REDS Seminar: European Security: Past, Present, Future

Stephen Kotkin
Event Sponsor
The Europe Center, Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, the Hoover Institution, Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies
William J. Perry Conference Room
Encina Hall, Second Floor, Central, C231
616 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305

Traditionally, definitions of security emphasized military defenses and alliances against potential adversaries. Over the last few decades, of course, everything from financial flows and technology transfer, water and energy supplies, trade relationships, to information security and social media disinformation have demanded increasing attention, alongside or instead of hard power. Nowhere have notions of security been more multidimensional, and less militaristic, than in Europe.

Has Russia's fullscale war in Ukraine forced an enduring correction back to traditional notions? Or are some changes predating the war destined to persist? Can geopolitics return if it never went away? What is the future of the fiscal-military state? Is the modern state fit for purpose any more? What is technology actually doing to governance, if anything? How might security depend on new or reinvented institutions? Is China an even bigger game-changer than Russia for European security? Is there, could there be, a pivot to Asia, or is that a nonsense? So many questions -- how do we begin to sift them, and order them, to establish a workable framework with which to build notions of security that could last?

Stephen Kotkin is an FSI senior fellow affiliated with APARC and CDDRL. He is also the Kleinheinz Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and founding director of the Hoover History Lab. Kotkin is the Birkelund Professor in History and International Affairs emeritus at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (formerly the Woodrow Wilson School), where he taught for 33 years. He earned his PhD at the University of California–Berkeley. Kotkin’s research encompasses geopolitics and authoritarian regimes in history and in the present. His publications include Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929–1941 (Penguin, 2017) and Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878–1928 (Penguin, 2014), two parts of a planned three-volume history of Russian power in the world and of Stalin’s power in Russia.