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Thinking Europe

Thinking Europe


With the series "Thinking Europe", which Jorge Semprún inaugurated in September 2006, the CCCB opens a forum of debate on the future of Europe with a humanistic and cultural perspective. More than sixty years after the Second World War, Europe is currently a united space of peaceful coexistence between nation-states that have decided to share their sovereignty under a set of common principles. Yet the difficulties in the processes of integration and enlargement, together with the increasing global flows of people, ideas and goods, make the limits of Europe more diffused than ever, and open the debate once again on the very notion of European civilization.


With this context, the CCCB invites prominent intellectuals from around the world to answer some of the following questions: What unites Europeans? What does European culture mean today? What is Europe’s contribution to universal culture? Which philosophical categories or renewed political principles could help articulate a cosmopolitan, hospitable and democratic Europe?

12th November

"Hobsbawm Thinks Europe. Conversation with Donald Sassoon and Josep Fontana"

Eric Hobsbawm, Professor Emeritus of Social and Economic History at Birkbeck College, University of London. He's one of the most influential historians of the second half of the 20th century. His last book is Essays on Globalisation, Democracy and Terrorism (Little, Brown, 2007).

Donald Sassoon, Professor of Comparative European History at Queen Mary, University of London. Student of Eric Hobsbawm, is author of The Culture of Europeans (HarperCollins, 2006).

Josep Fontana, Professor Emeritus at Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona.

26th November

"Liberty and diversity. How free countries in Europe can cope with increasing cultural difference"

Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies at the University of Oxford. He is a regular collaborator to The Guardian and El País and is one of the most influential intellectuals in the world. He recently published Free World: America, Europe and the Surprising Future of the West (Random House, 2004).

3rd December

"Enlightenment Wars. Is Europe Under Threat From Islam?"

Ian Buruma, Professor of Democracy, Human Rights and Journalism at Bard College (New York). His last book, Murder in Amsterdam (Penguin Press, 2006), about the death of the Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh, explores the problems of coexistence and tolerance in a multicultural context.

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Timothy Garton Ash

Thinking Europe. Liberty and diversity

In this conference, British journalist and historian Timothy Garton Ash reflects on Europe’s growing cultural diversity.   

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