Keynote Lecture


You are cordially invited to the keynote lecture for the conference ‘Regimes and Societies in Conflict: Eastern Europe and Russia since 1956’!

Relations between Russia and the EU are going through the deepest crisis since the end of the Cold War. Sanctions continue to be renewed and trust remains at an all – time low. Yet, the relations are also fraught with ambiguity. Bilateral contacts between Moscow and capitals of EU countries seem to flourish and in sectors like energy pragmatism reigns. How deep then is the crisis? And what is at stake? Is the confrontation about counter – hegemony and ultimately the reversal of the –already weakened – Euro – Atlantic ‘liberal’ order, as Russian diplomacy heralds? How should we understand Moscow’s use of a full array of power means? And is Russia punching above its weight or has the crisis catalysed its return to ‘one hundred years of geopolitical solitude’, as Vladislav Surkov suggested? This lecture seeks to add some nuance to current debates, challenging the idea that the Cold War has made a comeback and disentangling the complexity of current power dynamics.


Dr Tom Casier is Jean Monnet Chair and Reader in International Relations at the Brussels School of International Studies (BSIS), the Brussels campus of the University of Kent. He led BSIS as Academic Director from 2014 to 2017. He is also Visiting Professor at the University of Leuven (since 2011). Tom Casier teaches on Russian foreign policy, International Relations and political development in Central and Eastern Europe. Dr Casier’s research focuses mainly on Russian foreign policy and EU – Russia relations, with a particular interest in power and identity. An edited volume (with Joan DeBardeleben) entitled EU – Russia Relations in Crisis: Understanding Diverging Perceptions was published with Routledge in 2018. Recent articles have appeared in Cooperation and Conflict, Geopolitics, International Politics, Contemporary Politics, Europe – Asia Studies and others. Tom Casier coordinated an EU funded Jean Monnet multilateral research project on EU – Russia relations, with the University of Carleton, St. Petersburg State University and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. He regularly provides policy advice for different institutions and organisations.

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Keynote lecture is open to the public. No registration required.

The event is organized by the Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES) in cooperation with the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES).