Aktualności Instytutu Krytyki Politycznej

Conference „The next Reset? The West and Russia between Crimea and ISIS”

Due to big interest in the conference the registration has been closed.

The next Reset? The West and Russia between Crimea and ISIS

March 10-11, 2016
Institute for Advanced Study, Warsaw


March 10, Thursday

Keynote speech: Can Putin be stopped?
Janusz Onyszkiewicz (former Polish Minister of National Defence, Centre for International Relations, Warsaw)

Opening Session: Does Russia have the Great Masterplan? Putin’s PR and geopolitics
Ivan Krastev (Centre for Liberal Strategies, ECFR, Bulgaria)
Peter Pomerantsev (writer, blogger “London Review of Books”)
Ludwika Włodek (East European Studies, University of Warsaw, Poland)
Moderator: Sławomir Sierakowski (Institute for Advanced Study, Poland) 

March 11, Friday


Session 1: Balkans and Visegrad – migrants, nationalists and East-West confrontation
Adam Balcer (demosEUROPA, Poland)
Dessy Gavrilova (The Red House Center for Culture and Debate, Bulgaria; European Network of Houses for Debate „Time to Talk”)
Aleksandra Sekulić (Centre for Cultural Decontamination, Serbia)
Michal Vašečka (Masaryk University, Slovakia)
Moderator: Michał Sutowski (Institute for Advanced Study, Poland)


Session 2: Lesser evil or the doctor worse than the disease – Assad as a hope for Syria and the West?
Konstanty Gebert (journalist of „Gazeta Wyborcza”, Poland)
Ivan Krastev (Centre for Liberal Strategies, ECFR, Bulgaria)
Patrycja Sasnal (Polish Institute for International Affairs, Poland)
Moderator: Igor Stokfiszewski (Institute for Advanced Study, Poland)

13:10–14:30 lunch break


Session 3: Ukraine abandoned? Is the West going to trade Ukraine off for Russia’s support in the Middle East?
Aleksandra Hnatiuk (Centre for Eastern Studies, University of Warsaw, Poland)
Jarosław Hrycak (Catholic University of Lviv, Ukraine)
Andrew Wilson (European Council on Foreign Relations, UK)
Moderator: Lesia Kulchynska (Visual Culture Research Center, Ukraine)

The languages of the conference will be Polish and English (simultaneous translation will be provided).


Adam Balcer (Poland) – political scientist, expert on Black Sea region and post-soviet area, Senior Fellow at demosEUROPA Centre for European Strategy, conference director in College of Eastern Europe, co-author of the books: Polska na globalnej szachownicy(2014) and Orzeł i półksiężyc (2015).

Dessislava Gavrilova (Bulgaria) – founder and director of The Red House Centre for Culture and Debate in Sophia, director of the Centre for Arts and Culture of the Central European University, Budapest, initiator and coordinator of the European Network of Houses for Debate „Time to Talk”; expert on cultural policy and civil society issues with special focus on Eastern and Central Europe and the former Soviet republics.

Konstanty Gebert (Poland) – psychologist, columnist for „Gazeta Wyborcza” (writing under the alias Dawid Warszawski), expert on Balkans and the Middle Eastern regions. In 1992-1993 the advisor to Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations in former Yugoslavia; founder and former editor-in-chief of the Jewish magazine „Midrasz”; author of numerous books, including Mebel (1990), Obrona poczty sarajewskiej (1995), Wojna czterdziestoletnia (2004), Miejsce pod słońcem. Wojny Izraela (2008).

Aleksandra Hnatiuk (Poland) – diplomat, essayist, editor and translator, Professor at the Centre for East European Studies at University of Warsaw, author of many books, including Bunt Pokolenia. Rozmowy z intelektualistami ukraińskimi (2000, with Bogumiła Berdychowska), Pożegnanie z imperium. Ukraińskie dyskusje o tożsamości (2003) and most recently Odwaga i strach(2015).

Yaroslav Hrytsak (Ukraine) – historian and essayist, Professor at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, author of many books, including Нариси Історії України: Формування модерної української нації XIX—XX ст. (1996), Страсті за націоналізмом (2004), Пророк у своїй вітчизні: Іван Франко і його спільнота (2006), Ukraina. Przewodnik Krytyki Politycznej (wywiad-rzeka Izy Chruślińskiej, 2009).

