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Opening Speeches

Plenary / Keynote
english language


Distinguished Professor of Nordic, European and World History, Department of World Cultures, CENS - Centre of Nordic Studies, University of Helsinki Abstract Key Note
The talk lays out three European utopias of peace: Vienna 1815, Versailles 1919, and Paris 1951 and reflects on what connects them with today’s Europe, what they have in common and what separates them. They shared the dream of stability and order through a legal framing of politics. The presentation discusses why this dream was impossible and how the lack of a viable political economy which considered the social side of the economic integration became a major political problem. The focus is on the role of language in the translation of experiences into action-oriented horizons of expectation. The conclusion is that the present European crisis is as much a conceptual crisis, which has spilt over into a moral crisis, as it is an economic crisis. This makes the crisis more serious than much of what is referred to under the inflated term crisis. The lack of a convincing language is potentially an existential threat, but less through a big bang collapse of the euro-zone than through the lack of a vision of what Europe is and should be. People’s indifference not to say apathy is the greater threat than the state debts. A new vision would mean a new legal framing of Europe as a polity based on the insight that values are contentious. The political debate and struggle about alternatives is the cement that moulds democratic societies together. The conclusion is that a new legal framing would mean an upgrading of the European Parliament as the centre of value contention.
The talk is based on work in progress within the research project Europe 1815-1914 (“Between Restoration and Revolution, National Constitutions and Global Law: an Alternative View on the European Century 1815-1914” at the University of Helsinki sponsored by the European Research Council (2009-2014).
Founding Director, Cultural Brokers; former Head of Culture, Greater London Authority, London Key Note


Distinguished Professor of Nordic, European and World History, Department of World Cultures, CENS - Centre of Nordic Studies, University of Helsinki

1990-1996 Professor of History, University of Göteborg
1997-2007 Professor of Contemporary History, European University Institute, Florence
since 2007 Professor of Nordic, European and World History, University of Helsinki

Seminar Week

show timetable
Kategorie: all PlenarySeminar


17:00 - 17:15Opening of the European Forum Alpbach 2013Plenary
17:15 - 17:30Opening Concert Part I: Premiere of "The Light of Experience"Plenary
17:30 - 18:30Opening SpeechesPlenary
19:00 - 19:30Opening Concert Part IIPlenary
19:30 - 21:00Presentation of the SeminarsPlenary


Seminar 01: New Approaches to Security - Cooperation, Concentration and IntegrationSeminar
Seminar 02: Open Data, Open Government, Open Society?Seminar
Seminar 03: Democratic Interventionism or Responsibility to Protect?Seminar
Seminar 04: Motivation - A Biological and Social BaseSeminar
Seminar 05: Values in ScienceSeminar
Seminar 06: Exploring the Universe: Competition or Cooperation?Seminar
Seminar 07: Between Faith and Atheism - Values and the Variety of Spiritual ExperiencesSeminar
Seminar 08: The Evil in ArtSeminar
Seminar 09: The Role of the European Court of Human Rights in Protecting and Developing an Open SocietySeminar
Seminar 10: Power and CyberspaceSeminar
Seminar 11: What Kind of Foreign Policy - Value-Based or Realpolitik?Seminar
Seminar 12: Human Appropriation of Natural Resources  Challenges, Constraints and Ethical AspectsSeminar
Seminar 13: Synthetic Biology: Social and Ethical ImplicationsSeminar
Seminar 14: Roots of European ValuesSeminar
Seminar 15: Irrational Behaviour of Individuals: Implications for Economic PolicySeminar
Seminar 16: Experiences in Migration and Integration: A Cultural ApproachSeminar


20:00 - 22:00International EveningCulture


19:00 - 00:00BarCamp: TransformationsSeminar


18:00 - 19:30Authors in Conversation: The Revolt Against the West and its ValuesCulture