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The Limits of EUrope Conference

Russell Foster of King's College London and Jan Grzymski of Lazarski University secured a special edition of the journal Global Discourse entitled 'The Limits of EUrope'.

Flags of the European Union
Flags of the European Union

In late 2017, Russell Foster of King’s College London and Jan Grzymski of Lazarski University, secured a special edition of the journal Global Discourse. Entitled 'The Limits of EUrope', this special edition was planned to draw together researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds, different career stages, and different normative imaginations of EUrope, to offer a forum for genuinely diverse research. This approach was a great success. The special edition draws together leading scholars of European studies, from senior professors to early-career researchers, to approach EUrope from an interdisciplinary perspective which better provides a holistic approach to the contemporary state of EUrope. The editors also sought to use the journal as a means of overcoming a growing gulf between different research backgrounds and contrasting views. 

In an innovative format, each academic article in the journal receives a shorter written response from a non-academic specialist. Drawing upon specialists in policymaking, civic society, journalism, and commerce and industry, these 'Practitioners’ Responses' open dialogue between academic and non-academic experts, offering a variety of perspectives and approaches to issues in contemporary EUrope. Furthermore, in an effort to help bridge a growing gulf between Europhiles and Eurosceptics, who are becoming increasingly polarised, the journal includes critical contributions from a variety of opinions on the nature of EUrope, and its normative role in society.
 
The London conference was held in the Reading Room of Carlton House Terrace – the former residence of George IV, situated in the heart of Westminster. It brought together the special edition’s participants; academic and non-academic alike. Over two days, each academic paper was presented by its author in a dedicated, chaired panel. The invited non-academic expert then gave their verbal response to the paper, illustrating points of agreement and contention as well as suggestions from relevant policymaking, legal, and industrial perspectives, before opening to group discussion by all contributors. This innovative format produced very fruitful and critical discussions, allowing genuinely interdisciplinary engagement as well as contrasting different views on the challenges and opportunities the EU currently faces.