Book Discussion: Quo Vadis Europa? Reflections on Europe’s Past and Present

On Tuesday 4 April Professor Bo Stråth and Professor Hans-Jörg Trenz will present main conclusions from their newly published books on Europe's past and present.  

Europe’s history exhibits a profound tension of unity and diversity. Efforts at unification have met with staunch displays of defense of diversity. The various projects have unfolded during periods of peace and war. Today’s Europe has seen an almost unprecedented period of peace coupled with a continent-wide effort at integration driven by the European Union. At present confronted with a panoply of crises the European Union faces serious questions about its continued existence. The financial turned political crisis; the refugee crisis; the Ukraine crisis; and the prospect of Brexit (and the domino effects it might engender) are cases in point.

The purpose of this seminar is to discuss Europe’s present with reference to two important recently published books that provide us with in-depth assessments of Europe’s past and present. The first book by Professor Bo Stråth provides an essential historical backdrop to the present by discussing Europe’s efforts at developing lasting peace since the Congress of Vienna in 1815. The second book by Professor Trenz provides us with an up-to-date assessment of Europe. How well-entrenched in Europe’s societies is the process of Europeanisation? What kind of process is this?

Both books underline the role of historical contingency and the need to understand the available options as the actors have seen them at different points in time. The authors will briefly present their books. Scholars from different disciplines: history of ideas, law, and political science will comment, followed by a general debate.


This event will be held in English. 

This book discussion is organised as part of the EuroDiv project (Integration and division: Towards a segmented Europe?)


Chair: Cathrine Holst, ARENA and Department of Sociology and Human Georgraphy, University of Oslo

13.00 – 13.10


Erik Oddvar Eriksen, Director, ARENA, University of Oslo

13.10 – 13.35

Europe's Utopias of Peace

Bo Stråth, University of Helsinki

13.35 – 14.00

Narrating European Society: Toward a Sociology of European Integration

Hans-Jörg Trenz, University of Copenhagen and ARENA, University of Oslo

14.00 – 14.15 Coffee break
14.15 – 14.45 

Prepared comments

Ellen Krefting, Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, University of Oslo

Dag Michalsen, Department of Public and International Law, University of Oslo

John Erik Fossum, ARENA, University of Oslo

14.45 – 15.30 Discussion

Practical information

The event will be streamed.

Published Mar. 1, 2017 2:35 PM - Last modified Apr. 4, 2022 11:49 AM