Ivan Krastev (Bulgaria) – political scientist and columnist for „New York Times“, chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sophia, founding board member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and Permanent Fellow at the Institut of Human Sciences in Vienna; author of many books, including In Mistrust We Trust: Can Democracy Survive When We Don’t Trust Our Leaders? (2013) and Democracy Disrupted: The Politics of Global Protest (2014).

Janusz Onyszkiewicz (Poland) – mathematician, alpinist, spokesman for the NSZZ “Solidarność” in the 80s, participant of the Round Table talks, Minister of National Defense of Poland in time Poland’s NATO accession; former Vice-President of the European Parliament, expert at the Centre for International Relations.

Peter Pomerantsev (UK, born in USSR) – writer, documentary filmmaker and former film producer at Russian television network TNT, columnist for „London Review of Books”, Senior Fellow at the Legatum Institute in London; author of Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia (2014).

Patrycja Sasnal (Poland) – political scientist, expert on international affairs, Middle East and the Arab world, Head of the Middle East and North Africa Project at the Polish Institute of International Affairs, author of the book Polityka Stanów Zjednoczonych wobec aktorów w konflikcie arabsko-izraelskim: między Bushem a Obamą (2009).

Aleksandra Sekulić (Serbia) – literature, media and art theorist, culture manager, member and cooperative of the Low-Fi Video movement (1997-2003), Kosmoplovci group and Media Archaeology project; team member of Belgrade’s Centre for Cultural Decontamination.

Michal Vasečka (Slovakia) – political and social scientist, Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology, Masaryk University in Brno, Member of the Council of Europe’s European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI).

Andrew Wilson (UK) – historian and political scientist, Professor in Ukrainian Studies at University College London and a Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, author of many books, including The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation (2000), Virtual Politics: Faking Democracy in the Post-Soviet World  (2005) and Ukraine Crisis: What the West Needs to Know (2015).

Ludwika Włodek (Poland) – political scientist and sociologist, lecturer at the Centre for East European Studies at University of Warsaw, expert on Central Asia and the post-Soviet region with a special focus on political culture and national question; reporter and columnist (i.a. for “Gazeta Wyborcza”), author of the books Pra. O rodzinie Iwaszkiewiczów (2012) and, most recently, Wystarczy przejść przez rzekę (2014).


Socio-political crisis in Southern and Central Europe (including Balkans, Visegrad countries and Germany) which came about as a consequence of a mass inflow of war and climate refugees from the Middle East, as well as recent terrorist attacks on Paris, made the Middle East, especially Syrian and Iraqi territory occupied by so called Islamic State, the main focus for European foreign affairs. They also diminish the level of attention dedicated to the crisis and 'hybrid war’ inspired by Russia in Eastern Ukraine. On the other hand, Russia’s military involvement in Syria and its support for President Assad make this country a necessary factor to be taken into account in all strategic solutions regarding ISIS and mass exodus of asylum seekers in Europe.

All these processes create an extremely complicated strategic puzzle, consisting of different regions (Donbas, Crimea, Middle East, Central Europe, and the Balkans) and often contradictory political, social, and economic interests, determining the fate of refugees, cohesion and solidarity in Europe, as well as geopolitical influences of different powers. Events in distant Syria are observed with close attention, especially in Central Europe and in the Balkans, where different dimensions of this puzzle interact and intertwine: Russian interests and involvement within their neighbour’s borders and in the middle-eastern war zone, which produces the mass outflow of people to Europe; conjunction between events there and the inflow of refugees seeking asylum; possible trade-off between the West and Russia, exchanging Western acceptance for the status quo in Ukraine and for Russia’s help for Syrian government in fighting ISIS. In Warsaw, where both the question of refugees and Russian activities in Ukraine became a matter of huge controversy (in a slightly different manner than in the Balkans or Hungary, which do not oppose Russia in Ukraine), we’re going to gather experts, commentators and civic activists involved in the Middle-Eastern, Ukrainian and Balkan affairs – to discuss and bring about 'the big picture’ where analytical and practical experience can serve to 'map’ an extremely vague territory in a coherent way.

The languages of the conference will be Polish and English (simultaneous translation will be provided). The number of participants is limited. In case of reaching the limit – the registration will be closed.



Institute for Advanced Study
Foksal 16, Warsaw, Poland
Phone +48 22 5056690

Krytyka Polityczna


Mott Foundation
European Council on Foreign Relations
Open Society Foundations

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