26 June 2015

Dahrendorf Workshop “The EU and Russia: Unpacking the Stalemate”

Location LSE, London.
Red Square, Moscow, yeowatzup, Flickr

This first workshop of the Europe and Russia and Ukraine working group brings together policy practitioners and academics for the discussion of relations between the EU and Russia in a historical perspective. The workshop addresses both the evolution of the EU’s strategy towards its neighbours to the East, and Russia’s perception of the EU in the context of crisis over Ukraine. In view of the EU’s attempts to revise its relationship with Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, the workshop explores the causes of the stalemate and aims to evaluate how it can be overcome.

In advance of the workshop, the discussion will begin on the Dahrendorf blog, in which Robert Cooper criticises President Putin’s continued use of the Kosovo analogy to justify the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Please note that this is a closed workshop and by invitation only.

Workshop Agenda

Panel One. Defining the Debate: The Use and Misuse of Identity, Language and History

Chair:  Vladislav Zubok (LSE, Dahrendorf WG Chair)

Speakers:  Valentina Feklyunina (Newcastle University), Georgiy Kasianov (Institute of History, Kiev; Dahrendorf WG), Alexei Miller (European University of St Petersburg; Dahrendorf WG)

Panel One explores how the issues of identity, language, and history have been interpreted by actors in the EU and Russia and what roles these concepts play in the current stalemate affecting Russia’s attitudes towards the EU and vice versa. The panel seeks to explore the following broad questions:

  1. What are the normative aspects of Russia-EU contestation?
  2. What language does Russia offer for talking with EU?
  3. How has the politics of memory and history affected the Russia-EU relationship?

Panel Two. ‘Innocents in the East’: EU’s Policy Towards its Eastern Neighbours

Chair:  Georgiy Kasianov

Speakers:  David Cadier (LSE IDEAS; Dahrendorf WG), Robert Cooper (LSE IDEAS; Dahrendorf Senior Fellow), Tuomas Forsberg (University of Tampere), Hiski Haukkala (University of Tampere), Elena Korosteleva (University of Kent), Cristian Nitoiu (LSE IDEAS; Dahrendorf Fellow)

Panel Two focuses on the evolution of the EU’s policy and strategy towards its Eastern neighbours, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and the Eastern Partnership. The panel seeks to explore the following broad questions:

  1. What expectations the EU had in the absence of ‘grand strategy’ in the East and how those expectations have evolved in the context of the on-going crisis over Ukraine?
  2. What were Russian perceptions of EU policies and reactions to them?
  3. How successful has the EU been at fostering policy change and structural reforms in the Eastern neighbourhood?
  4. Should the EU oppose or engage the Eurasian Union?

Panel Three. Russia’s World: Policy Drivers and Regional Dynamics

Chair:  Alexei Miller

Speakers:  Pavel Baev (PRIO), Amanda Paul (European Policy Centre, Brussels), Nicu Popescu (EUISS), Richard Sakwa (University of Kent),

Panel Three aims to analyse the key drivers behind the Russia’s government policy in Europe, including the causes of Russia’s policy towards Ukraine and the ‘Near Abroad’. The panel seeks to explore the following broad questions:

  1. What are the main drivers and “isms” in Russian behaviour?
  2. What were the motives for Russia’s action in Crimea?
  3. What role does Vladimir Putin’s personality play in the current crisis over Ukraine?
  4. How did Russian motives evolve during the year of confrontation over Ukraine?

Panel Four. Learning from the Crisis: Russia, EU, and Other Neighbourhoods in 2014-15

Chair:  Margot Light (LSE)

Speakers:  James Hughes (LSE; Dahrendorf WG), Robert Cooper

Panel Four aims to analyze what we can learn from the current crisis and historical precedents, such as Yugoslav Crisis of the 1990s. The panel seeks to explore the following broad questions:

  1. What can we learn from the Yugoslav Crisis as a reference point for several sides in the current conflict over Ukraine? What other reference points in history can be useful?
  2. What can Russia do to affect the EU’s interests in other areas inside and outside the European theatre?
  3. How can the stalemate in EU-Russia relations be overcome?

Videos: