Walls are back in vogue around the world, from Mexico to Hungary, Austria, and Greece. This is a paradox of history as physical and conceptual walls are being torn down unceasingly, driven by technology, business, and people’s quest for a better future. Political elites and large parts of the electorate still cling to the idea of sovereign nation states. But what if their vision of the world is no longer fit for purpose? Can nation states reinforce their borders in the era of the Internet, climate change and cyberwarfare? Jan Zielonka is Professor of European Politics at the University of Oxford and Ralf Dahrendorf Fellow at St Antony’s College. He is a prolific and combative political scientist, analysing processes of unbounding and rebounding in Europe and the world. His analysis is critical of the liberal elites who failed to adjust national and international institutions to the enormous geopolitical, economic, and technological changes of the last three decades. Free trade, multilateral diplomacy, and European integration are being undermined and openly questioned. At Falling Walls, Jan will argue that the current international framework needs to be reinvented. His recommendation: we need not only new institutions, but also new paradigms for restoring order and cooperation.
University of Oxford
Jan Zielonka is the Professor of European Politics and a Ralf Dahrendorf Fellow at St. Antony’s College at the University of Oxford. He is a prolific – and at times, combative – political scientist who keeps producing deep insights into the pres-ent-day state of liberal democracies. His analysis does not hold back with criticism towards liberalism and elites, pointing out deeprooted flaws in the political processes and institutions of the last decades. Despite the gloomy diagnosis, Zielonka’s critique is highly constructive as he tries to reimagine what a liberal democracy can and should be in order to stand the tests of time in the 21st century.