Europe in the World Seminar: China, Russia, and Europe’s Authoritarian Challenge


Tuesday, February 25, 2020, 4:30pm to 6:00pm


Goldman Room, Adolphus Busch Hall

Europe is at the center of two defining trends in international politics today: renewed great power competition and the resurgence of global authoritarianism. Amidst the rise of nationalist and authoritarian-leaning governments within the EU and NATO, Europe is increasingly vulnerable to Russian and Chinese influence.


In this context, Torrey Taussig argues in Washington Quarterly that Russia and China are carrying out strategies across Europe at the expense of free and open societies, but that Europe has been slow to forge a counter-strategy.

This conversation will highlight a spectrum of Russian and Chinese overt and covert activities in Europe ranging from benign state tools such as public diplomacy to more malevolent efforts including direct interference in electoral processes. Moving forward, it will be incumbent on European policymakers to avoid looking any one vector in isolation and to close vulnerabilities across their political systems, economies and societies.

Chair: Sebastián Royo. Professor of Government, Suffolk University; CES Seminar Co-chair, Harvard University; Visiting Scholar 2019-2020 & Local Affiliate, CES, Harvard University.

Speaker: Torrey Taussig. Research Director, Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship, Harvard Kennedy School

Sponsors: RCC; Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES); Europe in the World Seminar; Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship, Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School.