Eurasia Seminar Series
Continental Vision: National Interests
Since the 19th century, geographers and other specialists have discussed the idea that Europe and Asia are not separate continents but actually joined together geographically to form a single continent of Eurasia. It was only with the end of the Cold War, however, that the Eurasia idea began to achieve broad circulation and acceptance. In the 1990s, it was appealing for the most part because it offered a useful conceptual marker for the territories of the former Soviet Union, which were no longer united politically as part of a single state and in any event could no longer be referred to as Soviet.
Since the turn of the century, however, the appeal of the Eurasia concept has broadened dramatically. Today many if not most of the other countries occupying this landmass have come to recognize that, in the context of an ever more globalized and interconnected world, this geographical space of massive dimensions represents an exceptionally useful arena on which they can project their respective national interests. Effectively, each country constructs its own national perspective, in which Eurasian space is perceived and signified in ways that are meaningful specifically in terms of the dynamics of the respective country’s ambitions and priorities. In certain cases, there is some concurrence and resonance between these national perspectives, while elsewhere they are highly distinctive and indeed not always mutually compatible.
The series will explore these points through a series of three seminars, each focused on a major proponent of the Eurasia idea: Russia, Turkey and China.
• 25 April 2019, Continental Vision: Russia's Interests
Igor Denisov, Senior Research Fellow at Moscow State Institute of International Relations: Center for East Asian and Shanghai Cooperation Organization Studies
Maryia Danilovich, Fellow at the Institute of Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES), Uppsala University
Pavel Baev, Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
Mark Bassin, Professor of History of Ideas at Södertörn University and Associated Research Fellow at UI.
• November 19 2019, Continental Vision: China's Interests
Nadège Rolland, Senior Fellow, Political and Security Affairs, The National Bureau of Asian Research.
Zhiguang Yin, Senior Lecturer, College of Humanities, University of Exeter.
Commentator: Björn Jerdén, Head of UI's Asia Programme
Moderator: Mark Bassin, Professor of History of Ideas at Södertörn University and Associated Research Fellow at UI.
The Eurasia seminar series is jointly organized by the Swedish Institute of International Affairs and Södertörn University. It features seminars on Russian, Chinese and Turkish perspectives on Eurasia.
This page will be updated as dates and speakers are confirmed.