This blog is hosted on Ideas on EuropeIdeas on Europe Avatar

The UACES Blog

News and comment from UACES events and activities


Reflections on UACES 1st Virtual Conference

By Russell Foster, Jan Grzymski & Monika Brusenbauch Meislová (UACES Research Network, The Limits of EUrope)

UACES Annual Conference 2020 brought our research group a mixture of excitement and poignancy. We are enormously grateful to the UACES team for their phenomenal work in organising and hosting a superb event, which was not only highly intellectually stimulating but which was also a tour de force of smooth and highly effective e-learning. At the same time, though, this experience only magnified the sense of isolation which everyone is feeling as a result of the pandemic and social distancing. The stimulating personal interactions and timely boost of mental and emotional energy, which the UACES conference brings at the nadir of the academic year, was sorely missed. That said, like everyone we soldiered on and enjoyed a spectacularly well-organised few days, and we are very excited for the next face-to-face event!

Our UACES Research Network, The Limits of EUrope: Challenging the Crisis of European Integration is now in its second year. Regardless of the pandemic, we are continuing in our mission of producing groundbreaking international, interdisciplinary work on the frontiers of European studies. The Network’s three conveners – Jan Grzymski (University of Warsaw, Poland), Monika Brusenbauch Meislová (Masaryk University, Czech Republic), and Russell Foster (King’s College London, UK) are collaborating on a forthcoming special issue of the Journal of Contemporary European Research (JCER), focused on unpicking the convoluted relations between populism and technocracy in a post-Brexit Europe.

This special issue investigates a growing gulf between “populist” and “technocratic” systems of knowledge production within EU-ropean politics. With an aim to answer how consensus-based EUropean decision-making can be rendered (more) legitimate, the special issue is envisioned to be addressing those challenges in six selected crucial areas in contemporary EUrope: Technocrats and the Public, (Dis-)Integration, (Anti-)Politics, (Mis-)Trust, (Non-)Science, and (Mis-)Communication. These themes are explored in the edition’s fifteen papers, which address varying realms in which technocratic and populist claims of legitimation are seen to clash. As the pandemic and Covid-19 countermeasures have developed, and continue to develop, throughout and beyond 2020, this jarring of technical expertise and popular rhetoric has expanded into political discourses across Europe and beyond, rendering the special issue and its themes pertinent even beyond the conclusion of Brexit at the end of 2020.

The recent UACES Virtual Conference offered an ideal opportunity to discuss ideas and research works related to this special issue by its contributors and editors. Stay tuned for the JCER special issue, entering press in early 2021!

Russell Foster

Jan Grzymski

Monika Brusenbauch Meislová


Recent Articles

My NORTIA residency at KU Leuven: China, Contestation, and Covid-19

Published on by | No Comments

Spending some time in Brussels is always an invaluable opportunity for any EU researcher. I first arrived at KU Leuven on January 6th, 2020, a little over a month since the new von der Leyen Commission took office. At the time, COVID19 was only news in China and Western mainstream media was preoccupied with issues such as the coming into effect of Brexit on January 31st and the potential implications of the Soleimani incident between the US and Iran. Those were the days.

UACES Chair’s Message — August 2020

Published on by | Comments Off on UACES Chair’s Message — August 2020

Dear UACES Colleagues,

I hope you are well and that you have had the opportunity to spend some time away from your computer screens and to recharge the batteries over the summer months.

Standing Still to Move Forward? Reflections on a Decade at UACES

Published on by | Comments Off on Standing Still to Move Forward? Reflections on a Decade at UACES

A few months ago, I was having a WhatsApp chat with my 3 best friends. They are all incredibly talented women – one is a partner in a law firm, another an award-winning science journalist and author, another a charity policy director. Intimidating or what? The conversation was about the organisations they’ve worked for and the value of moving between different companies. One of my friends said ‘[it’s] amazing how easily you can think your organisation’s way of doing something is the best or most productive until you experience different workplaces’.

Reflections on Teaching in UK Academia

Published on by | Comments Off on Reflections on Teaching in UK Academia

My academic career may have been entirely based in UK higher education institutions but I have had many different teaching jobs. Once in France in a class of sixty students, eighty percent of whom had no intention of learning the English I was teaching, a student set fire to her hat.

UACES Chair’s Message — May 2020

Published on by | Comments Off on UACES Chair’s Message — May 2020

Dear UACES colleague, I hope you and your friends and family are well during these troubling and uncertain times. It has been great to see that the UACES community has remained as vibrant and supportive as ever online and on Social Media as colleagues have adapted to the realities of teaching, researching and staying in […]

Political Justice and Multistakeholderism

Published on by | Comments Off on Political Justice and Multistakeholderism

Diana Potjomkina visited ARENA Centre for European Studies at the University of Oslo in the framework of a NORTIA Early-career Researcher Residency in January-March 2020.

UACES #MidweekMeetup – Work-Life Balance

Published on by | Comments Off on UACES #MidweekMeetup – Work-Life Balance

The third virtual coffee meeting encouraged our community to talk about the current work-life balance everyone is experiencing. We hope that everyone keeps going to maintaining a good work-life balance as it works best for each of you.

UACES #MidweekMeetup – How to look after your mental health while working from home

Published on by | Comments Off on UACES #MidweekMeetup – How to look after your mental health while working from home

To respond to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, we at UACES wanted to bring our community together. And we went the same way everyone is going right now: online. The second virtual coffee meeting encouraged our community to talk about their mental health and how to look after it while working from home. Different perspectives were […]

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • UACES and Ideas on Europe do not take responsibility for opinions expressed in articles on blogs hosted on Ideas on Europe. All opinions are those of the contributing authors.