Europe in a Changing World

‘Europe in a Changing World’ is a new research project that reverses the gaze of Europe’s Stories, the project’s first phase, which ran until 2021. In the first phase of the project, documented on this section of our website, we looked at how Europeans see Europe from inside, and what they want the EU to do and to be. Now we are looking at how others see Europe. Since it is impossible to research all the world’s attitude simultaneously, we are focusing on the mutual perceptions and relations of five major countries – China, India, Turkey, Russia, and the United States (CITRUS) – with Europe. How do these countries view and understand Europe and the EU and why? What are their current relations with Europe, including points of convergence and divergence, and how might future relations develop? In what ways can mutual understanding be enhanced? 

The project pursues these questions through a series of innovative online core seminars, attended by over sixty graduate students and over thirty faculty members from our partner institutions across the world, as well as through a series of conferences at all of the partner institutions (resources for which can be found below, and on our website), shared research, and other events, both physical and online. In 2022, we conducted a round of opinion polling in partnership with the European Council on Foreign Relations, which produced a major report on attitudes to Europe in the CITRUS countries, as well as within Europe itself. We intend to conduct further rounds of public opinion polling, both in Europe and in the CITRUS countries, in 2023. 

‘Europe in a Changing World’ is a project of the Dahrendorf Programme at the European Studies Centre, University of Oxford in partnership with: Ashoka University, Delhi; European University Institute (EUI), Florence; Higher School of Economics (HSE), Moscow; Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), Vienna; Peking University (PKU), Beijing; Sabanci University, Istanbul; Stanford University, California; the Remarque Institute at New York University; and, in Berlin, the Cluster of Excellence ‘Contestations of the Liberal Script’ (SCRIPTS) at the Freie Universität Berlin and the WZB Berlin Social Science Centre. Core funding for this project is provided by the Stiftung Mercator, with additional funding from the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit, and from each of the participating institutions.


The first in our series of conferences, How Europe Thinks About Itself in a Changing World took place at the Institute of Human Sciences (IWM), Vienna on 5-6 April 2022. The programme can be found here

The conference featured two public panels. Please follow the links to see recordings:

– Ukraine and the future of Europe.

– How does – and how should – the EU tell Europe’s story to the world.

This second panel also featured the presentation of a report by Dr Julia De Clerck-Sachsse, Look Who’s Talking: Telling Europe’s Story in the EU Capital

Our second conference, Europe in a Changing World, the thirteenth annual Dahrendorf Lecture and Colloquium, took place at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford on 28-30 April 2022. 

The conference included a lecture by the celebrated British-Chinese novellist and filmaker Xiaolu GuoDreams and Reflections: A Chinese Artist’s Discovery of Europe, on her extensive filmography on the questions of connection and identity.

These two European conferences were followed on 24 March 2023 by Irritations of Europe, at Ashoka University, Delhi. 

We then returned to St Antony’s for Europe and Freedom, the fourteenth annual Dahrendorf Lecture and Colloquium, which took place on 28-29 April 2023. The conference’s programme, as well as additional articles on the theme of freedom in Europe, can be found here.

The conference featured three livestreamed panels:

– Freedom in Europe: The Last Fifty Years

– Freedom in Europe: Dimensions, Dilemmas, and Prospects

– Professor Timothy Garton Ash’s Dahrendorf Lecture, Europe Whole and Free

We were also delighted to receive a pre-recorded video message from Professor Francis Fukuyama, The Future of Freedom, which led into the final, closed, session of the conference.  

On 4-5 May 2023, the Dahrendorf Programme was hosted at the State of the Union at the European University Institute (EUI), Florence. A recording of our panel, ‘Fragmentation, disorder, and the reconstruction of Europe’s global role’, can be viewed here, and other content from the conference found here.

On 30 August 2023, a conference took place at Stanford University on (Mis)managing Differences. The programme for the conference can be viewed here.

The Europe in a Changing World project partner institutions will continue to host conferences throughout autumn 2023. Upcoming conferences include:

Sabanci University, Istanbul, 13 October 2023

Berlin Social Science Centre (WZB), in conjunction with the Cluster of Excellence, ‘Contestations of the Liberal Script’ (SCRIPTS), 22-24 November 2023.