Room for Discussion is the interviewplatform of the University of Amsterdam. Every week we interview experts in the fields of politics and economics.
Charles Michel: President-Elect of the European Council
We are honoured to welcome the next President of the European Council, and former prime minister of Belgium, Charles Michel. Mr. Michel does not only have a significant relationship with the European Union, but he also has his own personal relationship with the University of Amsterdam as a former alumnus. The interview will not only touch upon the president-elect’s prior experience at the UvA, but they will also dive into the topics of Europe Divided, the European Project, Europe’s Global Position, and ultimately what his position as the next president of the European Council will mean for our Union in the coming years.
Deirdre McCloskey: Liberalism in the 21st Century
Deirdre McCloskey, Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English, and Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She was also a visiting Professor of Philosophy for 5 years at the Erasmus University, Rotterdam. How can we think of liberalism in the 21st century? What kind of transformations has the idea of liberalism faced over the course of history, and to what extent are these applicable to our current political and economic realities? With Professor McCloskey we aim to delve into what produces 'bourgeois virtues', and understand how her religious beliefs can fit into the mould of liberal values. The discussion will centre on issues that are paramount to the disciplines of philosophy, governance, politics, morality and economic history.
Jill Lepore: Revisiting American History
Jill Lepore is Professor of American History at Harvard University and a journalist at The New Yorker. She specialises in American history, specifically early American history and undocumented history. During our interview with Lepore, we will focus on history as a subject and the implications it has had for society today. How do politicians like Donald Trump use history? How has the way we remember history affected minorities? Apart from this, the questions of whether these truths are self-evident and how the lack of these truths has changed America will be explored extensively during the session.
Dan Ariely: Irrational Decision-Making
Dan Ariely joins us as we discuss the irrational behaviours that underpin our actions and the implications that they have for society, as well as the solutions employed to address them.
In addition, we will talk about global societal issues that are a result of our own irrational behaviour. From inequality to the online dating market; we will try to pin down how structures that can correct for our own irrationality can be expected to help.
The Changing Democratic Party: George Blaustein
The Democratic Party is changing.
From establishment to non-establishment; from centrists to progressive; from universal basic income to abolishment of private insurance, it seems odd that *one* party can encompass the vast differences in policy proposals, sentiments, and ideologies that are taking place within it under *one* name.
With the election of President Donald Trump we’ve seen dramatic overhauls within the United States congress. If there is one thing that unifies the Democrats, it’s an unparalleled hatred for the current President of the United States.
However; will a common strive to get rid of the current president result in deeper cuts within the Democratic party? Or will the new nominee reveal the new face of the democrats, rather than a break off from it?
With George Blaustein, Senior Lecturer of American Studies at the UvA, we will do our best to understand, predict, and discuss the future of the Democratic Party.
The EU & China: Chinese Investments in the European Union
The interview will touch upon the economic and political dynamics between Europe and China. We will attempt to understand how China’s actions within Europe are shaped by its world vision. In addition, we will ask how the domestic and internal politics between these two regions contribute to these dynamics.
We are joined by Ties Dams and Alexandr Lagazzi. Ties Dams is a writer and strategist. He has been studying the Chinese state since his studies as a philosopher, political scientist, and economist in Utrecht, London, and China. He is also the author of the book, ‘De Nieuwe Keizer,’ which details the life of the most powerful man in China, Xi Jinping. Alexandr Lagazzi, holds a BA in International Economic Relations and Diplomacy from the Faculty of International Relations of the University of Economics in Prague. Alexandr Lagazzi is an expert in the fields of international economic relations and diplomacy, international security and terrorism.