Author Archive

The road from Damascus

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current profiles, Profiles

Hussain - feature

When the Arab Spring spilled into Syria in 2011, Dima Hussain believed that the time had finally come to change her country’s long-entrenched status quo. Today, Syria’s civil war still rages on, and the regime that so many Syrians had sought to topple seems as strong as ever. Nonetheless Hussain, now a first-year Law researcher at the EUI, remains optimistic that one day she will return to Damascus, to a Syria imbued with the idealism that sparked a revolution over six years ago.

The historical roots of the world’s ‘racism emergency’

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current features, Current profiles, Features, Profiles

Hebdo -- featured

The world is in the grips of a ‘racism emergency’, according to James Renton. Typically for a historian, he believes that it is essential to look back in order to plot a route forward. In 2017, Europe commemorates two major milestones: the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. Both these landmarks, Renton argues, can teach us a great deal about modern-day racism, and governments’ responses to it.

James Renton is a Visiting Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. His new book, ‘Antisemitism and Islamophobia in Europe: A Shared Story?’ (co-edited with Ben Gidley), is available now.

Smuggling as care, not crime

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current features, Features

tijuana-kids

For all the bombast coming from Washington these days, it would be easy to think that the US-Mexico border is in crisis. Yet that is far from the truth. In fact, Gabriella Sanchez explains, life on the border is as it has been for centuries. Rather than building a wall, Sanchez suggests adopting a more considered and conciliatory approach to people smuggling as a way to alleviate suffering and increase our understanding of migration on the US-Mexico border.

Gabriella Sanchez is a Research Fellow at the Migration Policy Centre, based at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. Having arrived in Florence from the University of Texas in El Paso in September, Sanchez plans to develop a body of comparative, evidence-based research on global smuggling practices.

Rebuilding trust in experts after Brexit

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current features, Current profiles, Features, Profiles

Jean Pisani-Ferry

‘The paradox of our times,’ according to Jean Pisani-Ferry, is that people are more educated than ever before, yet ‘distrust’ in expert opinion has never been stronger. Speaking to EUI Times after participating in the first of the Schuman Centre’s ‘Conversations for the Future of Europe’, on how to structure a post-Brexit Europe, Professor Pisani-Ferry argues that institutions like the EUI have a fundamental role to play in rebuilding the public’s trust in the relationship between science and politics.

Jean Pisani-Ferry is a professor of economics with Sciences Po Paris and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, and he holds the Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa chair of the European University Institute in Florence. In the first half of 2017, Pisani-Ferry served as Director for Programme and Ideas for Emmanuel Macron’s successful presidential campaign.

Catalonia in crisis

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current events, Current features, Events, Features

The Catalan referendum on independence, held on 1 October, has plunged Spain into its deepest constitutional crisis in over forty years. With the Spanish government set to suspend Catalonia’s regional autonomy and impose direct rule from Madrid, one of the EU’s largest and most stable member-states is entering uncharted waters. ‘Nobody really knows what’s going on,’ says Carlos Closa, part-time Professor at the EUI’s School of Transnational Governance. ‘It is impossible to predict what will happen next.’

The EU’s challenge in tackling antisemitism

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current features, Current profiles, Features, Profiles

‘Hate cannot be contained in one corner,’ says Katharina von Schnurbein, the European Commission’s first specialist coordinator on tackling antisemitism, ‘sooner or later it spreads.’ For that reason, she argues, it is the responsibility of society as a whole – not just the Jewish community – to combat antisemitism. Von Schnurbein recently joined the EUI as an EU Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, where she will spend the next year formulating policy proposals on how the Commission can help stem the rising tide of antisemitism in Europe.

Europe facing a ‘Sputnik moment’, says EU Commissioner Moedas

Written by Henry Goodwin. Posted in Current features, Features

For Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, the series of crises which Europe has endured over the past decade has felt like being repeatedly ‘punched in the stomach’. Speaking at the opening of the School of Transnational Governance at Villa Salviati on October 4th, he told the audience that Europe is facing a uniquely challenging moment, ‘a time when change is needed, and complacency must give way to action.’