The Nature and Future of the European Union, a Conversation with Hans Kundnani

The European Union is generally seen, and sees itself, as a force for internationalism, open borders, multiculturalism and a break with Europe’s nationalist past. Hans Kundnani however argues in an important and provocative new book that there is also a darker side to the EU’s culture and approach to the world. Consciously or unconsciously, this also embodies elements of older European imperialist and racist tropes of a Western mission either to “civilize” or to exclude the rest of the world, which is seen – in the words of EU High Representative Josep Borrell – as a “jungle”. The wars in Ukraine and Gaza and growing tensions with China are increasing defensive hostility towards the outside world, in ways that risk reawakening old forces of chauvinism and militarism. Anatol Lieven, director of the Eurasia Program at the Quincy Institute, will discuss with the author.


Hans Kundnani

Hans Kundnani is a visiting fellow at the Remarque Institute at New York University and an Open Society Foundations Ideas Workshop fellow. He was previously the director of the Europe programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in London, a senior Transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a Bosch Public Policy Fellow at the Transatlantic Academy in Washington, D.C., and research director at the European Council on Foreign Relations. He is also an associate fellow at the Institute for German Studies at Birmingham University and teaches at the Collège d’Europe in Natolin, Poland.

Anatol Lieven

Dr. Anatol Lieven directs the Eurasia Program at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. He was formerly a professor at Georgetown University in Qatar and in the War Studies Department of King’s College London. From 1985 to 1998, Lieven worked as a journalist in South Asia, the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and covered the wars in Afghanistan, Chechnya and the southern Caucasus.