Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Europe today: Brexit and the German question

Jos de Beus Lecture 2017 by Simon Glendinning
Date & time: Thursday 2 November 2017, 16.00-18.00 hrs.
Location: Agnietenkapel, Oudezijds Voorburgwal 231, Amsterdam
Reservations are not required.
The Jos de Beus Lecture 2017 is made possible by ACCESS Europe and the research group Challenges to Democratic Representation of the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam.
This lecture will take its orientation from three intuitive thoughts. First, that the most decisive considerations for UK citizens who voted to leave the European Union were framed in terms of freedom – freedom as a political concept. If any slogan gave voice to the voice of Leavers it was “Take back control”. Second, and not very distantly related, is an assumption bordering on plain fact that the European Union, however closely identified with the faceless bureaucracy of “Brussels”, is dominated by Germany as a de-facto hegemonic power. And third, that France is caught up in all of this – caught up in it not least because it had initially blocked the UK becoming a member in the first place, and also because its principal motivation for pressing for the development of a transnational organization in Europe after the Second World War was to pacify Germany. These are all familiar features of the European political landscape, and concern the sort of things one might read about in a newspaper article about what is going on in Europe today. The aim of the lecture will be to explore the way these familiar political features are tied together by distinctively philosophical differences over the idea of Europe itself.
Simon Glendinning is Professor of European Philosophy and Director of the Forum for European Philosophy in the European Institute at the The London School of Economics and Political Science. He has published extensively on European philosophy and on the philosophy of Europe. In his current research he is approaching the question of European identity from the phenomenological philosophical tradition. His books include In the Name of Phenomenology (2007), The Idea of Continental Philosophy: A Philosophical Chronicle (2006), On Being with Others: Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Derrida (1998). He holds a DPhil and a BPhil in Philosophy from Oxford University.