Kick-off event “European Book Club” with Jarosław Kuisz and Karolina Wigura

Fotos: Tobias Kunz

On February 28th, the Zentrum Liberale Moderne hosted its kick-off European Book Club event, featuring a thought-provoking discus­sion on the essay “Post­trau­matic Sover­eignty” by our Program Directors and Senior Fellows Karolina Wigura and Jaroslaw Kuisz.

Set against the backdrop of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the event explored the haunting spectre of histor­ical traumas in Eastern Europe and the enduring fear of losing sover­eignty by being sacri­ficed in the chess games of great powers.

The authors of the essay delved into the Eastern European mentality, examining the swift and unequiv­ocal response to external threats in the aftermath of the Russian attack on Ukraine. Their lucid analysis contrasted this with Western European countries, revealing the layers of memory that shape Eastern European nations’ unique approach to inter­na­tional politics, the European Union, and military self-defence.

The event brought together a diverse inter­na­tional audience eager to unravel the intri­ca­cies of the Eastern European mindset. Attendees explored how histor­ical traumas continue rever­ber­ating in current conflicts and contem­plated the paradoxes of sover­eignty in a region where the past profoundly influ­ences the present.

Adding valuable insights to the discus­sion, Gwendolyn Sasse, Director of the Center for East European and Inter­na­tional Studies (ZOiS) and Einstein-Professor for the Compar­a­tive Study of Democracy and Author­i­tar­i­anism at Humboldt Univer­sity and Felix Ackermann, Professor for Public History at Hagen Univer­sity, served as commen­ta­tors, providing addi­tional perspec­tives on the themes explored in “Post­trau­matic Sover­eignty.” Their contri­bu­tions enriched the conver­sa­tion, offering a more compre­hen­sive under­standing of the complex dynamics at play in Eastern Europe. Moreover, Ralf Fücks, Managing Director Zentrum Liberale Moderne, steered the discus­sion, ensuring a balanced and insightful explo­ration of the themes discussed in the book.

The European Book Club event was a compelling journey into the histor­ical, political, and cultural factors that shape the region, fostering mean­ingful discus­sions and connec­tions among partic­i­pants. The Zentrum Liberale Moderne looks forward to hosting more engaging discus­sions throughout the year as part of this enlight­ening series.



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