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Shock in Europe: The War in Ukraine ONLINE

25 september @ 19:30 - 21:00

€99

Shock in Europe: The War in Ukraine

Are you shocked by the war in Ukraine? Well, you’re not alone!

Because when we were first heard of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, it seemed like yet another conflict in that region. It is now clear to everyone that that is really not the case – this is a different story. Besides the fact that this invasion is emotionally very close to home, what is coming our way now, is so very exciting. It seems as if the cards are being reshuffled.

In the words of the American historian Alfred McCoy: ‘What we’re witnessing are the violent eruptions of a great tectonic shift in global power.’

In this series of lectures we will examine whether the current system of international relations will actually be rearranged and what the consequences would then be for us, on the basis of the history of the US, Russia and China and that of NATO and the European Union. One based on the history of Ukraine of course. And very important – we are going to look at our role, the role of the West, in this conflict. That role is a lot bigger than you might think.

As horrific as it may seem – this conflict also benefits us and others. At the end of the course, you will know whether these advantages outweigh the disadvantages – and you will have some solid tools for interpreting the conflict.

So – book your spot in our insightful lecture series and learn the real story behind the crisis in Ukraine.

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Lecture series:

Lecture 1: Overview course and meaning of nation state and democracy

Lecture 2: The media – and why they are so confusing

Lecture 3: Russia until 2008 – an ancient empire

College 4: America until 2008 – how long will the Pax Americana last?

Lecture 5: The military NATO and the political European Union

Lecture 6: Ukraine – how it all comes together since 2008

Lecture 7: Geostrategy – the importance of the classical perspectives.

Lecture 8: China as a dominant power?

Lecture 9: From unipolarity to multipolarity

Lecture 10: Conclusion: what next?

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Book this ONLINE COURSE at the very bottom of the page.

With this lecture series you will receive a free digital syllabus.

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Read the detailed explanation per college below.

Lecture 1: Overview course and meaning of nation state and democracy

During the first lecture, the series is introduced and we discuss the meaning of the word ‘nation-state’. That term, or in one of its many other forms, for example ‘our country’ or ‘the nation’, comes up  in the media every day. We discuss what it actually means. We also discuss the concept of ‘liberal democracy’ and we examine the extent to which modern states are actually sovereign. We will discuss the historical approach to this topic. We’ll get into the meaning of the word “periodization” and shed some light on the usefulness of historical maps.

Finally, we briefly look at the meaning of the term “systemic war” and discuss the remarkable fact that several “seers” have predicted the coming of this war.

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Lecture 2: The media – and why they are so confusing.

After defining some commonly used terms, let’s look at how the war is ‘brought to you’ in the media. In that context, we deal with Aeschylus’ adage: ‘The first casualty of war is the truth’.

Reporting on war is always a very difficult job and cannot actually be done without error. We will therefore first look at how media work in general and then go a little deeper into the kind of propaganda you have to deal with in the event of war. In the West, we are masters of propaganda, which is why we have coined a very neutral term for it: public relations. We also pay attention to the typical Russian form of distortion of the facts, known as ‘dezinformatsiya‘.

We look at some examples of how the current conflict in the media is shown to you. We look at how you can estimate which sources are correct and which are not – and why. We also determine who the observer is and what sort of reflexes that observer actually has.

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Lecture 3: Russia until 2008 – an ancient empire

In the third lecture we look at the history of the protagonist of this conflict: the Russian Federation. Because what we call Russia is actually a federation of a collection of ethnic states. Russia is an empire that has forever grown in size on the Eurasian continent. We look at how Russia has developed on the basis of historical maps and we’ll have a thorough look at tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union. You can also see the Soviet Union as a continuation of the ever expanding Russian empire.

Until that empire falls apart. In 1991 President Boris Yeltsin took Russia in a new democratic direction – but that did not end well. The result is a Russia of oligarchs, led by the hard hand of Vladimir Putin.

Finally, we look at the leadership of that same Vladimir Putin since the year 2000 and ask ourselves, when and why Putin turned to his aggressive actions. The answer to that question is why we look at Russian history here until 2008.

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College 4: America until 2008 – how long will the Pax Americana last?

In this fourth lecture we switch to the great opponent of Russia during the Cold War. America has been the undisputed world leader since the end of World War II… although: when it came to armaments, that world leader had to take the Soviet Union into account and – although to a lesser extent – its successor Russia.

These two opponents Russia and America represent two cultural identities, with the United States, of course, being primarily a British colony, based on the ideals of the Enlightenment. We look at America’s history, focusing on the economic and military development of today’s world leader. The British are the most powerful state in the world, roughly from 1750 to 1950. Why did the power of the British pass over to the Americans?

