Video Colloquium: „This is all fear driven“ with Fernando Vallespin

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For the first part of our „Fear“-Session we have been talking with Fernando Vallespin, Professor for Political Science at the Universidad Autónoma in Madrid, Spain. Based on the keynote he had held at NECE-conference in Marseille („Getting emotions and politics right“) we discussed what role „fear“ plays in the recent European discourses, conflicts and political decisions. In the last year’s Convention of the Colloquium the presumption that „this is all fear-driven“ popped up on several panels surrounding topics like nationalism, migrant discourses, hate speech populism and general uneasiness for societal changes. Picking up that question we came to the fear for technical change and for loss of welfare systems, the promise of protection by a backlash to nationalism and Europe as the last open and cosmopolitain society that has to be defended and fortified.

The strange effect that some Eastern European countries don’t have migrants but fear for migrants led the conversation to Fernando’s advice to rather focus on „emigration“ as the problem we have (young and educated people leaving the own country) instead of „immigration“ (other people coming in). This connects very well to the video-session on „Vision“ with Ulrike Guérot, Vincent Engel and the Bulgarian student Stamen Belchev, who shared his perspective of young Eastern European young people and their hopes and visions towards Europe.

In the second part of the „Fear“-sessions with Vasili Sofiadellis we continued this conversation.