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Dr. Stefan Auer
Associate Professor


Andreas Leutzsch

Stefan Auer is Associate Professor in European Studies and Jean Monnet Chair in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Hong Kong. Prior to this, he worked at La Trobe University in Melbourne (2006-2013) and University College Dublin (2001-2006). He is the author of Whose Liberty is it Anyway? Europe at the Crossroads (Seagull, 2012) and Liberal Nationalism in Central Europe (Routledge, 2004, pbk 2006), which was awarded the prize for Best Book in European Studies (2005) by the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES). His recent publications include, ‘Carl Schmitt in the Kremlin: the Ukraine crisis and the return of geopolitics’, International Affairs, 91: 5, 2015.

• Current Research Projects
- From Velvet Revolutions of 1989 to “Velvet Occupations” of 2014: Europe’s Soft Power and the Geopolitics of Putin’s Russia
The protracted crisis in Ukraine has exposed fundamental political differences between (West) European leaders and their counterparts in Russia. The very existence of the European Union (EU) was meant to have refuted geopolitics as a useful theoretical lens through which to view power relations in Europe. After all, the European project is based on the idea that boundaries no longer matter and that national sovereignty is obsolete. And, yet, geopolitics remains critically important – certainly for Europe’s potential enemies, but also for Europe, itself. This new constellation presents a significant challenge not just to Europe’s security, but also to its very self-understanding. I will argue that in order to effectively challenge Putin’s Russia, Europe ought to reclaim geopolitics for its own purposes.

- Germany and the Crisis of the European Project
This project seeks to uncover the political and structural roots of the current crisis that threatens to destroy Europe’s unity. It focuses on Germany’s role in Europe; in particular in times of radical transformation, such as 1989-1992 and 2009-2012. The European Union’s vision of ‘an ever-closer union’ is paradoxically producing a Europe that is becoming more divided and less democratic. First, there are fundamental divisions within the group of countries that have adopted the single currency, the Euro – the creditor states in the North, particularly Germany, are being pitched against the debtor countries in the South. Second, the crisis has also strengthened the division between the countries which are in the Eurozone and those that remained outside, such as the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic. Third, across Europe the crisis has strengthened the divisions between the European elites, who remain committed to the ideal of European unity, and their peoples, who are growing more sceptical or even hostile towards that very ideal. The European project is facing the most profound and protracted crisis in its post World War Two history.

• Selected Publications
liberty liberal
Whose Liberty is it Anyway? Europe at the Crossroads, Calcutta: Seagull Books 2012 (distributed by the University of Chicago Press).

Liberal Nationalism in Central Europe, London: Routledge, 2004 (pbk. 2006).
(Awarded the 2005 UACES Prize for the Best Book in Contemporary European Studies)

Journal Articles
‘The Limits of Transnational Solidarity and the Eurozone Crisis in Germany, Ireland and Slovakia’, Perspectives on European Politics and Society, a special issue on The Effects of the Eurozone Sovereign Debt Crisis, Vol. 15, No 3, 2014, pp. 322-334.

‘Das Ende des Europäischen Traumes und die Zukunft der begrenzten Demokratie in Europa’ [The End of the European Dream and the Future of Europe’s Constrained Democracy], Transit: Europäische Revue, Verlag Neue Kritik, No 44, pp. 122-141 (the article was re-published in Bulgarian, Russian and Slovenian; the English version appeared on Eurozine in March 2013, as an article of the month, see:

‘Das Schicksal des Sisyphos: Václav Havels Vermächtnis’ [The Fate of Sisyphus: Vaclav Havel’s Legacy], Osteuropa, BWV Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, Vol. 62, No 1, 2012, pp. 17-24.

‘Europe’s Declining Social Model: A Cautionary Tale for Australia’, Australian Historical Studies, Vol. 42, No 3, 2011, pp. 404-416.

‘‘New Europe’: between Cosmopolitan Dreams and Nationalist Nightmares’, Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 48, No 5, 2010, pp. 1163–1184.

Book Chapters
‘The Holocaust as Fiction: From Andrzej Wajda’s Korczak to Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds’, in Gwenda Tavan (ed.), State of the Nation: Essays for Robert Manne. Melbourne: Black Inc., 2013, pp. 301-310.

‘Public Intellectuals, East and West: Jan Patočka and Václav Havel in contention with Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Slavoj Žižek’, in Christian Fleck, Andreas Hess, E. Stina Lyon (eds.), Intellectuals and their Publics: Perspectives from the Social Sciences, Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate, 2009, pp. 89-105.


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