We look at the period of friendship between the United States and Russia after 1991 and at the end of that friendship with the arrival of the influential American politician Paul Wolfowitz.

Finally, we address the question of why these Americans are so exceptionally militaristic and when – if ever – their global power is going to be curtailed. Are we perhaps seeing that very development right now?

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Lecture 5: The military NATO and the political European Union

In the fifth lecture, we look at the way in which European states work together. Much is owed to our military alliance with the Americans. That alliance was founded in 1949 out of fear for the Soviet Union. Where it seemed to play a lesser role for a while, it is now entirely in the spotlight. Not long after its creation, there was also a political union. That union, initially known as the European Coal and Steel Community, was to eradicate war between European states once and for all. And so far it has worked out quite well.

That political union is now known as the European Union and that it exists is only a good thing. But what about NATO? Was that organization still necessary after the Cold War? Well, whatever ideas we may have had about it, there has defeinitely been a paradigm shift there and more and more Eastern European countries are eager to join this military alliance.

There is also a remarkable development: often when a country becomes a member of the European Union, it also becomes a member of NATO not much later. Would that bother the Russians?

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Lecture 6: Ukraine – how it all comes together since 2008

In the sixth lecture we focus on Ukraine. First we look at the history of that country and then the plot thickens. We will extensively review the developments leading up to “the special military operation” as it started on February 24.

At the NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008, it was decided that Georgia and Ukraine should in principle be allowed to join NATO. Then Secretary General of NATO Jaap de Hoop-Scheffer has a conversation with Putin. According to De Hoop-Scheffer, Putin said that he would not accept NATO membership for Ukraine.

Less than five years later, Ukraine is allowed to join the EU, but President Yanukovych refuses to ratify the association agreement. A large part of the Ukrainian population is not happy about this. A massive uprising ensues, bearing the name of the central Maidan square. In 2014, the president  resign because of it. In the same year, Russia conquered the Crimea and Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is shot out of the sky, resulting in the horrific death of all on board.

We look at the developments in Ukrainian history between 2014 and 2022 and at the rise of Volodymyr Zelensky.

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Lecture 7: Geostrategy – the importance of the classical perspectives.

In the seventh lecture we zoom out again and pay attention to the geopolitical situation on the Eurasian continent. What are the consequences of current developments – and do those consequences also reveal something about the causes?

Let’s start with Halford MacKinder’s Heartland Theory, arguably the most important of all geostrategic theories. MacKinder explains that whoever controls Europe determines what happens across the entire Eurasian continent. What exactly does that theory mean? What significance does that theory have for Cold War containment strategy, as formulated by George Kennan? And how does the aggressive thinking of someone like Henry Kissinger relate to this? We discuss the ideas of renowned advisor to Jimmy Carter and strategic thinker Zbigniew Brzezinski, who already in 1997 drew remarkable conclusions about Ukraine.

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Lecture 8: China as a dominant power?

In the eighth lecture we look at the consequences for China of the conflict in Ukraine. Russia is being pushed into the arms of the Chinese by the West and that may well have some important consequences.

We look at how big the role is that China is playing in this conflict. What is their Gross National Product overthere in China and how does it compare to ours and that of the Americans? And how will that affect China’s military capabilities?

How dominant are the Chinese in the Eurasian Heartland and what does that mean for human rights? If the balance of power does indeed tip in favor of the Chinese, what consequences will that have for international politics? Can they really cash in on the promise of their new Silk Road, the Belt & Road Initiative?

Finally, we look at the consequences of climate change for China’s position in international relations.

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Lecture 9: From unipolarity to multipolarity

In the ninth lecture we look at how we move from the “unipolar moment” to a “multipolar situation”. The “unipolar moment” refers to the period in which we have only one world power, that of the Americans. We look at whether it is really the case that we are in the process of transitioning to a situation in which there are again multiple superpowers. Should the Americans really cede their power to the Russians? And to the Chinese? And does that go smoothly and friendly or does it involve a lot of warfare?

And how many poles are there actually? I’ll make a prediction: the set of poles will consist of the United States, China, the European Union and Russia.

We ask the important question of what consequences the current conflict will actually have on the balance of power within international relations.

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Lecture 10: Conclusion: what next?

In the tenth and final lecture we look at whether we now understand what caused the current conflict. We determine whether we can see what is actually going on, or whether propaganda and war conditions obstruct the view too much. And of course: what are the main consequences of this conflict?

In any case, we’ll come to some remarkable conclusions, which will certainly shock you a little bit. But then again – after the previous nine lectures you can certainly handle those conclusions!

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ONCE YOU HAVE BOOKED, WE WILL SEND YOU A VIDEO-LINK.

Gegevens

Datum:
25 september
Tijd:
19:30 - 21:00
Kosten:
€99