European Identity in Question past events

Until recently the self-understanding that dominated Europe was fundamentally 'Eurocentric'. Europe's rational-technical-scientific culture was regarded as unproblematically superior to other world cultures, and its value was accorded universal human significance. The mission of 'we Europeans' was nothing short of the world-wide-isation of the European world.

Today that self-understanding seems old. And yet 'we Europeans' of today can hardly be said to have found a new vision to replace it. We lack a clear view of what it means to be European.

It is in response to the profoundly uncertain situation of contemporary European identity that four cultural and academic centres in London, the Institute of Philosophy (University of London School of Advanced Study), the Forum for European Philosophy (London School of Economics), the Goethe Institute and the Institut Français, have come together to host a special series of discussions with some of Europe's leading thinkers to explore central questions related to this theme.   

Two Challenges to Democratic Citizenship: Is the EU the Solution or Part of the Problem?

Richard BellamyWednesday 7 May, 6.30-8.00pm
U8, Tower One, LSE

Richard Bellamy, Professor of Political Science and Director of the School of Public Policy, University College London Website|

Commentator: Damian Chalmers, Professor in European Law, European Institute and Law Department, LSE

The formation of the European Union has raised new questions about European identity and new problems about citizenship. Can the idea of 'European citizenship' really be applied to the inhabitants of the diverse collection of nation states grouped in the EU? Can the EU really be a democratic institution? Is more democracy good for the EU, and is it effective for its 'citizens'?

Democracy and European Institutions

Thursday 8 November 2007, 6.30-8.00pm
Institut Français,
17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, SW7 

Pierre Rosanvallon in conversation with Maurice Fraser

One of France's most brilliant contemporary intellectuals and historians, Professor at the Collège de France, Pierre Rosanvallon is also responsible for the founding in 2002 of the French intellectual think-tank, La République des idées.

La République des idées proposes innovative in-depth analyses of the major economic, political and geo-strategic challenges of our time, through a series of working papers, seminars, and international conferences, as well as through a review La Vie des Idées.

Pierre Rosanvallon's works are dedicated to the history of democracy, French political history, the role of the State and the question of social justice in contemporary societies. His recent output reveals a particular concern with Europe.

Pierre Rosanvallon gave an enlightening lecture on Democracy and European Institutions. This was followed by a conversation with Maurice Fraser, Fellow in European Politics, Director of LSE European Public Lecture Series. Christian Schubert, correspondent for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung based in Paris, and author of Great Britain, an Island between two Worlds, chaired the evening.

This event was organised in partnership with The Goethe-Institut London, as part of a European Series Programme.

Pierre Rosanvallon in conversation with Maurice Fraser
Thursday 8 November 2007, 6.30 -8.00pm - in English
£6, conc. £5, early reservation recommended