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Responding to Geopolitical Threats: The EU Expands its Role

Responding to Geopolitical Threats: The EU Expands its Role

Prof. Dr. Sven Biscop, Ghent University, Belgium.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024
12:00 PM
Bunche Hall, Room 10383
315 Portola Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine forced Europe to rediscover the importance of geopolitics. Inviting Ukraine to become a candidate for EU membership is one of the most important geopolitical decisions of this century. An invasion or an invitation: two very different ways of addressing the same geopolitical issue. But the EU also made Moldova and Georgia candidates: can it support those as well as they fall victim to further aggression? Meanwhile, the EU was forced to deploy a naval operation to protect shipping in the Red Sea from attack by the Houthis from Yemen. And it is struggling to maintain a military foothold in North Africa in the face of Russian interference. Can the EU expand its role and deal effectively with all of these issues?



Prof. Dr. Sven Biscop (born in Willebroek, Belgium in 1976) read political sciences and obtained his PhD at Ghent University, Belgium, where today he is a professor, lecturing on the grand strategy of the European Union and the other great powers, and on Belgian foreign and defence policy. In addition, he is the Director of the Europe in the World Programme at the Egmont – Royal Institute for International Relations in Brussels, the think-tank associated with the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Sven is an Associate Member of the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences of Belgium, and an Honorary Fellow of the European Security and Defence College (ESDC), an EU agency where he lectures for diplomats, military and officials from all EU Member States. He is also a regular speaker at the Royal Military Academy in Brussels and at the People’s University of China in Beijing, where he is a Senior Research Fellow. His latest book is Grand Strategy in 10 Words - A Guide to Great Power Politics in the 21st Century (Bristol University Press, 2021). Sven has been honoured with the cross of Officer of the Order of the Crown of the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Decoration of Honour of the Republic of Austria. Sven lives in Brussels with his Taiwanese-Belgian husband Aberu, amidst a great many books, military paraphernalia, and chinoiseries. Unfortunately, they travel too often to keep a cat.



Daniel Treisman is a professor of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. A graduate of Oxford University (B.A. Hons.) and Harvard University (Ph.D.), he has published six books and many articles in leading political science and economics journals including The American Political Science Review and The American Economic Review, as well as in public affairs journals such as Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy. His research focuses on Russian politics and economics as well as comparative political economy, including in particular the analysis of democratization, the politics of authoritarian states, political decentralization, and corruption.

A former editor of The American Political Science Review, he has served as associate editor or on the editorial boards of the journals Post-Soviet Affairs, Comparative Political Studies, Economics and Politics, Politeia, and the Russian Journal of Economics. He has served as a consultant for the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and USAID. In Russia, he has been a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Higher School of Economics and a member of the Jury of the National Prize in Applied Economics. At UCLA, he has served as acting director of the Center for European and Russian Studies.

His latest book, co-authored with Sergei Guriev, Spin Dictators: The Changing Face of Tyranny in the 21st Century (Princeton University Press, 2022), was one of the “Best Books of 2022” (The New Yorker, Foreign Affairs), “Best Political Books of 2022” (Financial Times), and “Books That Made Us Think in 2022” (The Atlantic, Moment). It has been translated into 12 languages. The Return: Russia’s Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev (The Free Press, 2011) was one of the Financial Times’ “Best Political Books of 2011.” It won the Prix Guido et Maruccia Zerilli-Marimo de l’Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques, Paris, and the Arthur Ross Book Prize Bronze Medal, New York.

Sponsor(s): Burkle Center for International Relations, Center for European and Russian Studies

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