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George Soros Visiting Chair Public Lecture: Is America Europe’s future?

Ariane Chebel d'Appollonia
Wednesday, March 2, 2022, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

In her forthcoming book, Violent America, Ariane Chebel d’Appollonia analyzes how an expansive use of violence based on identity politics has been and today remains an effective strategy by which ethno-racial groups gain acceptance into the America’s mainstream society. Today, however, these strategies fuel an increasing fragmentation and polarization of American society.  

It may be easy for Europeans to reflect critically on events in America. But to what extent do those events portend a similar trend in Europe? Is America indeed Europe’s future? In addressing this question, Ariane Chebel d’Appollonia evaluates the scope, nature, and influence of comparable developments on inter-group relations in various European countries. The racial categorization and history of race relations that frame inter-group relations in America significantly differ from both the context and content found in Europe. Yet, there are nonetheless similar trends on both sides of the Atlantic. Many European populist politicians, such as Matteo Salvini in Italy or Viktor Orbán in Hungary, have been inspired by former-President Trump. Racial prejudice, xenophobia, anti-immigrant feelings, and urban violence has spawned a similar polarization among electorates across Europe. Furthermore, U.S. minority movements like Black Lives Matter have generated comparable ones in Europe. Contentious identity politics is therefore becoming a transnational phenomenon, portending a European future that may resemble the United States.