Ideas / Fri 22nd Sept / 6.30 - 8.30 pm
Doors open at 6.30pm.
Speaker will start at 7pm.
The European Union is often seen as a cosmopolitan rejection of violent nationalism. Yet the idea of Europe has a long, problematic history—in medieval times, it was synonymous with Christianity; in the modern era, it became associated with ‘whiteness’.
Hans Kundnani exposes the EU as a vehicle for imperial amnesia. Narratives of European integration emphasise the lessons of war and the Holocaust, but not the lessons of colonial history. The EU is about power as much as peace—and civic ideas of Europe are being displaced by ethnic and cultural ones.
Since the 2015 refugee crisis, whiteness has become even more central to European identity—a troubling new turn in Europe’s long civilisational project. It is time to confront the relationship between ideas of Europe and ideas of race.
Mehreen Khan, economics editor of The Times, will join the conversation and bring her expertise to explore other dimensions of this important subject. Join us for a fascinating conversation.
Hans Kundnani is an associate fellow and former Europe programme director at Chatham House, and the author of Utopia or Auschwitz; The Paradox of German Power; and Eurowhiteness, all published by Hurst. Hans writes regularly for The Observer, The Guardian, The New Statesman and Foreign Affairs, among others.
Mehreen Khan is the economics editor of The Times in London and a former Brussels correspondent for the Financial Times between 2017-2022. Mehreen writes about international economics and has covered the EU institutions.
Hans Kundnani: Utopia or Auschwitz (2009), The Paradox of German Power (2015), Eurowhiteness (2023)
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