for Democratic Studies, the Europaeum, Jagiellonian University, NATO, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Real Instituto Elcano, Royal Institute of Philosophy, The Abigail Adams Institute and The Catholic University of Mozambique. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Catholic University’s Institute for Political Studies, set up in the wake of those early meetings hosted in the Arrábida meetings. This year’s theme is Defending the Western Tradition of Liberty Under Law (Please see programme details here.) For a list of convenors see here [ Alex set up link} João Carlos Espada (Directo, IEP-UCP and Editor, Nova Cidadania, Lisbon), Paul Flather (Secretary General, EUROPAEUM, London), Anthony O’Hear (Director, Royal Institute of Philosophy and Editor, Philosophy, London), Raymond Plant (King’s College, House of Lords, London), Marc F. Plattner (Editor, Journal of Democracy, and Director, IFDS, Wahsington, D.C.) and Susan Shell (Boston College, Boston).

Europaeum Summer School : Is democracy in crisis?

A surge in applications for our annual summer school to be held in the historic Escorial Monastery near Madrid, means that the target of 30 leadiong graduates drawn from across our network will be achieved. The event will focus on the apparent crisis in democracy, in the face of the rise of a new populism, the collapse of traditional political parties, broken leadership tropes, protest voting and the rise of the outsider, the demagogue, the independents, the opprobrium against establishment elites, and the anti-politics against politicians and systems. These will be key questions at the event co-hosted with the Complutense University Madrid, beginning from July 9th New speakers are being added and include David Ellwood, former professor at Bologna and SAIS and Anthony Arblaster from Sheffield and Oxford, who wrote a key work on liberal Democracy, and Manuel Muniz, expert on the international order. They join experts from politics, civil service, think tanks, NGOs, and universities, for six days of talks, panels, working groups, debates, a role-playing exercise, and discussions. All costs are covered for Europaeum graduates – apart from travel. The full  programme can beseen  here.

See also our Europaeum Diary of Forthcoming Events in 2017  

Bob Silvers’ passing

For many years the Europaeum has collaborated with the NYRB Foundation, which recently marked the sad passing of its illustrious and brilliant, founding Editor, Bob Silvers, memorial event at the New York Public Library. Bob participated in many events which the Europaeum had the pleasure to back. Our collaboration remains strong. The next event being mounted by the NYRB Foundation will be a special symposium on the 60th anniversary of the iconic staging of Stravinsky-Balanchine’s Agon, later this month in New York. For the programme see here more information and for registering your interest see here.
Later in the autumn, the Europaeum will be supporting a major event on the theme of democracy, globalisation and Inequalities